The origin of the B & O Telegraph

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Electrical World

New York, NY, United States
vol. 3, no. 25, p. 202, col. 3

The Origin of the B. & O.

President Bates conversed with "Gath" recently on the affairs of his company. The following is an interesting part of the conversation:

"How came the B. & O. Company to go into telegraphy ?"

"They had a large and extending system, of wire, and they suggested to Gen. Butler an amendment to a bill allowing railroads to conduct a telegraph business. Butler passed that amendment on the 23d of June, 1879, nearly five years ago. The next day the Baltimore & Ohio went into the telegraph business. They found that they made money at it, and resolved to build independently to New York. Immediately their business sprang up, so that they looked about for a more general organization. I had become very familiar with the messenger services in the cities, and they bought out the Manhattan Company.

"The Baltimore & Ohio have been a good while in the telegraph business. Why," said Mr. Bates, "this company still have living as their attorney the man who bought from Morse for Amos Kendall and others the first telegraph line in the world. You know the government had a wire stretched from Washington to Baltimore, and it turned out to work well. Thereupon Amos Kendall resigned from the government service and organized a telegraph company. The wire was stretched along the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad line. Mr. Latrobe, who drew up the papers at that time, is the Baltimore & Ohio's counsel now. We are, therefore, the oldest corporation in the telegraph business."


Keywords:Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:May 3, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;