Nicely engraved antique stock certificate from the American Telephone and Telegraph Company dating back to the 1970's. This document, which carries the printed signatures of the company Chairman of the Board and Treasurer, was printed by the American Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).
The certificate's vignette features a winged, nude allegorical male figure holding telephone wires and lightning bolts. He stands atop a globe.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
The American Telephone and Telegraph Company was incorporated on March 3, 1885 as a wholly owned subsidiary of American Bell, chartered to build and operate the original long distance telephone network. Building out from New York, AT&T reached its initial goal of Chicago in 1892, and then San Francisco in 1915. On December 30, 1899, AT&T acquired the assets of American Bell, and became the parent company of the Bell System. Because signals weaken as they travel down telephone wires, building a national network required several inventions. Loading coils, invented independently at AT&T and elsewhere (1899), allowed the network to be built out to Denver. The first practical electrical amplifiers, devised at AT&T (1913) made transcontinental telephony possible.
Until Bell's second patent expired in 1894, only Bell Telephone and its licensees could legally operate telephone systems in the United States. Between 1894 and 1904, over six thousand independent telephone companies went into business in the United States, and the number of telephones boomed from 285,000 to 3,317,000. Many previously unwired areas got their first telephone service, and many others got competing companies. But the multiplicity of telephone companies produced a new set of problems -- there was no interconnection, subscribers to different telephone companies could not call each other. This situation only began to be resolved after 1913.