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    Description

    [Bell Telephone]. Archive of Agreements and Reports for Early Phone Lines in Washington, D. C. Spanning the years 1877 through 1881, this fabulous early telephone collection contains the service reports, estimates, lease agreements, telephone line diagrams, and business reports and other ephemera belonging to Washington Bell Telephone agent, George C. Maynard.

    The bulk of the archive contains 137 service reports and estimates for the installation of telephones in and around Washington, D. C. and include prices for pole wire, house-top wire, length of line, cable conductors, the rent of the phone and bells, office wires, labor, etc. connecting residential, commercial, and government establishments such as railroad depots, stables, newspaper offices, et al. One such estimate, for the Commissioner of Agriculture General William LeDuc, is one page, 7.5" x 9.75", Washington, dated February 1, 1878, for the running of a telephone line connecting the Department of Agriculture with "...Dept No. 3..." via the White House and State Department.

    Other documents of note include Two Telephone Line Diagrams: One pencil drawn diagram, two pages, 9.75" x 7.5", Washington, n. d. [circa 1877], showing a private line connecting a residential dwelling to the army signal office via a church and the Corcoran Gallery and completely circumventing the White House and the Treasury Department. The second, in pen, one page, 9" x 6.25", [Washington], n. d. [circa 1877], showing the connection of Washington Bell agent George C. Maynard's private line connecting his home and his office via seven connections including a congregational church and the orphan asylum. [and:] Theodore N. Vail Public Proclamation concerning the infringement of rival phones. Three integral pages, 8" x 10.5", Boston, May 23, 1879. Addressed "To the Public," National Bell Telephone Company General Manager Theodore Vail claims that "...under patents granted to Alexander Graham Bell..." Bell Telephone "...claims the exclusive right to use, or to license others to use, speaking telephones...Suits are pending...in which the claims of the owners of the Bell patents and the owners of the inventions of Gray, Edison, Dolbear, and others will be legally determined." Inside Vail presents a short history of the invention of the telephone and "Proof of Prof. Bell's Priority."

    Most of the documents are in fine condition with some minimal toning and edge chipping.


    More Information:

    Additional documents included:

     

    George C. Maynard Advertisement Flyer. One page, 5" x 8", Washington, April 28, 1881, naming Maynard as the Washington agent for American Bell Telephone Company for the construction, equipment, and leasing of telephone and telegraph lines. There is a short statement by Bell General Manager Theodore N. Vail at the bottom authorizing Maynard as the sole agent to supply telephones to the capital.

    George Maynard CDV. 2.5" x 4.25", with M. P. Rice & A. I Rice Photographers backmark.

    Thomas Sanders Payment Advance. One page, 7.25" x 4", Boston, May 3, 1878, on an invoice for hand telephones.

    Charles Williams, Jr. Telegram. One page, 8.25" x 5.25", Boston, January 28, 1878, to George C. Maynard about the estimate for the Portland line.

    AL. One page, 8" x 10.25", New York, February 25, 1878, from The Telephone Company of New York to George C. Maynard regarding the order of India rubber mouthpieces.

    Contract for Telephone Service. Two handwritten pages, 7.5" x 11.5", Washington, n. d. [1880]. This is a blank contract written for agent George C. Maynard giving prices and terms of usage.

    George C. Maynard ALS. One page, 8" x 10.25", Washington, October 16, 1879, forwarding a letter and $10 to William S. Maynard.

    George C. Maynard Telephone Lease. One partially printed page, 8" x 10.5", Washington, September 5, 1879, whereby E. B. Townsend has been furnished three telephones ".in connection with a telephone line belonging to Police Department. An annual rental of Fifty-one (51.00) dollars will be charged.for the regular business of Police Department."

    George C. Maynard Telephone Lease. One partially printed page, 8" x 10.5", Washington, April 1, 1879, whereby "The Honorable Commissioners" have been furnished telephones ".in connection with a telephone lines and fixtures belonging to me. An annual rental of  one hundred & thirty five dollars will be charged.for the regular business of your offices."

    George C. Maynard Telephone Lease. One partially printed page, 8" x 10.5", Washington, November 13, 1878, whereby "The Honorable Commissioners" have been furnished one telephone ".in connection with a telephone line belonging to the Govmnt extending to the Health office and Police Hdqtrs. An annual rental of Fifteen dollars will be charged.for the regular business of your Department."

    George C. Maynard Telephone Lease. One partially printed page, 8" x 10.5", Washington, November 13, 1878, whereby "The Honorable Commissioners" have been furnished one telephone ".in connection with a telephone line belonging to me, extending to Police Headquarters. An annual rental of Forty dollars will be charged.for the regular business of your Department."

    George C. Maynard Telephone Lease. One partially printed page, 8" x 10.5", Washington, November 13, 1878, whereby "The Honorable Commissioners" have been furnished one telephone ".in connection with a telephone line belonging to the Govt., running to the Health office and the Washington Asylum. An annual rental of Five dollars will be charged.for the regular business of your Department."

    George C. Maynard Telephone Lease. One partially printed page, 8" x 10.5", Washington, November 13, 1878, whereby "The Honorable Commissioners" have been furnished one telephone ".in connection with a telephone line belonging to the Govmnt running from Police Headquarters to the Washington Asylum. An annual rental of Fifteen dollars will be charged.for the regular business of your office."

    George C. Maynard Telephone Lease. One handwritten page, 8" x 10.5", Washington, November 13, 1878, whereby "The Honorable Commissioners" have been furnished one telephone ".in connection with a telephone line belonging to the Govmnt extending to the Health office and Police Hdqtrs. An annual rental of Fifteen dollars will be charged.for the regular business of your Department."

    George C. Maynard Monthly Business Report. One page, 8.5" x 12.5", Washington, November 30, 1878, for the month of November, 1878. The report includes numbers of telephones (both box and hand phones) and magneto bells leased (originals and renewals), number of telephones returned after expiration of the lease, and total number of phones and bells on hand at the end of the month.

    George C. Maynard Telephone Advertisement Flyer.  Four integral pages, 8" x 10", Washington, n. d. [circa 1878]. Used by Maynard, "Sole agent for the District of Columbia," for the purpose of soliciting business to expand the telephone network throughout the capital. Contains a list of government offices and businesses which use the service. Describes the use of the telephone with assurances like: "Please understand that you can talk directly with your friend and no one can overhear your conversation." The last page contains excerpts of testimonials.



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    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
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