W2630 TO ISAAC B. MCQUESTEN from William Dunn
Dec 11 1883
From: New York
I.B. McQuesten Esq.
I wrote you on Thursday last that I was willing to agree to any adjustment that you individually might deem advisable and equitable. The propositions submitted by me had for their object the recouping [of] the money expended without looking forward to any great excess over that amount and consequently with no expectations of reaping any great reward for my own labors or services. My wish being to have you first reimbursed then I should expect a fair share of the residue. This I am still prepared to carry out as has been before expressed. However after a thorough investigation I do not see anything to forbid the expectation of realizing much more than has been expended But this depends in a great measure on the matter which is pursued in carrying out the business1--
To dispose of the Coupler all that is advisable to do is to have the Models in as good shape as possible and through the influence of some one who can influence those who have money to invest in speculation. To accomplish this it may be necessary to secure the co-operation of some railway man as an authority. Both of these can be got when there is prospects of making something. I should not be in favor of wasting time or incurring expense in putting Couplers on Cars if it can possibly be avoided. The expense incidental to getting the Models properly fitted out and other items such as travelling can face or perhaps bearing my share of any absolutely crucial expense that may be deemed advisable for the accomplishing the object in view, Will, I calculate require an expenditure of from $100 to $150.
The Lock will not demand any outlay of any account saw at the outside $50 To realize out of the Boiler Feeder as its merits would demand. It would be necessary to put some of them in to Boilers and use them as a reference. I know they will work well and are the best in the market. I have only Patterns for the smallest size Then to do what is advisable would be. Engravings and Circulars and Postage say $30 Patterns for sizes say $28 = 20 Feeders = $140--Expense for travelling say $50, Total $248.00 But returns ought to be 20 Feeders at $30= $600 less a discount of say 20 per cut at the outside. $120--leaving a balance of $480-- But the necessary outlay to put the Patent properly in the market would be $248.00
This Feeder can be sold for a large sum if it is judiciously handled, because the want of such is great if people are satisfied that it will do the work. And the expense of getting ready to manufacture is but very little. But if those 20 Feeders were sold at once and gave satisfaction, there would not be returns for at least two months because this class of articles are sold on 2 months trial.
I have thought over and discussed the best manner of disposing of the Saw Sett and to the best advantage And it is my opinion That the proper way is to bring all the Tools Patterns etc to New York rent Room & Power at about $12 to 15 dollars per month2 and have a good reliable workman to keep putting up machines and in the meantime find a purchaser for the business and Patents. In this case there would be something tangible to show, In fact to sell this out satisfactorily it will be necessary to have these things here. For it would involve great expense taking any one to Buffalo to show the things and they would not be in as good shape as though they were under my own eye, And there would be a profit in the manufacture. And in undertaking to negotiate the Patents here all work would have to be done here as I could not have it done satisfactorily without being able to oversee it. The tools and patterns have cost with my own labor over a $1000 in fact I would not replace than for that amount Although they do not look to be worth it, but $100 goes but a little way in machine work. To remove these Tools and stock to New York and fit them up would cost me in the neighbourhood of a $100, stock to work on $150, and wages for man say for 2 months $150 and Circulars and Portage $25 = Total $425.00 This would turn in 40 machines $25, less 20 present discount $800.-- There is no risk in making these machines because their reputation is becoming established and dealers are willing to handle them only they want a larger discount than I was willing to allow. Why I did not sell more I have gone over at great length in previous letters, The stock of machines on hand will realize $500 or more, depending on the manner in which they are sold. I have thus gone over the whole matter as briefly as possible and have made as close calculations as circumstances will permit. There are always two ways of disposing of any article, a forced and consequently a sacrificed way , and an advantageous method. The latter I should prefer following, hence submit my views of the matter I am willing to give my services to bring the business to a profitable close whatever course is deemed best, But in devoiding my time to the exclusion of other business I cannot live on the [mind??], hence that to me important item has to be looked after. With this I enclose a proportion that I sign which if accepted I will consider a binding agreement on my part and make it as plain as possible. It is unnecessary to say that it is of the greatest importance to me that something definite was arrived at because I am sacrificing my time waiting to arrive at a conclusion as to what to do. To be very explicit I give on the opposite page a recapitulation of what the several Patents will probably cost to put them on the market and what might be expected if properly negotiated. I hope you will at your earliest convenience let me know your decision.
[Written in Isaac's handwriting sideways along right-hand side of following page:]
["Sett" crossed out]
(with the [??]forges &c.)
Allowing a deduction of $2500 on any one of the 3 marked at $5000
These figures are not extravagent and ought to be realized readily out of business if I am put in a position to carry out the business as my judgement dictates.
1 On December 6, 1883 Dunn had proposed to borrow several hundred dollars from Isaac and to repay it within six months. On December 11 (the same date as this letter) Dunn had sent Isaac terms of an agreement to sell his patents and repay Isaac for the loan in the amount of $600 or else he would hand over his patents, models and other related materials as compensation (W2628). For more information on Dunn, see W2554a.
2 This is likely a reference to a machine exhibition in New York that Dunn had considered entering as a means of displaying (and hopefully selling) his patents, see advertisement at W1709.
3 Sketches of this device are catalogued as W2636-W2638. They are partially illegible and have not been transcribed as a result.