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    George C. Maynard Early Electricity Archive comprised of one letter, one small notebook, a biographical sketch of the Maynard family by George Maynard, one journal, one book of documents, one carte-de-visite and business card, and other ephemera related to the work of George Colton Maynard in the early days of commercial electricity and the spread of the telephone spanning the years 1874 through 1916.

    The archive brings together various documents concerning the work of this electronic communications pioneer, but of note are:

    George C. Maynard Autograph Journal on the Tests of Lightning Rods. Spanning the dates April 13, 1874 until September 30, 1875 to a total of forty pages. The book includes information on the location of lightning rods in and around Washington, D. C., for example the War Department, the Department of the Navy, "Congregational Church," the new British legation which was at the time under construction, the Smithsonian Institute, etc. as well as the composition of the rods and measurement of the current in ohms. Each location has several rods and Maynard denotes each. Textblock is detached from the cover with some minimal page toning.

    George C. Maynard Autograph Notebook. The majority of notes contained are undated and those that are bear dates in the year 1881. They refer either to the electrical business or to the telephone then being spread throughout the northeast as a replacement for the telegraph. One such note, found on the first page of the notebook, reads, in part: "Think WU Co [Western Union Company] getting stronger and Bell Co. weaker judging by activity of WU in local Co...Thinks teleph[ones] must displace A. D. T. [American District Telegraph] boxes in Bolto, and elsewhere..." Another short note regards the wiring of houses for electric light: "They are wiring many houses. Wires will do for any light. Lamps give twice as much light as gas burner."

    George C. Maynard Autograph Biographical Sketch of his family and related documents. Seven pages, 8" x 10.25", n. p., n. d. Maynard records the history of his family, beginning with a short biography of his mother, the marriage of his mother and father, their early life in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the birth of himself and his siblings, his father's business ventures, and his memory of their lives after the move to Onondaga. The first page is missing and probably contains a sketch of his father, which is absent.

    Also, a typed "foreword" giving a short biography of Maynard, a detached page from a book giving Maynard's ancestry, an S. B. Rogers Receipt to G. C. Mainard [Maynard] for goods received, a typed "Memorandum made November 30, 1912, relating to the personal accounts...of Geo. C. Maynard, with notes that will be useful in settling his estate" signed by Maynard, and an excerpt from Maynard's journal giving a detailed account of the spread of the telephone throughout Washington in 1877.

    This archive is a treasure trove of information from the early days of commercial electricity.

    More Information:

    Additional documents include:


    [Journal]. Record of Documents containing fair copies of records pertaining to the establishment of The National Electric Company in West Virginia spanning the years 1883 through 1887. Documents include Maynard's assignment of 1/10th interest of his patents for electric alarm circuits and electric push buttons to Emile Berliner, Augustus G. Davis, Joseph Burket, and Augustus S. Worthington; the agreement to organize The National Electric Company (with the four aforementioned men); their application for a charter; the Certificate of Incorporation for The National Electric Company; the by-laws of the company etc.

    George C. Maynard CDV. 2.5" x 4.25" featuring "M. P. Rice. A.I. Rice Photographers" of Washington, D. C. backmark. Minor damage near the upper edge on the verso.

    George C. Maynard Business Card. 3.5" x 1.75", listing Maynard as an electrical engineer in Washington, D. C. as well as the Washington editor of "The Electrical Review" out of New York City. The card dates circa 1881, following his "retirement" from the telephone business.

    George C. Maynard ALS. One page, 8" x 10", on his personal letterhead, Washington, June 29, 1882, to his Aunt Eliza regarding the weather and the antics of his young son, Colton.

    American Institute of Electrical Engineers Invitation Card. One page, 4.25" x 3.5", October 27, 1887, inviting George C. Maynard to attend a meeting of the A.I.E.E. in New York.

    Unused Proposal for Electric Lamps. Two pages, 8" x 10.25", Kansas City, n. d. (circa 1880s), to the Kawsmouth Electric Light Company requesting the installation of ".lamps and lights." for the span of one year. Verso contains the Rate per Lamp for each time circuit as well as the cost of the lamps.

    The Engle Primary Battery Pamphlet. Four integral pages, 3.5" x 5.5", Washington, n. d. (circa 1913). Engle describes the battery that he has patented and options for the organization of state and independent companies.

    Work Estimates. Each of the seven handwritten estimates list the work to be done, e.g. running wires, installing electric door bells and burglar alarms, etc. spanning January, 1883, through May, 1883.

    George C. Maynard Autograph Documents. Totaling seven small packets in all, each packet contains handwritten details on a different area of Maynard's new dream house in Washington, D. C., dated 1886. Room descriptions include the Library (or Book Parlor), the office, the Entrance Halls, the attic, the East Room, Lucy's and Colton's rooms, and the South East room. Also included is a packet on the planning and building of the house itself.

    Typed Extract of a Letter from Jefferson Davis to his Wife with holographic notation by George C. Maynard. One page, 8" x 5.5", January 28, 1913. The original letter dates from April 23, 1865, from Charlotte, North Carolina and regards to the terms of surrender by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to Gen. William T. Sherman. Maynard notes on the bottom that ".My War Diary May 26, 1865 shows different wording."

    List of Artifacts for the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum. Three pages, 8" x 10.5", n. p. [Washington], n. d. [circa 1916]. A numerical list of sixty-eight items donated from Maynard's Telegraphic Historical Society of North America, from Edison's Dynamo to American Indian stone lamps, for the Smithsonian. Several of the items have notations next to them, in pencil, asking for information such as time periods as well as the origin and details of some items.

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