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    Samuel F.B. Morse Autograph Letter Signed "Saml F.B. Morse," one page, 5" x 8". [New York, 1871]. An ALS "J.D. Reid" to Cyrus H. McCormick, the inventor of the reaper, is on the top half of this page; in full, "Dear Sir. The Academy is crowded to excess and I cannot conscientiously issue more tickets. Am very sorry it is so." When McCormick received this letter from Reid, he sent it to Morse who penned a letter to Reid beneath it. In full, "I know you must be exceedingly pressed at the moment, but if it be possible to furnish 3 tickets for Mr McCormicks family which by some unfortunate miscarriage he did not receive, I should be greatly pleased. Mr. McCormick will of course be on the platform as one of the Vice Presidents, and his wife & nieces ought to have been provided for. See if you cannot contrive to get them seats." James D. Reid was chairman of the Morse Testimonial Fund. In 1870, a statue of Samuel F.B. Morse was proposed by the telegraph operators of the United States and Canada. Reid had arranged for it to be erected in Central Park in New York City. On the afternoon of June 10, 1871, with 80-year-old Samuel F.B. Morse as the honored guest, the inaugural ceremonies were held in Central Park for the unveiling of the seven-foot high bronze statue designed by Byron M. Pickett. That evening, a reception was held at the Academy of Music. McCormick was one of the Vice Presidents of the inaugural committee. One of the addresses was delivered by Reid who spoke on behalf of the "Ladies of the Telegraph." The June 11, 1871, issue of The New York Times reported that "The Academy of Music was filled to overflowing," most assuredly including the McCormick ladies. Years earlier, James D. Reid (1819-1901) had been Superintendent of the Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Company. In 1856, when Western Union began to absorb the individual lines, Reid was made Superintendent of the New York, Albany, and Buffalo Telegraph Company and when it was eventually absorbed by Western Union, he became the first railway telegraph superintendent in the United States and Europe. Morse died at his home in New York City on April 2, 1872, just ten months after he wrote this letter. Morse's statue stands majestically at the Fifth Avenue and 72nd street entrance to Central Park. He stands next to his most renowned invention, the electric telegraph. One hand is on his invention and the other holds a strip of his Morse Code. There are minor smudges on two words of Morse's letter and in blank areas. This letter, associating the names of two great American inventors, is in fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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