Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Telechronometer Company of Rochester New York records, 1909-1913

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1630
Bib ID 9576474 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Telechronometer Company (Rochester, N.Y.)
Title Telechronometer Company of Rochester New York records, 1909-1913
Physical Description 0.5 linear feet (1 fliptop box)
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Arrangement

Arrangement

Not organized.

Description

Summary

A small collection of archival material comprising correspondence, blueprints, documents, printed paper, ephemera.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Telechronometer Company of Rochester; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed, PTL 08/03/2012.

Revision Description

2012-08-04 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Advertising Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Broadsides Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Press releases Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Receipts (financial records) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
blueprints (reprographic copies) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Babcock, Garrison Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rochester (N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Telechronometer Company (Rochester, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Telecommunication -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Telephone -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

The Telechronometer Company was , it appears, the first company to patent a system and device for charging for telephone use based on actual time usage, similar to the gas and electric meters of today. This was an important step in the early growth of the telephone industry, quoting one of the firm's promotional materials it "solved the rarte question." Up until some sort of metering was in place there was no practical way to charge for each call , this device created a new revenue stream for the nascent industry. Garrison Babcock, of Rochester, and Frederick Charles Stevens (1856-1916)1, Senator and later Superintendent of Public Works for New York State, saw the potential of such a service and formed a company to develop and market the technology, which would serve as a useful and necessary accessory to the as yet undeveloped but expanding telephone industry.

Garrison Babcock filed a patent for his invention on June 14, 1909 and patent number 947781 was issued to him on February 1, 1910. This collection includes documents from 1909 through 1913 dealing with the development of this invention, the creation of the company, and its subsequent mergers. The company was not a manufacturing company its apparatus was built by General Electric, the firm licensed the Telechronometer to telephone companies throughout the country.

Interestingly an article in the June 1922 issue of Popular Mechanics (p. 833), states: "The first metered telephone service is now given in Everett, Wash., where about 6000 subscribers are paying for just the amount of talking they do." Evidently the magazine was either unaware of this invention, or it took time to reach remote areas, or did not succeed as planned.