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Thomas Edison's “except one”: The monetary views of Arthur Kitson revisited

  • David Hammes
  • Douglas Wills

Purpose – This paper examines the monetary thought of Arthur Kitson (1861-1937) as expressed in his published works and in recently discovered answers he submitted in 1922 to a questionnaire from Thomas Edison, the US inventor. Design/methodology/approach – Both original source material from the Edison Archive and published sources are used to examine the subject. Findings – It is found that Kitson's monetary thought is more orthodox than has previously been claimed by, among others, John Maynard Keynes, and more recently in the economics literature. It is also found that Kitson was the only person to support, without qualification, Edison's plan to reform the US monetary system. Originality/value – This paper casts a new light on Kitson's monetary thought, showing the influence of Irving Fisher on Kitson. The paper also presents Edison's questionnaire and Kitson's contributory thoughts on a fiat monetary standard that the questionnaire stimulated.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 32 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 33-46

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Handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:32:y:2005:i:1:p:33-46
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