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Wiltshire -- Wilton House and Vicinity

Garden designer:
Caus, Isaac de, 1590-1648  Search this
Architect:
Wyatt, James, 1746-1813  Search this
Collection Creator:
Garden Club of America  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Place:
Wilton House (Wilton, Wiltshire, England)
United Kingdom -- England -- Wiltshire -- Wilton
Scope and Contents:
The folder includes worksheets and photocopies of articles.
General:
Like other great country houses in England Wilton House has been expanded and rebuilt over the centuries, with contributions from some of the most renowned architects working in the Palladian style. The gardens have evolved as well: in 1645 designer Isaac de Caus published etchings of his newly styled French formal Wilton Garden, set within the 21 acres of parkland that comprised the estate gardens. Features included elegant parterres bordered with clipped hedges, balustrades, galleries, statues, fountains, colored gravel walks and other walks under trellised vaults and pavilions. One natural feature left untouched was the River Nadder, and this became identified as in the English style as opposed to the highly ordered great gardens of the Continent. In the next century a footbridge based on Palladio's design for the Rialto in Venice was built over the river. The bridge complements the Palladian style house designed by architects Inigo Jones and his son-in-law John Webb. In the early 19th century architect James Wyatt re-used the provincial baroque carved limestone façade of the grotto at the end of the Great Walk, installing it on a building on the grounds known as the Old Schoolhouse. Wyatt also relocated on the grounds a 16th century porch from the earlier version of the main house, attributed to artist Hans Holbein.
The parterre was demolished and replaced by lawns, and contemporary gardens include a water garden, an Oriental garden area with linked ponds crossed by Chinese style red bridges, and a rose garden. Other public facilities include an adventure playground and a garden center. The current Earl of Pembroke and his family still own Wilton House and reside there. Wilton House was visited by Thomas W. Sears in 1908 and by the Garden Club of America's June 1929 tour to England. A complete copy of the GCA tour itinerary was printed in the Bulletin of the Garden Club of America (Fourth Series, No. 5), September 1929, pp. 6-25.
Persons associated with the garden include First through 17th Earls of Pembroke, Herbert family (owners since circa 1550); Isaac de Caus (1590-1648) (garden designer, 1632-1633); Inigo Jones (1573-1652) and John Webb (1611-1672) (architects, circa 1633-1647) and James Wyatt (1746-1813) (architect, circa 1805).
Related Materials:
Wilton House and Vicinity related holdings consist of 1 folder (14 glass negatives; 4 lantern slides)
See others in:
Thomas Warren Sears photograph collection, 1900-1966.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Topic:
Gardens -- England -- Wiltshire -- Wilton  Search this
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Identifier:
AAG.GCA, File ENG057
See more items in:
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 2: International Garden Images / United Kingdom -- England
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kb6c350dfa6-b8b8-4e7d-9c6e-6a6c099cbf66
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aag-gca-ref4491

