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Signed Edison photo sells for $31,554

CONCORD | A 1911 photograph of Thomas Edison holding an alkaline battery with his penned declaration about the invention’s importance in transportation has sold for more than $31,000, thought to be a record for a signed Edison photo.

RR Auction of Amherst, N.H., said the photograph was sold Wednesday night in an online auction for $31,554. Its estimated value was $5,000.

“I believe time will prove that the Alkaline Storage battery will produce important changes in our present transportation systems,” Edison wrote underneath the photo.

Bobby Livingston, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing, said the signature, the statement’s content and the photo’s excellent condition accounted for the high bid.

The photo was the property of Walter Holland, who worked with Edison on the battery and published his lab reports on the project. Holland was appointed chief electrical engineer of the Edison Storage Battery Co. in West Orange, N.J., in January 1911. The photo is dated May 4 of that year.