Offering an assemblage, including an album leaf note, 5 ¼ x 7, boldly written and signed by THOMAS A. WATSON, the notable assistant of Alexander Graham Bell, who worked with Bell on the invention of the telephone and, thus, received royalties from the invention. Plus 10 original photographs, 7 3/4 x 9 3/4, with images of Watson explaining the telephone to his grandchildren, posing before early telephone equipment, and his wife in front of equipment in their home.
WATSON (January 18, 1854 – December 13, 1934) was assistant to Alexander Graham Bell, notably in the invention of the telephone in 1876. He was born in Salem, MA. Bell was a professor at Boston University. As the recipient of the first telephone call – although coming from the next room – Watson’s name became the first ever said over the telephone. Bell said, “Mr. Watson – Come here – I want to see you.” Watson said the words were, “Mr. Watson – Come here – I want you.” Watson resigned from the Bell Telephone Company in 1881 at age 27. He used his money from royalties in the invention to establish a farm. He later became a fairly successful traveling Shakespearean actor and later set up a machine shop. In 1883, he founded the Fore River Ship and Engine Building Company and soon began taking bids for building naval destroyers. By 1901, the Fore River Ship and Engine Company was one of the largest shipyards in America. On January 25, 1915, Watson was at 333 Grant Avenue in San Francisco. He received the first transcontinental telephone call placed by Bell from New York City. President Woodrow Wilson and the mayors of both cities were involved.
Light toning to the note with a few foxing spots. Edge tear tone not affecting the image. Else excellent. The photographs, c. 1929, are in excellent condition with some light toning in the borders. The photographer’s mark of John B. Varick Company is embossed on each.
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