Bar Harbor -- Kenarden

Landscape architect:
Farrand, Beatrix, 1872-1959  Search this
Garden designer:
Bracale, Dennis  Search this
Sculptor:
Soderholtz, Eric E.  Search this
Former owner:
Kennedy, John Stewart  Search this
Dorrance, Ethel Mallincknot  Search this
Architect:
Rowe & Baker  Search this
Carroll, Grisdale & Van Alen  Search this
Provenance:
Garden Club of Mount Desert  Search this
Collection Creator:
Garden Club of America  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Place:
Kenarden (Bar Harbor, Maine)
United States of America -- Maine -- Hancock County -- Bar Harbor
Scope and Contents:
The folders includes worksheets, historical information about the property, and a garden tour description.
General:
The original gardens at Kenarden were designed by landscape architect Beatrix Jones Farrand (1872-1959) early in the last century and have been restored and replanted by the current owners. The gardens include a formal rose garden with boxwood edging that has a contemporary Lunaform urn at its center. The fomal sunken Italianate garden's balustrade and pergola were replicated by garden designer Dennis Bracale, and the flower beds were replanted. Urns created by Eric Ellis Soderholtz in the early 20th century are in situ in the Italianate garden as well as around the residence. Large cutting and vegetable gardens were installed in the same location as the historic gardens, alongside greenhouses. Many of the original outhouses remain on the property as well as mature specimens including a Japanese umbrella pine, a very large hawthorn tree, a mature gingko, and very mature pieris, kalmia and rhododendron. An iron fence surrounding the property was added with new perimeter plantings. The drive from the main entrance cuts through native woods that are maintained as a decorative feature.
Kenarden Lodge was one of the original summer properties built at the end of the 19th century in Mount Desert, Maine. The turreted mansion with its own electrical plant designed by New York architects Rowe and Baker in 1892 was torn down in the 1960s and another house was built in its place circa 1970 by the architectural firm Carroll, Grisdale & Van Alen. The first owner of the property was financier John Stewart Kennedy; the estate was sold in the 1930s to Ethel Mallinckrot Dorrance, widow of Dr. John Thompson Dorrance, a chemist at Campbell who invented condensed canned soups.
Encouraged by Beatrix Farrand, Eric Ellis Soderholtz switched from photography to manufacturing garden urns and other ornaments, some of which remain at Kenarden.
Persons associated with the garden include John Stewart Kennedy and members of the Kennedy family (former owners, 1892-1933); Ethel Mallinckrot Dorrance (former owner 1933-1958); Ethel Dorrance Colket (former owner 1958-1966); Rowe and Baker (architects of original house, 1892); Beatrix Jones Farrand (landscape architect, circa 1915); Carroll, Grisdale & Van Alen (architects of current house, 1970-1972; firm in business 1946-1973 ); AB & JR Hodgkins, Inc. (builders of current house, 1970-1972); Dennis Bracale, Gardens by Design (landscape designer).
Related Materials:
Kenarden related holdings consist of 3 folders (36 35 mm. slides; 15 digital images.; 4 photographic prints; 3 glass lantern slides)
See others in:
J. Horace McFarland Collection, 1900-1961
Collection Restrictions:
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Topic:
Gardens -- Maine -- Bar Harbor  Search this
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Identifier:
AAG.GCA, File ME044
See more items in:
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Maine
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kb638447c52-0b53-49c9-b91b-690e7e5929ef
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aag-gca-ref8150
Online Media:

Museum Lighting 101

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
Conversations and talks
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2013-03-15T20:09:32.000Z
YouTube Category:
Science & Technology  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
See more by:
americanartmuseum
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
YouTube Channel:
americanartmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_Zr_ivgCI9VU

Joseph Henry: Champion of American Science

Creator:
National Museum of American History  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2013-12-02T20:55:53.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
American History  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianAmHistory
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianAmHistory
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_1t0nTCBG7jY

Charles Goodyear

Creator:
National Museum of American History  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2016-12-12T19:46:29.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
American History  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianAmHistory
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianAmHistory
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_N6Zd0HrTzHk

Savart's Bell and Resonator

Creator:
National Museum of American History  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2012-05-08T17:33:10.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
American History  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianAmHistory
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianAmHistory
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_Vj-s0IjxKzQ

The Morse Historic Design Lecture | Jorge F. Rivas Pérez: Design by Transformation

Creator:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum  Search this
Type:
Lectures
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2022-09-19T16:52:13.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Design  Search this
See more by:
cooperhewitt
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
YouTube Channel:
cooperhewitt
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_qq_lMrQEYfY

Commercialization and Institutions

Creator:
Lemelson Center, National Museum of American History  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2020-11-30T22:04:30.000Z
YouTube Category:
Science & Technology  Search this
Topic:
American History  Search this
See more by:
LemelsonCenter
Data Source:
Lemelson Center, National Museum of American History
YouTube Channel:
LemelsonCenter
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_NC7RcXNCsLI

An Introduction to Jazz from Curator of American Music John Hasse [Interview Video]

Creator:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2011-04-13T14:50:23.000Z
YouTube Category:
Music  Search this
Topic:
Cultural property  Search this
See more by:
smithsonianfolkways
Data Source:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
YouTube Channel:
smithsonianfolkways
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_XQYQ27uA4yw

Lamson Cash Carrier Video Documentation

Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Worthington, Bill  Search this
Names:
Lowns Department Store.  Search this
Curbeau, James  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videotapes
Place:
Penn Yan (N.Y.) -- 19th century
Date:
1995 October
Scope and Contents:
This videohistory documents the operation of a 19th-century mechanical cash carrier system used in a Penn Yan, New York department store.
Arrangement:
Divided into 3 series.

