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    [Bell Telephone Company]. Archive of George C. Maynard's Papers related to his time as the Washington, D. C. agent for Bell Telephone Company comprising eighty-one letters, several booklets and advertisements for early telephones, and a George C. Maynard cabinet card spanning the years 1877 through 1900 with the bulk of the material dating from 1878.

    The letters represent correspondence (all of a business nature) from the executives of Bell Telephone Company and other pioneers of the telephone industry including Gardiner G. Hubbard, the first president of Bell Telephone Company and Alexander Graham Bell's father-in-law. He was also the first president of the National Geographic Society; Theodore Vail, General Manager of Bell Telephone and, years later, the president of American Telegraph & Telephone. His cousin Alfred Vail was the partner of Samuel F. B. Morse in the development of the telegraph; Thomas Watson, General Superintendent of Bell Telephone and Alexander Graham Bell's assistant during the invention of the phone. His name was one of the first words spoken using a telephone connection; Charles Williams, Jr., who played an integral role in the birth of the telephone. Williams, a manufacturer of telegraph parts until the mid-1870s, kept an office in the same building as Alexander Graham Bell and was the first producer of telephones and all equipment for Bell Telephone Company until 1879. He is noted for being the recipient of the first telephone line which connected his office to his home three miles away. Bell's assistant, Thomas Watson, was employed by Williams as a mechanic until he left to work for Bell; and others.

    Of note is a copy of a letter from inventor Elisha Gray to Alexander Graham Bell. Gray was a rival of Bell's in the race to invent a practical telephone and, in some circles, is considered the true father of the device. In the letter, Gray is responding to a telegram Bell has sent him regarding an article that appeared in the "personal column of the 'tribune.'" Two integral pages, 6" x 9.5", Chicago, March 5, 1877, to "Prof. [Alexander Graham] Bell". Gray writes, in part: "...I truly forgive you for any feeling your telegram had aroused...I gave you full credit for the talking feature of the telephone, as you may have seen in the associated press dispatch...in my lecture in McCormick Hall...Of course you have had no means of knowing what I had done in the matter of transmitting vocal sounds...I do not however claim...the credit of inventing it as I do not believe a mere description of an idea that has never been reduced to practice...should be dignified with the name invention."

    Also, two letters concerning patent rights in the invention of a new microphone that could potentially be used in Bell's telephones involving inventors Thomas Edison, Emile Berliner, and David E. Hughes. In 1877, both Edison and Berliner applied for patents for a carbon microphone transmitter they had simultaneously invented (Edison submitted his application for a patent six weeks earlier). David Edward Hughes, an experimental physicist by trade, improved on Edison's design for the microphone that was used by Bell in their telephones and was instrumental in the invention of the crystal radio. The patent was eventually awarded to Edison fifteen years later, in 1892. Gardiner Hubbard discusses the matter in two letters to Maynard:

    [Thomas Edison] and [David E. Hughes]. Gardiner G. Hubbard Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 5.25" x 8.25", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, September 27, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding a question of patents. He writes, in part: "What do you mean by asking 'what shall be done to this man' Fischer. The only person that pretends to control the microphone is [Emile] Berliner & he has not any Patent. Neither [Thomas] Edison nor [David E.] Hughes pretend to include the microphone in their patents." [and:] [Thomas Edison]. Gardiner G. Hubbard Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 8" x 12.5", New York, July 31, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding inventor Emile Berliner's application for a patent. Of the application, Hubbard hopes that Maynard would meet with Berliner and "...say that I [Hubbard] understood from him that his application for a patent preceded the application of Mr. Edison one month. But Mr. [Thomas] Watson informs me that the application of Mr. Edison preceded that of Mr. Berliner two months...Please see Mr. Berliner...if his is the right one then we will accept of his proposition...if Mr. Watson's statement is correct then I do not see that Mr. Berliners application would have any value."

    Also of note: William D. Sargent ALS. Two pages, 8" x 10.5", on The Telephone Company letterhead, Philadelphia, January 31, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding an idea he has for using selenium to transmit sounds on a beam of light. In part: "I have an idea that a telephone, that could 'spread right out,' might be made by introducing a bar or bars of Selenium in an electric circuit...and creating an undulatory current by throwing a beam of light on and off the Selenium bar, the beam of light to be thrown, or reflected from a mirror mounted on a diaphragm, which would respond to vibrations corresponding to the voice or any other sound." He continues: "I should like to know what steps are necessary and what expense would be necessary to file a caveat, that could protect me until I can procure apparatus to develop the idea in a practical manner." The use of selenium was instrumental in the invention of wireless telephony. The photophone, the first such wireless transmitter, was developed by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter two years later. Using selenium cells, it was used on April 1, 1880, to make the world's first wireless phone call. [and:] Early Telephone Circuitry Diagram. One page, 11.25" x 8". This is a copy of a hand drawn diagram of a Number One Circuit, or Metallic Circuit, and a Number Two Circuit for use with a telephone in the late 19th century. Each diagram shows two different connections for the use of telephones, including battery hookups. Below the second circuit (the lower of the two) is written: "This circuit requires two wires - one for telephone or speaking & one for the bell or call."


