Mounted above an ALS of Stephen Vail, 1 p, 8vo, New York, February 25, 1888, on Century Magazine stationery, identifying the fragment. 4 3/4 inches in length. Wire and letter affixed to mat, toned. Together with: Vail, Alfred. Description of the American Electro Magnetic Telegraph (Washington: J & G S Gideon, 1845), 24 pp, stitched pamphlet. Item #314550
A fascinating relic from the infancy of electronic communications, being a nearly 5 inch section of cotton-covered solid copper wire used to transmit the first telegraph message in a public demonstration of Samuel F.B. Morse's telegraph in Speedwell, New Jersey on January 10, 1838. The wire is attached to a mount with an autograph document signed by Stephen Vail, the son of Morse's partner, Alfred Vail. Vail writes in full:
"This is to certify that the accompanying piece of wire is a part of the three mile wire used for telegraphing on the 10th & 11th of January of 1838, at Speedwell, N.J. as described in the April no. of the Century 1888, on page 934. in experiements conducted by Prof. Morse & Alfred Vail and is presented to the Century Co. by the son of the latter. Stephen Vail."
Price: $8,500.00 Free International Delivery