Series 1: Original videos, 1995

Series 2: Master videos, 1995

Series 3: Reference videos, 1995
Biographical / Historical:
James Curbeau owned and operated the store.
Provenance:
Video documentation was created by the Lemelson Center and National Museum of American History staff, Bill Worthington, Division of Work and Industry (formerly Division of History of Technology) in September 1995.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the original videos are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Cash registers -- 19th century  Search this
Cashiers -- 19th century  Search this
Department stores -- 19th century  Search this
Inventions -- 19th century  Search this
Money  Search this
Sales accounting -- 19th century  Search this
Sales personnel -- 19th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Citation:
Lamson Cash Carrier Video Documentation, 1995, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0606
See more items in:
Lamson Cash Carrier Video Documentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep83d7bcc36-8bed-4dcf-bbea-6ead583df816
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0606

Richard Bond Clock Escapement Video Documentation: videotapes

Creator:
Todd, W. David (William David)  Search this
Stephens, Carlene E., 1949-  Search this
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Names:
William Bond and Son.  Search this
Bond, Richard F. (inventor)  Search this
Extent:
0.25 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Oral history
Videotapes
Betacam sp (videotape format)
Date:
1997-12-07
Scope and Contents note:
2.5 hours of videotape documenting a succession of clock escapements invented by Richard F. Bond in the 19th century. Bond's invention was called isodynamic escapement.
Arrangement:
1 series: 5 items (original videotapes only).
Related Archival Materials:
Two of the three regulators videotaped are located in the Division of the History of Technology collections (now Division of Medicine and Science).
Provenance:
Made for the national Museum of American History, December 17, 1997.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the original videos are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Some oral histories are restricted Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Museum owns all rights to this videotape.
Topic:
Inventors -- 19th century  Search this
Time clocks  Search this
Time  Search this
Clocks and watches  Search this
Clocks and watches -- Escapements  Search this
Horology  Search this
Inventions -- 19th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history -- 1950-2000
Videotapes
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Citation:
Richard Bond Clock Escapement Video Documentation, 1997, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0682
See more items in:
Richard Bond Clock Escapement Video Documentation: videotapes
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8299d87a6-2700-4cf7-ba1e-cf11fb273e48
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0682

The Chinese must go violence, exclusion, and the making of the alien in America Beth Lew-Williams

Author:
Lew-Williams, Beth  Search this
Physical description:
1 online resource (349 pages) illustrations, maps
Type:
Electronic resources
Electronic books
History
Place:
United States
États-Unis
Date:
2018
19th century
19e siècle
Topic:
Chinese--History  Search this
Chinese--Violence against  Search this
Border security--History  Search this
Race discrimination--History  Search this
Emigration and immigration law--History  Search this
Noncitizens--History  Search this
Chinois--Violence envers  Search this
Sécurité frontalière--Histoire  Search this
Immigrants clandestins--Histoire  Search this
SOCIAL SCIENCE--Discrimination & Race Relations  Search this
SOCIAL SCIENCE--Minority Studies  Search this
HISTORY / United States / 19th Century  Search this
Noncitizens  Search this
Border security  Search this
Chinese  Search this
Emigration and immigration law  Search this
Race discrimination  Search this
Race relations  Search this
History  Search this
Relations raciales  Search this
Histoire  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1156423

American economic growth and standards of living before the Civil War / edited by Robert E. Gallman and John Joseph Wallis

Author:
Gallman, Robert E  Search this
Wallis, John Joseph  Search this
Physical description:
ix, 396 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Congresses
Place:
United States
Date:
1992
19th century
To 1865
Topic:
Cost and standard of living--History  Search this
Economic conditions  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_462655

Woman's Corset, 1810-1820

Measurements:
flattened: 18 in x 19 in; 45.72 cm x 48.26 cm
Object Name:
Corset
Other Terms:
Corset; Upper Body; Underwear; Female
Date made:
1825 - 1849
1810-1820
Related event:
Expansion and Reform  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Hugo Friedrichs
ID Number:
CS.256746.006
Catalog number:
256746.006
Accession number:
256746
See more items in:
Home and Community Life: Costume
Clothing & Accessories
Textiles
Exhibition:
On the Water
Exhibition Location:
National Museum of American History
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a1-7959-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_366282
Online Media:

Isaiah Jennings

Creator:
National Museum of American History  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2016-12-12T19:59:20.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
American History  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianAmHistory
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianAmHistory
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_QpsxJBtvQoM

