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Lot 1497: BOSTON AND PORTLAND TELEGRAPH

Auction No.57 of Antique Stocks & Bonds

by Boone Shares - The Scripophily Center

October 29, 2016

Brussels, Belgium

Live Auction
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Description: 1850 MASSACHUSETTS. BOSTON. Shares, unissued. black. Allegorical vignette. Created by Henry O'Rielly, an important early pioneer of the telegraph in the US. One-time postmaster of Rochester, O'Rielly was impressed by the activity of Morse in establishing telegraph lines out of Washington. He circumvented the Morse patent difficulties by raising capital for the construction of certain lines (initially from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh) for operation by a Morse company, in exchange for receiving immunity from the Morse patent rights. This "O'Rielly Contract" saw the beginning of a massive construction of telegraph lines expanding westwards across the US. Through the creation of several companies, O'Rielly has built 8,000 miles of telegraph, driving westward along the Great Lakes, through the Midwest and Kentucky, to the Mississippi. This particular company, est. 1850, was to link Boston with Portland as part of the New York & New England line and the greater Atlantic, Lake, and Mississippi Telegraph Range. Although unissued, this is one of the most interesting and earliest of all US telegraph scripophily. Rarity 12.

Condition Report: VF

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