Stephen Vail Historically Important 1898 Signed Letter Regarding Telegraph Receiver Historically important letter in which the son of Alfred Vail, a partner of Samuel F. B. Morse, offers to sell the last machine in existence of the two original telegraph receivers (the one used in Baltimore to receive Morse's first wired message) to Hiram Sibley, the son of the founder of Western Union. This autograph letter signed, "Very Sincerely Yours/Stephen Vail," one page, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". New York City, January 20, 1898. On letterhead of a Rochester, New York band (imprinted portions crossed out) to Mr. Hiram Sibley, Rochester, New York.The letter begins: "Dear Sir, At the suggestion of Director R.N. Thurston of Sibley College I write to place before you as one of the Trustees of Cornell University for your consideration the proposition made to him. I am the owner (by desire from my father, Alfred Vail, copartner with Prof S. F. B Morse, in the patent and invention of the Electric Telegraph) of the only existing one of the two original Recording Receivers, invented by my father." Vail goes on to say that this was the identical instrument "that his father received the "historic message 'What hath God wrought?'" He concludes by offering this "invaluable relic and germ of the telegraph system" to Cornell University for $1000, "Begging your kind consideration of my proposition I remain." The Telegraph Recording Receiver purchased by Sibley was presented to Sibley College, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York and is still housed at Cornell where it is owned by the College of Engineering. Slightly soiled, shaded at lower blank margin. Overall, fine condition. Accompanied by COA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2005
    13th Wednesday
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