Exhibition talk: The Great American Experiment with curator Claire Perry

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
Conversations and talks
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2011-10-12T15:02:28.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
See more by:
americanartmuseum
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
YouTube Channel:
americanartmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_buGLgpvuyVI

Chino Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940 Jason Oliver Chang

Author:
Chang, Jason Oliver  Search this
Physical description:
1 online resource
Type:
Electronic resources
Electronic books
History
Place:
Mexico
Mexique
Latin America
Mexiko
Date:
2017
Topic:
Chinese--History  Search this
Race discrimination--History  Search this
Immigrants--History  Search this
Chinois--Histoire  Search this
Discrimination raciale--Histoire  Search this
HISTORY  Search this
SOCIAL SCIENCE--General  Search this
Race discrimination  Search this
Immigrants  Search this
Emigration and immigration--Government policy  Search this
Chinese  Search this
Asians  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Rassismus  Search this
Chinesen  Search this
Asiatiques--Histoire  Search this
Asiatiques--Relations interethniques  Search this
Emigration and immigration  Search this
Government policy  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1156424

The Image of whiteness contemporary photography and racialization edited by Daniel C. Blight

Title:
Image of white-ness
Editor:
Blight, Daniel C  Search this
Physical description:
203 pages illustrations (chiefly color) 20 cm
Type:
Books
Illustrated books
Illustrated works
Ouvrages illustrés
Date:
2019
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Photography--Social aspects  Search this
Portrait photography--Social aspects  Search this
White people--Race identity  Search this
White supremacy movements  Search this
White nationalism  Search this
Racism  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Photographie artistique  Search this
Photographie--Aspect social  Search this
Portraits (Photographie)--Aspect social  Search this
Mouvements pour la suprématie blanche  Search this
Nationalisme blanc  Search this
Racisme  Search this
Relations raciales  Search this
art photography  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1155660

Western Union Telegraph Company Records

Creator:
United Telegraph Workers.  Search this
Western Union Telegraph Company  Search this
Extent:
452 Cubic feet (871 boxes and 23 map folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Administrative records
Articles
Books
Clippings
Contracts
Drawings
Photographs
Patents
Newsletters
Photograph albums
Scrapbooks
Specifications
Technical documents
Date:
circa 1820-1995
Summary:
The collection documents in photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, stock ledgers, annual reports, and financial records, the evolution of the telegraph, the development of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the beginning of the communications revolution. The collection materials describe both the history of the company and of the telegraph industry in general, particularly its importance to the development of the technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is useful for researchers interested in the development of technology, economic history, and the impact of technology on American social and cultural life.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is divided into twenty-six (26) series and consists of approximately 400 cubic feet. The collection documents in photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, stock ledgers, annual reports, and financial records, the evolution of the telegraph, the development of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the beginning of the communications revolution. The collection materials describe both the history of the company and of the telegraph industry in general, particularly its importance to the development of the technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is useful for researchers interested in the development of technology, economic history, and the impact of technology on American social and cultural life.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into twenty-seven series.

Series 1: Historical and Background Information, 1851-1994

Series 2: Subsidiaries of Western Union, 1844-1986

Series 3: Executive Records, 1848-1987

Series 4: Presidential Letterbooks and Writings, 1865-1911

Series 5: Correspondence, 1837-1985

Series 6: Cyrus W. Field Papers, 1840-1892

Series 7: Secretary's Files, 1844-1987

Series 8: Financial Records, 1859-1995

Series 9: Legal Records, 1867-1968

Series 10: Railroad Records, 1854-1945

Series 11: Law Department Records, 1868-1979

Series 12: Patent Materials, 1840-1970

Series 13: Operating Records, 1868-1970s

Series 14: Westar VI-S, 1974, 1983-1986

Series 15: Engineering Department Records, 1874-1970

Series 16: Plant Department Records, 1867-1937, 1963

Series 17: Superintendent of Supplies Records, 1888-1948

Series 18: Employee/Personnel Records 1852-1985

Series 19: Public Relations Department Records, 1858-1980

Series 20: Western Union Museum, 1913-1971

Series 21: Maps, 1820-1964

Series 22: Telegrams, 1852-1960s

Series 23: Photographs, circa 1870-1980

Series 24: Scrapbooks, 1835-1956

Series 25: Notebooks, 1880-1942

Series 26: Audio Visual Materials, 1925-1994

Series 27: Addenda
Biographical / Historical:
In 1832 Samuel F. B. Morse, assisted by Alfred Vail, conceived of the idea for an electromechanical telegraph, which he called the "Recording Telegraph." This commercial application of electricity was made tangible by their construction of a crude working model in 1835-36. This instrument probably was never used outside of Professor Morse's rooms where it was, however, operated in a number of demonstrations. This original telegraph instrument was in the hands of the Western Union Telegraph Company and had been kept carefully over the years in a glass case. It was moved several times in New York as the Western Union headquarters building changed location over the years. The company presented it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1950.