    More Information:

    Additional documents include:

     

    Alexander Graham Bell Invitation. One page, 4.25" x 3.5", requesting ".the pleasure of Mr. & Mrs. Maynard's company on Thursday evening, April 20th at nine o'clock to meet the National Academy of Sciences."

    [Booklet]. A Description of the Telephone and of the Apparatus used in Connection Therewith. Boston: The Continental Telephone Company, 1880. 25 pages and illustrated. Includes descriptions of the telephone and its parts, directions for using the phone, possible troubles with the phone's hardware, instructions on constructing a telephone line, and uses of the telephone, including its use as a fire alarm.

    Bell Telephone Company Contract. One page, 8.25" x 5.5", New York, n. d. This unused contract, No. 5600, assures payment for the use of telephone service.

    List of Licensees of the American Bell Telephone Company. Eight integral pages, 8.5" x 14", n. p. [Boston], May 1, 1881. The list includes Exchanges listed alphabetically including the name, address, and location of the exchange; Licensees who supply phones for private lines with the names and addresses; Extra-Territorial Lines with names, addresses, and starting and terminal points; and manufacturers of telephones with the name and address of the company. Folds are weakened and separating . Chipping along upper and left edges. Folds are moderately toned in places.

    Charles Williams, Jr. ALS. One page, 8" x 10", on his personal letterhead, Boston, April 8, 1878, to George C. Maynard  regarding the shipment of an ".Annunciator and Switch Board." He goes on to briefly explain the reason for a lack of a bell : "The drop as it falls striking the glass, as it does, will attract attention if any one be near it and there is also a vibrating noise of the armature to each magnet which can also be hear near the instrument."

    Theodore N. Vail ALS. One page, 5.5" x 8.5", New York, October 24, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding the estimate of telephone rental for J.M. Catlett.

    Theodore N. Vail ALS. One page, 5.5" x 8.5", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, November 15, 1878, to George C. Maynard asking if he can assure safe delivery of a letter to Mr. Gardiner G. Hubbard.

    Theodore N. Vail Printed Letter. One page, 5.5" x 8.5", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, December 3, 1878, as a group letter asking for a report for the month of November.

    Theodore N. Vail Telegram. One page, 7.75" x 5.25", New York, November 15, 1878, to George C. Maynard asking him to inform Gardiner G. Hubbard that his wife will not come to Washington because her father sick.

    Theodore N. Vail ALS. One page, 5.5" x 8.25", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, December 20, 1878, to George C. Maynard informing him that he is sending two battery transmitters and instructions.

    Theodore N. Vail ALS. One page, 8.5" x 11", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, October 24, 1878, to George C. Maynard letting him know that his promise to him will be kept the next day due to delay.

    Theodore N. Vail ALS. One page, 8.5" x 11", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, October 26, 1878, to George C. Maynard enclosing a draft of amendments that he has made to the latter's contract.

    Theodore N. Vail ALS. One page, 8.5" x 11", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, October 15, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding a new contract with Charles Williams, Jr. to manufacture magneto bells and informing him that if replacement bells are needed, Maynard should contact Williams.

    Theodore N. Vail ALS. One page, 8.5" x 11", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, October 14, 1878, to George C. Maynard in response to the latter's request for microphones. He writes, in part: "The microphone is not as yet quite ready for use, but we hope to have it complete soon. The only difficulty is in the adjustment. I do not see what can be done now to prevent them trying any telephones they may wish to on their own lines except to convince them of the superiority of a magneto telephone."

    Theodore N. Vail ALS. One page, 8.5" x 11", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, September 20, 1878, to George C. Maynard telling him to get the ".instruments as requested."

    Theodore N. Vail ALS. One page, 8.5" x 11", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, September 2, 1878, to George C. Maynard declining the invitation to set up an exhibit in St. Paul.

