Annual report of the B & O Telegraph

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Electrical Review

New York, NY, United States
vol. 5, no. 14, p. 7, col. 2-3

B. & O. Telegraph Company.


There was much more than ordinary interest, particularly in telegraph circles, over the annual report of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company submitted to the stockholders last Tuesday as it was to go into details as regards the Telegraph Company. Quite a space in the report was devoted to this subject and the opening lines indicated the spirit of the management. There was a quotalion from the report of the late President to the effect that the absolute independence of the telegraph system should be maintained and such connections established as would enable it to preserve firmly and successfully its independence as a great competing organization. As thus said the father, so reiterates the son; and there was no uncertain ring in his utterances on the question. The statement was made that $2,000,000 had been expended during the fiscal year in the acquisition of lines, and that at this time the system represents 6,886 miles of poles and 47,417 miles of wire. This embraces a system double that of the Atlantic & Pacific, when in 1883 it was bought by the Western Union for $8,500,000 in stock, and one and a quarter times as large as that of the American Union, which was sold for $15,000,000, also in the same stock. At the close of the war in 1865, the wire mileage of the Western Union Telegraph Company was slightly in excess of 60,000, and the capital stock was $21,000,000. In other words, the Baltimore & Ohio system will, when lines now in course of construction are completed, be not only nearly as extensive as both the Atlantic & Pacific and American Union combined, but, as compared with the Western Union at the close of the war,


which mileage, as heretofore shown, was represented by a capital of $21,000,000. The total mileage of the United States at the close of the war could not have been in excess of 75,000, because in 1866, after the Western Union had absorbed the United States Company and American Union Telegraph Company, the total mileage was only 75,000, with no competition other than that of three comparatively local company's of insignificant mileage. The expenditure of the past year on the Baltimore & Ohio lines were made when material was at least 15 per cent below the lowest prices at which any lines were ever constructed in this country, and the system exceeds that in capacity of any other competing telegraph company, and between the two great cities of the East and West its facilities are the equal of any company. The public has already received and will continue to receive advantages and economies from the competition offered, and as every suit at law brought against the Baltimore & Ohio Telegraph Company in. the attempt to retard its progress has failed in its purpose, competitive telegraphy, it is proven, can be sustained, all arguments to the contrary notwithstanding.

The stockholders, after listening to the annual report, went into an election for Board of Directors of the Baltimore & Ohio Company. The old board was, for the most part, re-elected, the main change being the election of F. Harrison Garrett in place of Robert Garrett as a director. The vote polled was the greatest known since the organization of the company, nearly $10,000,000 of the $15,000,000 of stock being represented. The new board meets on Thursday for the election of President and other officials.


Keywords:Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:April 28, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;