The telegraph was further refined by Morse, Vail, and a colleague, Leonard Gale, into working mechanical form in 1837. In this year Morse filed a caveat for it at the U.S. Patent Office. Electricity, provided by Joseph Henry's 1836 "intensity batteries", was sent over a wire. The flow of electricity through the wire was interrupted for shorter or longer periods by holding down the key of the device. The resulting dots or dashes were recorded on a printer or could be interpreted orally. In 1838 Morse perfected his sending and receiving code and organized a corporation, making Vail and Gale his partners.

In 1843 Morse received funds from Congress to set-up a demonstration line between Washington and Baltimore. Unfortunately, Morse was not an astute businessman and had no practical plan for constructing a line. After an unsuccessful attempt at laying underground cables with Ezra Cornell, the inventor of a trench digger, Morse switched to the erection of telegraph poles and was more successful. On May 24, 1844, Morse, in the U.S. Supreme Court Chambers in Washington, sent by telegraph the oft-quoted message to his colleague Vail in Baltimore, "What hath God wrought!"

In 1845 Morse hired Andrew Jackson's former postmaster general, Amos Kendall, as his agent in locating potential buyers of the telegraph. Kendall realized the value of the device, and had little trouble convincing others of its potential for profit. By the spring he had attracted a small group of investors. They subscribed $15,000 and formed the Magnetic Telegraph Company. Many new telegraph companies were formed as Morse sold licenses wherever he could.

The first commercial telegraph line was completed between Washington, D.C., and New York City in the spring of 1846 by the Magnetic Telegraph Company. Shortly thereafter, F. O. J. Smith, one of the patent owners, built a line between New York City and Boston. Most of these early companies were licensed by owners of Samuel Morse patents. The Morse messages were sent and received in a code of dots and dashes.

At this time other telegraph systems based on rival technologies were being built. Some companies used the printing telegraph, a device invented by a Vermonter, Royal E. House, whose messages were printed on paper or tape in Roman letters. In 1848 a Scotch scientist, Alexander Bain, received his patents on a telegraph. These were but two of many competing and incompatible technologies that had developed. The result was confusion, inefficiency, and a rash of suits and counter suits.

By 1851 there were over fifty separate telegraph companies operating in the United States. This corporate cornucopia developed because the owners of the telegraph patents had been unsuccessful in convincing the United States and other governments of the invention's potential usefulness. In the private sector, the owners had difficulty convincing capitalists of the commercial value of the invention. This led to the owners' willingness to sell licenses to many purchasers who organized separate companies and then built independent telegraph lines in various sections of the country.

Hiram Sibley moved to Rochester, New York, in 1838 to pursue banking and real estate. Later he was elected sheriff of Monroe County. In Rochester he was introduced to Judge Samuel L. Selden who held the House Telegraph patent rights. In 1849 Selden and Sibley organized the New York State Printing Telegraph Company, but they found it hard to compete with the existing New York, Albany, and Buffalo Telegraph Company.

After this experience Selden suggested that instead of creating a new line, the two should try to acquire all the companies west of Buffalo and unite them into a single unified system. Selden secured an agency for the extension throughout the United States of the House system. In an effort to expand this line west, Judge Selden called on friends and the people in Rochester. This led, in April 1851, to the organization of a company and the filing in Albany of the Articles of Association for the "New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company" (NYMVPTC), a company which later evolved into the Western Union Telegraph Company.

In 1854 there were two rival systems of the NYMVPTC in the West. These two systems consisted of thirteen separate companies. All the companies were using Morse patents in the five states north of the Ohio River. This created a struggle between three separate entities, leading to an unreliable and inefficient telegraph service. The owners of these rival companies eventually decided to invest their money elsewhere and arrangements were made for the NYMVPTC to purchase their interests.

