Colorado Telephone Company
Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Colorado Telephone Company dating back to the early 1900's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Secretary, was printed by the Denver Litho Co. and measures approximately 11" (w) by 8 1/2" (h).
This certificate's fantastic underprint features an old wall mount phone.
Frederick O. Vaille landed the 17th American Bell franchise nationally, less than a week behind Minneapolis and less than a year after New York City. The chance to get rich always draws guests, and seldom are they welcome.
Within five months, their little company faced a better-financed challenger with better technology, the Colorado Edison Telephone Company, a Western Union-backed endeavor that used the superior Thomas Edison transmitters and carbon microphones. After a legal battle over Bell’s patent, the two companies merged nationally on November 10, 1879, and the Denver Dispatch Company was not only spared but thrived with Edison’s ingenuity.
In 1881, Vaille and Henry R. Wolcott turned Denver Dispatch into the Colorado Telephone Company, as the company had grown from the initial 161 subscribers making local calls in Denver to more than 1,200 that included Boulder, Golden, Central City, Colorado Springs and Pueblo. And in 1888, Horace Tabor sold his Leadville Telephone Company to Vaille and Wolcott, giving them telephone service to Colorado’s second-largest city at the time. (That money helped make Augusta Tabor a wealthy woman in California after her 53-year-old husband left her for 28-year-old Baby Doe McCourt, who helped spend the millions he made off silver.)
In 1911, the Colorado Telephone Company merged with the Rocky Mountain Bell Telephone Company and the Tri-State Telephone Company to form the Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Company, an AT&T affiliate that served seven states and lasted until 1984, when federal anti-trust legislation forced the break up of the “Ma Bell” monopoly.