As we reported, a major autograph sale took place yesterday online with the starring lot being a letter written by one of a handful of inventors whose names are known worldwide.
Alexander Graham Bell prompted a revolution in communications with his invention of the telephone - it now seems unbelievable that we were ever without it.
In 1878, two years after he acquired his patent, the telephone was in rapid development, but not without problems. In this letter after acquainting his parents with news of their new granddaughter's name, he addressed the issues a lightning strike might cause to telephone poles following an incident at his parents' home:
"I am quite troubled by your account of the lightning accident at Tutela Heights. The accident shows that the earth terminals of your telephone line are defective for the current found a shorter path to the ground through two of your poles than by the proper path [...]
"As I do not know your connections I shall merely state what connections I should advise in order to prevent a repetition of the accident—which might have been more serious had the poles not been struck and thus afforded a partial passage to the earth […]
"In any case let the wire be connected to the water-pipes. Instances have been known in which a lead gas-pipe has been fused by lightning & the gas set on fire. Water-pipes should always be preferred—but both water-pipes & gas-pipes are best [...]
"The water in the well would form a beautiful path to the earth but I don't advise you to make connection with it for in the first place the metal terminal would oxidize & cause your drinking water to taste badly— & secondly the water of the well would probably have a sulphurous taste after each thunder-storm."
On the lower half of the last page, Bell has sketched a detailed diagram to help. The fascinating letter sold for $92,856 - beating its $60,000-80,000 listing.
Collectors frustrated to have missed the auction will be relieved to learn that they can own a signed letter by an iconic inventor for far less - in fact they can even own one of their original inventions!
The former is a financial document signed three times by inventor Edison whilst the latter is his first successful invention - incredibly rare and accompanied by research.We're confident enough in the ongoing value of the stock ticker that it comes with our 120% guarantee.