Edison Is Working On New War Device
EDISON IS WORKING ON NEW WAR DEVICE
Sets Up Laboratory at Eagle Rock and Toils Day and Night in Guarded Building.
HAS MODEL OF U-FLIVVER
Baby Submarine 16 Feet Long Is Said to be Sheltered at West Orange.
Special to The New York Times.
ORANGE, N.J., Feb. 17. - A special laboratory has been established by Thomas A. Edison at Eagle Rock, West Orange, overlooking New York City, the upper bay, and part of Staten Island, at which he is working in conjunction with experts from the United States Government. Their labors are being prosecuted far into the night, but what they are working on is a secret, and a guard patrols the grounds at all times.
Mr. Edison is Chairman of the Naval Consulting Board.
In Columbia Street, West Orange, a block distant from the main Edison plant, is a big corrugated iron building, with the window glass coated and the windows barred. On good authority it was learned today that Mr. Edison has in the building a sixteen-foot working model of a submarine, which, it is said, was the basis of Henry Ford's statement that he could build 1,000 one-man submarines a day if he was called on to do so.
The Eagle Rock laboratory is the big casino erected by the Essex County Park Commission in the Eagle Rock Reservation. Some time ago the commission gave to Mr. Edison permission to use the building. Much machinery has been installed and a heavy cable indicates the use of considerable electric power. One of the pieces of apparatus is a telescope that, to quote one man who had peered through, "brought New York so close it seemed you could reach out and touch the buildings."
About the place is a circuit composed of a cable of several kinds of electric wires with vari-colored insulation to designate the circuit. Here and there are taps where the current can be diverted to instruments. Mr. Edison literally goes on a rampage when he gets started on a campaign of experimentation and just now he is devoting, according to William H. Meadowcroft, his secretary, twenty hours a day to the Government's service.
The Eagle Rock laboratory is equipped, as is Mr. Edison's main laboratory, for the day in and day out work of what he calls his "insomnia squad." Sometimes they do not leave the building for days at a time, sleeping in beds provided for them.
One person in close touch with the situation has said that Mr. Edison is especially interested in an invention by means of which the operator of his apparatus can see a great distance while the light itself is invisible from the point at which it is aimed. Mr. Edison said a short time ago that what was needed was something entirely new in warfare; something never before imagined. He may be working on such a contrivance in his light.