    Theodore N. Vail ALS. One page, 8.25" x 10.5", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, Boston, July 19, 1878, to George C. Maynard informing him that they can supply an annunciator for a Magneto Bell for $3 per drop.

    Theodore N. Vail Printed Letter. One page, 8.5" x 11", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, October 19, 1878. A group letter to members of the company informing them to replace the bells on the phones if they cannot repair them and then send them to Charles Williams, Jr. for repair.

    Gardiner G. Hubbard Telegram. One page, 7.75" x 5.25", New York, n. d. [circa 1878], to George C. Maynard asking him to forward letters to the Arlington Hotel.

    Gardiner G. Hubbard Telegram. One page, 7.75" x 5.25", New York, November 21, 1878, to George C. Maynard asking him to forward his letters to New York.

    Gardiner G. Hubbard Telegram. One page, 7.75" x 5.25", New York, November 23, n. y. [1878], to George C. Maynard informing him that  he will be leaving for Washington the next night.

    Gardiner G. Hubbard ALS. One page, 5.25" x 8.25", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, November 21, 1878, to George C. Maynard informing him that he and Mr. Hubbard will be heading back to Washington to his new home and asking Maynard to ".send word to the servants to be ready for us."

    Gardiner G. Hubbard ALS. One page, 5.25" x 8.25", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, Washington, May 9, 1878, to George C. Maynard asking if he could ".put my line in order for this evening. Senator & Mrs. Eaton want to see it."

    Gardiner G. Hubbard ALS. One page, 5.25" x 8.25", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, September 13, 1878, to C. H. Sewall asking him to show George C. Maynard, as Bell's agent, the defects that can be improved upon for the district system in Albany, New York.

    Gardiner G. Hubbard ALS. One page, 5.25" x 8.25", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, October 26, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding the draft of a contract and his acquisition of new living quarters.

    Gardiner G. Hubbard ALS. One page, 5.25" x 8.25", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, October 7, 1878, to George C. Maynard concerning his arrival date in Washington.

    Gardiner G. Hubbard ALS. One page, 5.25" x 8.25", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, September 18, 1878, to George C. Maynard asking him to inquire of a furnished residence for his use.

    Thomas Watson AL Signed "Bell Telephone Co." One page,  8.5" x 11", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, November 14, 1878, to George C. Maynard informing him that a telegram was received from Gardiner G. Hubbard that he is going to Washington or New York from Cincinnati.

    Charles Williams, Jr. ALS. One page, 8" x 10", on his personal letterhead, Boston, January 28, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding the estimate ".for 2 ½ mile line of compound wire including cable.for $425."

    Charles Williams, Jr. ALS. One page, 5" x 8", on his personal letterhead, Boston, December 28, 1878, to George C. Maynard informing him of a shipment of repaired Magneto Calls.

    Charles Williams, Jr. ALS. One page, 8" x 10", on his personal letterhead, Boston, April 17, 1878, to George C. Maynard forwarding a receipt.

    Charles Williams, Jr. AL. One page, 8.25" x 6.75", on his personal letterhead, Boston, November 21, 1878, to George C. Maynard sending four Magneto Call Bells.

    Charles Williams, Jr. ALS. One page, 5" x 8", on his personal letterhead, Boston, November 25, 1878, to George C. Maynard informing him that he has 150 orders to fill ahead of his for Magneto Call Bells.

    Charles Williams, Jr. AL. One page, 8.25" x 6.75", on his personal letterhead, Boston, November 30, 1878, to George C. Maynard sending twelve Magneto Call Bells.

    Charles Williams, Jr. AL. One page, 8.25" x 6.75", on his personal letterhead, Boston, December 14, 1878, to George C. Maynard giving him an estimate for a switch board.

    Charles Williams, Jr. AL. One page, 8.25" x 6.75", on his personal letterhead, Boston, March 9, 1878, to George C. Maynard giving him an estimate on a magneto annunciator and a bell as well as a switch to change the annunciator.

    Thomas Watson ALS as Superintendent. One page, 8" x 10.5", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, Boston, August 29, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding company matters. He informs Maynard that the company intends ".to call in all Mahogany Hand Telephones if they don't give satisfaction." He adds that, with reference to Maynard's request for ".20 Hand Telephones made with the Low Resistance Coils, I think you had better have them all, of the regular resistance."

    Bell Telephone Letter. One page, 8" x 10.5", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, Boston, August 26, 1878, to George C. Maynard informing him that ".Mr Watson is at present out of town." but a matter regarding 3 ohms hand telephones would be referred to him.

