Board of supervisor's meeting to discuss consolidation of fire and police alarm telegraph, EC&M mentioned


Publication: Daily Evening Bulletin

San Francisco, CA, United States
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Another Deliberative Meeting of the Board of Supervisors

A meeting of the board of supervisors was held last evening for the purpose of again discussing and considering the proposition of George S. Ladd, president of the American District Telegraph Company, for a consolidation of the city's Fire-alarm and Police Telegraph with the former corporation.

Supervisors Lynch, Roberts, Pease, Sims, Menzler, Kenney,. Macdonald, Ebbets; Messrs. Edwards, King and Fisherty of the board of Fire Commissioners; Chief Engineer Scannell, of the Fire Department; Superintendent Greenwood, of the Fire-alarm Telegraph; Major Richard P. Hammond, of the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company; George S. Ladd, of the American District Telegraph Company; Stephen Field, of the Electrical Construction and Maintenance Company were present.

Mr. Simms inquired of Mr. Ladd whether he would agree to return all the lines and machinery of the Fire Alarm Telegraph to the old quarters in case they should at anytime desire it, without any expense to the city.

Mr. Ladd replied that he was perfectly willing to make such an agreement.

Major Hammond was then called upon, and he commenced by asking this question:

"Mr. Ladd, does the American District Telegraph Company, as represented by you in this city, derive its patents from the American District Telegraph Company of New York?"

Mr. Ladd replied in the affirmative.

Major Hammond then made the assertion that the American District Telegraph Company is nothing more or less then the Western Union Telegraph Company. The stockholders in the former hold at least one half of the stock in the latter. It is a joint stock arrangement, and will be managed for the benefit of the Western Union Telegraph Company if the Board sees fit to make this proposed consolidation. The boys employed by the American District Telegraph Company will also be employed by the Western Union in carrying and delivering their messages. He doubted whether the proposed transfer can be made legally. If it can, his company would agree to take the management of the fire alarm on exactly the same terms as proposed by Mr. Ladd, with the exception that his company would pay all the employes and would not ask the city to pay one cent of the expense.

The representatives of the Fire Department were then called upon to express their views, but they had nothing to say, as a protest against the proposed transfer had been sent by them to the board and read in open session on Monday evening.

The members of the Board then entered into a discussion of the subject of nearly an hour. Mr. Menzler strenuously opposed the turning over of a branch of the city government to a private corporation. He desired to know why the Board of Supervisors and the Police Department could not be farmed out on the same principal. A motion to refer the matter to the City and County Attorney for his opinion upon the legality of the measure was carried, and the meeting adjourned.


Keywords:Electrical Construction & Maintenance Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:October 8, 2009 by: Bob Berry;