Busts of Edison

Illustration from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, May 9,1891


Doug Boilesen, 2023

This gallery is a scrapbook of a few Edison busts I've come across in the process of looking for phonograph ephemera and connections. This gallery of Edison busts didn't start until Allen Koenigsberg's research and article was written about Rupert Schmid and other busts. For more details about Rupert Schmid and other Edison busts, see "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night..." The Forgotten Story of Four-and-a-Half Edison Busts, 1878 - 1910 by Allen Koenigsberg, The Antique Phonograph, June 2023.

The first example of this gallery is extracted from "A Day with the Edison, the Electrician" and shows the Electric Organ in the Library of Edison's Laboratory. An Edison bust is on the mantel. The artist is unknown artist but this may be the plaster bust made by Rupert Schmid.


Library of Edison's Laboratory

"A Day with the Edison, the Electrician. His Laboratory, Residence, etc. -- Drawn by C. Bunnell."

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, May 9, 1891


Edison Bust in Offices of Maguire & Baucus, New York City



Edison Bust in Private Offices of Maguire & Baucus, Ltd., New York. The Phonoscope, August-September, 1897, p. 12.



A Different Note on Edison Busts

Edison's largest bust was his iron ore-mining project which over the years cost him around $2,000,000.

Edison also lost around $450,000 in 1909 in a lawsuit judgement going back to how Edison had resolved the North American bankruptcy of 1894. As Allen Koenigsberg has summarized it

"the money that Edison "lost" in 1909 was the result of his resolution to the North American bankruptcy of 1894. He did not think they would persist so long in their legal argument that he short-changed the member phonograph companies. But James Andem was indefatigable (lived a long time too). Edison's lawyers told him (TAE) to settle earlier as the bankruptcy was not handled well, but he was quite stubborn about it. As a result, it cost him dearly. I would not be surprised if Henry Ford played some role in "bailing him out" as Ford worshipped Edison."