    Bell Telephone Letter. One page, 8" x 10.5", on company letterhead, n. p., March 1, 1878, regarding the use of circuits, in part: "Number one circuit we find the best for general use, except where a large number of calls & messages are constantly coming over the wires, then we think #2 circuit better." The letter continues by discussing the number of stations per line by saying: "You can put as many stations on your line, as you please, & the number, we govern, by the extent or number of calls or orders we are receiving from customers on that circuit. Should not think 50 a large number among residences to be on one circuit."

    Thomas Watson ALS as Superintendent. One page, 8" x 10.5", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, Boston, August 5, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding trouble with bad coils in box telephones.  He says, in part: "Since last winter all soldering has been done using Venice Turpentine for a flux. No acid having been used. Those you have trouble with must be some of the earlier ones. If not let me know at once."

    [Book]. Patents Issued to Alexander Graham Bell for the Telephone. Fourteen pages, 9" x 11.5". New York: Bell Telephone Company, n. d. Contains diagrams of Bell's inventions and a copies of

    Patent No. 174,465, dated March 7, 1876, Patent No. 186,787, January 30, 1877, and Patent No. 201,488, March 19, 1878, all issued by the United States Patent Office.

    Thomas Sanders ALS. One page, 8" x 10.5", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, Boston, January 22, 1878, to George C. Maynard informing him that his letter was received.

    Gardiner G. Hubbard ALS. One page, 8" x 10.5", Boston, July 19, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding the infringements on patents.

    Thomas Vail ALS. One page, 5.5" x 9", on Post Office letterhead, Washington, April 24, 1878, to Gardiner G. Hubbard requesting telephones for a trial. On the verso is an additional Gardiner G. Hubbard ALS to George C. Maynard asking him to give Vail the phones.

    Wheatley Brothers ALS. One page, 5.75" x 8.25", on their company letterhead, Washington, June 29, 1878, to George C. Maynard praising their new telephone.

    Gardiner G. Hubbard ALS. One page, 4.75" x 8", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, Boston, July 7, 1878, to George C. Maynard about not being able to make a trip to Philadelphia to see "Mr. Scott."

    Gardiner G. Hubbard ALS. One page, 8.5" x 11", New York, September 26, 1878, to George C. Maynard requesting his help with the Patent Office in cases of interference.

    Charles Williams, Jr. AL. One page, 8.25" x 6.75", on his personal letterhead, Boston, December 9, 1878, to George C. Maynard sending four Magneto Call Bells.

    AL. One page, 8.25" x 11", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, New York, December 27, 1878, to George C. Maynard regarding the shipment of two battery transmitters. Included is a hand drawn diagram of how to connect the battery featuring the magneto call, transmitter, battery, and hand telephone. Letter is incomplete.

    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.

    The Bell Telephone Advertisement. One page, 8.5" x 11", n. p. [Washington], n. d. [circa 1878]. Advertising ".cheap and instantaneous communication by direct sound." with the use of Bell's telephone, the flyer includes prices for phones and some details about its use.

    G. W. Balch ALS. Three pages, 8.25" x 7", Detroit, December 22, 1900, to George C. Maynard regarding his role as a pioneer in the spread of public telephone use.

    A. David TLS. One page, 8.5" x 11", Baltimore, December 22, 1900, to George C. Maynard regarding his role in the spread of the telephone.

    F. G. Daboll TLS. Two pages, 8.5" x 11", Springfield [Massachusetts], December 22, 1900, to George C. Maynard giving his history in the telephone business.

    Theodore Vail Letter. Two printed pages, 8.5" x 11.75", New York, September 29, 1878, to the Agents of the Bell Telephone Company urging every agent to visit their clients before their first lease expires and assess the condition of their phones and lines.

    Copy of a Thomas Sanders Letter. One printed page, 8" x 10.5", on Bell Telephone Company letterhead, Boston, June 5, 1878, to George C. Maynard  regarding a monthly report.

    Treasurer Thomas Sanders Business Correspondence with George C. Maynard including: Eight payment advances on invoices for hand telephones, box telephones, and/or calls; eleven shipping invoices; and twenty-six letters regarding monthly reports, account information, leasing agreements, and other business related matters.

    George C. Maynard Cabinet Card. Measuring 5.25" x 4.25", Maynard is seen reading in front of a window in profile.

    Gardiner G. Hubbard Loan Request. One page, 8.5" x 5.5", Washington, May 10, 1878, to George C. Maynard, in full: "Please lend me twenty five dollars. I want to go to New York & have no money."



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