Connecticut Telephone Stock 1881 - predecessor to ATT, signed by Marshall Jewell
1881 Connecticut Telephone Stock Certificate. This historic scripophily document has a vignette of an early telephone receiver and is signed by the company president, Marshall Jewell, and by Morris F. Tyler, who succeeded Jewell as president of the company. On January 28, 1878, two years after Alexander Graham Bell was awarded a patent on his telephone, the world's first commercial telephone exchange opened for business in New Haven, Connecticut. There were only 21 subscribers, served by eight lines - lines strung from trees, rooftops, anything available. The office itself was crudely finished with the switchboard resting on a kitchen table. In 1881, Jay Gould won control of Western Union along with the the Connecticut Telephone Company. Connecticut Telephone was of little interest to Gould. The company's main shareholders persuaded Marshall Jewell to become president of a new company, and bought out Gould's shares. The Connecticut Telephone Company subsequently was renamed the Southern New England Telephone Company, and eventually became part of American Telephone and Telegraph. Marshall Jewell (1825-1883) was elected Connecticut's 27th governor in 1869 and won reelection in 1871 and 1872. During his tenure, Jewell's administration supported a womans right to vote. After leaving office, Jewell served as minister to Russia and subsequently served as President Grant's postmaster general. Marshall Jewell died in February, 1883. He was succeeded by Morris F. Tyler (1848-1907), who remained as president of the Southern New England Telephone until his death. This scarce early telephone certificate is in VF condition with pen and hammer cancellation.