B & O Telegraph purchases National Telegraph Company

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Electrical Review

New York, NY, United States
vol. 3, no. 22, p. 10, col. 3

Baltimore and Ohio Buys the National

Line Great Extensions Contemplated.

Negotiations were completed the 28th, by which the Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Company became the owner of the property of the National Telegraph Company. The National Telegraph Company was organized about three months ago by some of the directors of the New York, West Shore and Buffalo and the Nickel Plate Railroad Companies, to purchase and capitalize the telegraph lines along the two roads from this city to Chicago. The property, consisting of four wires, was capitalized for $1,000,000.

One-half of the stock was held by the North River Construction Company, which built the West Shore Road and owns a majority of its stock, and the other half by the Nickel Plate interest. The two sold, on the 38th inst., their entire holdings for $800,000, or $80 a share, to Robert Garrett's Sons, of Baltimore, who represented the Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Company. The property was immediately turned over upon the payment of $300,000 on account, and Vice-President and General Manager D. H. Bates, of the Baltimore and Ohio Company, was elected to the same office in the National. Joseph B. Stewart, late of the Western Union Telegraph office in this city, has been appointed Acting Superintendent of the Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Company, in place of Robert Stewart, resigned.

Mr. Robert Garrett, Vice-President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, is stopping at the Brevoort House.

When spoken to about the purchase of the National Telegraph Company, he said that it had been acquired as a part of a general plan which had been matured for the extension of the Baltimore and Ohio telegraph system.

"The National Telegraph Company," he said, "had four wires between New York and Chicago. Orders have been issued for the stringing of twelve additional wires. The purchase of this telegraph line gives the Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Company a connection with the Canada telegraph system, which we reach at Detroit and Buffalo.

They have made contracts for a huge amount of telegraph material to be used in building a number of new lines. Just as soon as the frost comes out of the ground, so that poles can be set, we shall begin the construction of a line from New York to Boston, and we shall have another line through the Pennsylvania oil regions. A contract was awarded last Saturday for lines from Chicago to Milwaukee, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and other points as far north as Winnipeg, and as far west as Bismarck. We shall also build lines south from St. Louis to New Orleans and Galveston. We shall establish district telegraphs in New York, Chicago, and other cities, for general messenger service as well as the delivery of dispatches. The call boxes will have a return signal attachment, so that the person using one will know that his call has been received and is being attended to. We shall largely increase our offices in New York city.

Mr. Garrett stated that although the Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Company is a distinct corporation, it is controlled by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which advances it the necessary capital. The policy of the company would be to reach all the large towns and cities where commercial business is to be secured. "Telegraphic competition will not be confined to land business," Mr. Garrett said. "I am advised that the cable steamship Faraday will start for this side to commence the laying of the new Atlantic cable by the latter part of February, and the cable will be laid and ready for business by the 1st of August."

It is stated that the Jersey Central Railroad has given notice to the Western Union that at the termination of the existing contract, which will soon expire, it will work its own wires. It is understood that the Jersey Central line will be operated in connection with the Baltimore and Ohio system.


Keywords:Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:March 24, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;