Hiram Sibley recapitalized the company in 1854 under the same name and began a program of construction and acquisition. The most important takeover was carried out by Sibley when he negotiated the purchase of the Morse patent rights for the Midwest for $50,000 from Jeptha H. Wade and John J. Speed, without the knowledge of Ezra Cornell, their partner in the Erie and Michigan Telegraph Company (EMTC). With this acquisition Sibley proceeded to switch to the superior Morse system. He also hired Wade, a very capable manager, who became his protege and later his successor. After a bitter struggle Morse and Wade obtained the EMTC from Cornell in 1855, thus assuring dominance by the NYMVPTC in the Midwest. In 1856 the company name was changed to the "Western Union Telegraph Company," indicating the union of the Western lines into one compact system. In December, 1857, the Company paid stockholders their first dividend.

Between 1857 and 1861 similar consolidations of telegraph companies took place in other areas of the country so that most of the telegraph interests of the United States had merged into six systems. These were the American Telegraph Company (covering the Atlantic and some Gulf states), The Western Union Telegraph Company (covering states North of the Ohio River and parts of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Minnesota), the New York Albany and Buffalo Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Company (covering New York State), the Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Company (covering Pennsylvania), the Illinois & Mississippi Telegraph Company (covering sections of Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois), and the New Orleans & Ohio Telegraph Company (covering the southern Mississippi Valley and the Southwest). All these companies worked together in a mutually friendly alliance, and other small companies cooperated with the six systems, particularly some on the West Coast.

By the time of the Civil War, there was a strong commercial incentive to construct a telegraph line across the western plains to link the two coasts of America. Many companies, however, believed the line would be impossible to build and maintain.

In 1860 Congress passed, and President James Buchanan signed, the Pacific Telegraph Act, which authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to seek bids for a project to construct a transcontinental line. When two bidders dropped out, Hiram Sibley, representing Western Union, was the only bidder left. By default Sibley won the contract. The Pacific Telegraph Company was organized for the purpose of building the eastern section of the line. Sibley sent Wade to California, where he consolidated the small local companies into the California State Telegraph Company. This entity then organized the Overland Telegraph Company, which handled construction eastward from Carson City, Nevada, joining the existing California lines, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Sibley's Pacific Telegraph Company built westward from Omaha, Nebraska. Sibley put most of his resources into the venture. The line was completed in October, 1861. Both companies were soon merged into Western Union. This accomplishment made Hiram Sibley leader of the telegraph industry.

Further consolidations took place over the next several years. Many companies merged into the American Telegraph Company. With the expiration of the Morse patents, several organizations were combined in 1864 under the name of "The U.S. Telegraph Company." In 1866 the final consolidation took place, with Western Union exchanging stock for the stock of the other two organizations. The general office of Western Union moved at this time from Rochester to 145 Broadway, New York City. In 1875 the main office moved to 195 Broadway, where it remained until 1930 when it relocated to 60 Hudson Street.

In 1873 Western Union purchased a majority of shares in the International Ocean Telegraph Company. This was an important move because it marked Western Union's entry into the foreign telegraph market. Having previously worked with foreign companies, Western Union now began competing for overseas business.

In the late 1870s Western Union, led by William H. Vanderbilt, attempted to wrest control of the major telephone patents, and the new telephone industry, away from the Bell Telephone Company. But due to new Bell leadership and a subsequent hostile takeover attempt of Western Union by Jay Gould, Western Union discontinued its fight and Bell Telephone prevailed.

Despite these corporate calisthenics, Western Union remained in the public eye. The sight of a uniformed Western Union messenger boy was familiar in small towns and big cities all over the country for many years. Some of Western Union's top officials in fact began their careers as messenger boys.

Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century the telegraph became one of the most important factors in the development of social and commercial life of America. In spite of improvements to the telegraph, however, two new inventions--the telephone (nineteenth century) and the radio (twentieth century)--eventually replaced the telegraph as the leaders of the communication revolution for most Americans.

At the turn of the century, Bell abandoned its struggles to maintain a monopoly through patent suits, and entered into direct competition with the many independent telephone companies. Around this time, the company adopted its new name, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T).

