1911 signed Edison photo sells in NH for $31K-plus

By KATHY McCORMACK | December 8, 2011 | 12:20 PM EST

In this photo provided by RR Auctions of Amherst, N.H. Thursday Dec. 8, 2011 a 1911 photograph of Thomas Alva Edison with an early alkaline battery and his penned declaration about the invention's future is seen. The signed photo has been sold in an online auction for more than $31,000. (AP Photo/RR Auction)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — 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, believed to be a record for a signed Edison photo.

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

Edison started his work on the alkaline battery in the 1890s, just after the motorcar had been introduced. About 50,000 experiments later, he produced a successful nickel-iron alkaline battery in 1910 that was used for lighting railway cars, miners' lamps and other devices.

Edison's laboratory was in Menlo Park, N.J.

The company's vice president of sales and marketing says the photo, signature and handwritten note are in excellent condition.