|Thomas Edison's Muckers|
|The other inventors and muckers who worked for Thomas Edison - Charles Batchelor and Harold Anderson|
The Edison Laboratory, West Orange, New Jersey NPS Photo
Mucker - From TAE, Inc. to NPS: Harold Anderson (1895-1988)
Harold Stephen Anderson was born on May 6, 1895 in Thompsonville, Michigan. After graduation from high school, he attended Harvard University, receiving an A.B. degree in 1917. That summer Harold Anderson joined the 15th U.S. Engineers Regiment and spent the next year and a half repairing railroad lines in France. Returning to the United States in mid-1919, Anderson was hired as a stock record clerk for the Cushman and Denison Manufacturing Company in New York City. Upon news of his father's death in June of 1920 Anderson returned home to Michigan for six months. He then traveled back to New York and was rehired at the same firm as a purchasing agent where he remained for three years. He married Dorothy Josephine Holland in April 1921 and their first two sons were born in 1922 and 1924.
In November 1924, after the sale of Cushman and Denison to a competitor, Harold Anderson passed the TAE, Inc., application questionnaire and was hired as Inspector in the Disc Record Manufacturing Division. He later moved to the advertising department of the radio and phonograph divisions where he remained until the complete withdrawal of TAE, Inc., from those businesses in 1931. Soon afterward, Harold Anderson was named Treasurer of the newly formed Calibron Products, Inc., a company established by Theodore Edison to keep some of his late father's employees and engineers working together on research projects.
In 1939, Anderson transferred to the Research Department, General Division of TAE, Inc., and, along with other duties, began taking on a curatorial role in the Edison Laboratories. Harold Anderson was officially named Museum Curator in 1948 when the laboratory buildings were turned over to the Thomas A. Edison Foundation. Harold Anderson remained museum curator through the 1956 takeover by the National Park Service until his retirement in the 1970s. In 1969, Anderson was presented with a U.S. Department of the Interior Citation for Meritorious Service for thirty years service as Museum Curator.
Mucker and Edison's right hand man: Charles Batchelor (1845-1910)
Charles Batchelor, one of Edison's closest laboratory assistants and business partners during the 1870s and 1880s, was born in London on Christmas Day, 1845, and grew up in Manchester. Trained as a mechanic, he was sent to the United States in 1870 to install machinery at the Clark Sewing Thread Mills in Newark, New Jersey. There he met Edison and joined the inventor in his Newark shop, later moving with him to Menlo Park.
Charles Batchelor worked with Edison on numerous technologies including telegraphy, telephony, electrical lighting, and the phonograph. A gifted experimenter, he was Edison's "hands," testing, tinkering with, and improving the models and apparatus built for Edison by John Kruesi.
Charles Batchelor undertook several overseas assignments for Edison. In 1879, he went to London to supervise technical operations of the Edison Telephone Company of Great Britain, but he was taken ill there and returned to Menlo Park. Two years later Batchelor installed a model of an electrical lighting station for the Paris Electrical Exposition of 1881. He stayed on in the city for three years to manage the recently-founded Société Continentale Edison which controlled Edison's lighting patents; technicians trained there built central stations throughout Europe.
Along with other Edison assistants such as Samuel Insull, John Kruesi, Francis Upton, and Edward H. Johnson, Charles Batchelor was an investor in Edison manufacturing enterprises, beginning with the Edison Electric Light Company (1878), and continuing with the Edison Lamp Company (1880), the Edison Machine Works (1881), which Batchelor managed between 1884 and 1888, and the Edison General Electric Company (1888). It was through their positions as both investors in, and employees of, these concerns that Edison and his men derived much of their income.
When Edison relocated his experimental laboratory to West Orange, New Jersey, in 1887, Charles Batchelor supervised the construction of the buildings. Later, Batchelor became Treasurer and General Manager of the General Electric Company (which succeeded the Edison General Electric Company in 1892). Following his retirement from that position, Charles Batchelor returned in 1899 to assist Edison with his ore milling project, regularly inspecting the Ogden plant and reporting his findings to Edison.
Charles Batchelor was President of the Taylor Foundry Company at the time of his death, New Year's Day, 1910.
images and information provided by the National Parks Service
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