In 1908 AT&T gained control of Western Union. This proved beneficial to Western Union, because the companies were able to share lines when needed, and it became possible to order telegrams by telephone. However, it was only possible to order Western Union telegrams, and this hurt the business of Western Union's main competitor, the Postal Telegraph Company. In 1913, however, as part of a move to prevent the government from invoking antitrust laws, AT&T completely separated itself from Western Union.

Western Union continued to prosper and it received commendations from the U.S. armed forces for service during both world wars. In 1945 Western Union finally merged with its longtime rival, the Postal Telegraph Company. As part of that merger, Western Union agreed to separate domestic and foreign business. In 1963 Western Union International Incorporated, a private company completely separate from the Western Union Telegraph Company, was formed and an agreement with the Postal Telegraph Company was completed. In 1994, Western Union Financial Services, Inc. was acquired by First Financial Management Corporation. In 1995, First Financial Management Corporation merged with First Data Corporation making Western Union a First Data subsidiary.

Many technological advancements followed the telegraph's development. The following are among the more important:

The first advancement of the telegraph occurred around 1850 when operators realized that the clicks of the recording instrument portrayed a sound pattern, understandable by the operators as dots and dashes. This allowed the operator to hear the message by ear and simultaneously write it down. This ability transformed the telegraph into a versatile and speedy system.

Duplex Telegraphy, 1871-72, was invented by the president of the Franklin Telegraph Company. Unable to sell his invention to his own company, he found a willing buyer in Western Union. Utilizing this invention, two messages were sent over the wire simultaneously, one in each direction.

As business blossomed and demand surged, new devices appeared. Thomas Edison's Quadruplex allowed four messages to be sent over the same wire simultaneously, two in one direction and two in the other.

An English automatic signaling arrangement, Wheatstone's Automatic Telegraph, 1883, allowed larger numbers of words to be transmitted over a wire at once. It could only be used advantageously, however, on circuits where there was a heavy volume of business.

Buckingham's Machine Telegraph was an improvement on the House system. It printed received messages in plain Roman letters quickly and legibly on a message blank, ready for delivery.

Vibroplex, c. 1890, a semi-automatic key sometimes called a "bug key," made the dots automatically. This relieved the operator of much physical strain.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Additional moving image about Western Union Telegraph Company can be found in the Industry on Parade Collection (AC0507). This includes Cable to Cuba! by Bell Laboratory, AT & T, featuring the cable ship, the C.S. Lord Kelvin, and Communications Centennial! by the Western Union Company.

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware.

Western Union International Records form part of the MCI International, Inc. Records at the First Data Corporation, Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Records of First Data Corporation and its predecessors, including Western Union, First Financial Management Corporation (Atlanta) and First Data Resources (Omaha). Western Union collection supports research of telegraphy and related technologies, and includes company records, annual reports, photographs, print and broadcast advertising, telegraph equipment, and messenger uniforms.

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Western Union Telegraph Expedition, 1865-1867

This collection includes correspondence, mostly to Spencer F. Baird, from members of the Scientific Corps of the Western Union Telegraph Expedition, including Kennicott, Dall, Bannister, and Elliott; copies of reports submitted to divisional chiefs from expedition staff members; newspaper clippings concerning the expedition; copies of notes on natural history taken by Robert Kennicott; and a journal containing meteorological data recorded by Henry M. Bannister from March to August, 1866.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts (apparatus and equipment) were donated to the Division of Information Technology and Society, now known as the Division of Work & Industry, National Museum of American History.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Western Union in September of 1971.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but Series 11 and films are stored off-site. Special arrangements must be made to view some of the audiovisual materials. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Communications equipment  Search this
Communication -- International cooperation  Search this
Electric engineering  Search this
Electric engineers  Search this
Electrical equipment  Search this
Electrical science and technology  Search this
Telegraphers  Search this
Telegraph  Search this
Genre/Form:
Administrative records
Articles
Books
Clippings
Contracts
Drawings
Photographs -- 19th century
Patents
Photographs -- 20th century
Newsletters
Photograph albums
Scrapbooks -- 19th century
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Specifications
Technical documents
Citation:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0205
See more items in:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8b72e8493-288c-4bd0-84d5-011155da30a7
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0205
Online Media:

Marisol

Collection Creator:
Stable Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1961-1965
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Stable Gallery records, 1916-1999, bulk 1953-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Stable Gallery records
Stable Gallery records / Series 2: Artist Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b90b509a-b41a-4774-895d-c05868156a96
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-stabgall-ref51
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