American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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World's First Telecommunications Company

Magnetic Telegraph Company Certificate Account Book (1845-1860)
Magnetic Telegraph Company Certificate Account Book (1845-1860)
Company ledger
Manuscript Division
Purchase, 2004 (125A.4)

On May 15, 1845, the world's first telecommunications company was officially established. The Magnetic Telegraph Company's articles of incorporation established that for every fifty dollars subscribed in the capital of the company, one share of common stock valued at $100 would be issued. The articles further stated that for every share issued, another would be issued to the patentees, who included founders Samuel F. B. Morse, F.O.J. Smith, Leonard Gale, and Alfred Vali. The volume is open Morse's account ledger detailing the acquisition and disposition of his shares.

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