Death of Franklin Leonard Pope

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Electrical Industries

Chicago, IL, United States
vol. 6, no. 11, p. 289, col. 2

Franklin Leonard Pope.


Franklin Leonard Pope, an electrical expert and writer of world-wide reputation, was instantly killed by an electric shock on October 13th at his home in Great Barrington, Mass. He was connected with the Great Barrington Electric Light Company, and for the purpose of better observing the operation of the lighting system had a converter placed in the cellar of his residence. The primary to this converter carried a potential of 2,100 volts, and in some way not yet fully determined Mr. Pope received a shock from it which caused immediate death. His body was found beside the converter by members of his family. Aside from some slight marks on the back of the hand and fingers, there was no indication of the manner in which the shock was received.

Mr. Pope was born at Great Barrington on December 2, 1840. His early education was obtained at a district school, at the academy of his native town, and later at Amherst, Mass. An inclination was noticeable at an early age for drawing and studies of a scientific or mechanical nature. His first position was as a telegraph operator at Great Barrington, which he held for two years. An appointment as circuit manager of the lines on the Boston and Albany followed. As draughtsman in the patent bureau of the Scientific American and in various positions in connection with the telegraph systems of the country, an exploring tour in British Columbia and Alaska in connection with the overland telegraph scheme to Asia and Europe before a successful Atlantic cable had been laid, gave him a varied practical experience. His knowledge of patents was extensive, and, in connection with Mr. Thomas A. Edison, perfected the stock "ticker." Several of his inventions were purchased by the Gold & Stock Tel. Co.

He was well known as a patent expert, and was for a number of years so employed by the Western Union Telegraph Co. The introduction of the electric lighting systems drew bis attention in that direction, and he established the firm of Pope, Edgecomb & Terry, patent solicitors and experts. About this time the opportunity that seem to open for an electrical paper was recognized, and he assisted in the publication of the Electrician, afterwards changed to the Electrical Engineer. He has since contributed to the various papers, and recently has had charge of a department in the Engineering Magazine.

Less than two years ago he returned to Great Barrington, his native place, withdrawing in a measure from active work. Being interested in the electric light station, he had conducted the remodeling of the plant, which was described in a paper read before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Friends from many distant cities assembled to pay their last respects to the dead on October 16th, on which date the funeral took place.


Keywords:Pope : Death
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:June 21, 2009 by: Bob Stahr;