First Telephone on the Beach

scotto

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#82
The first postcard picture you posted was taken from the lighthouse, if that is what you mean. The timing for the radial bridge and moving the Keeper's house doesn't line up. I will have to look into it more, but this is a thread about telephone not the Keeper's house.
 

Dianne

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#83
I agree... I'm more interested in the telephone history than sorting out confusion not pertaining to it. perhaps log books of waterworks, lighthouse, railway, etc. as well as private records/photos may be able to add to the Bell Historical Collection's information.
"Like Thompson, Captain Campbell kept a close watch on beach strip happenings, astutely identifying changes in the area's social character and recording his own history of the place in a series of articles in 1899 published in the Burlington Gazette"
https://www.erudit.org/revue/uhr/2001/v30/n1/1015941ar.pdf
 
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scotto

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#84
I agree... I'm more interested in the telephone history than sorting out confusion not pertaining to it. perhaps log books of waterworks, lighthouse, railway, etc. as well as private records/photos may be able to add to the Bell Historical Collection's information.
"Like Thompson, Captain Campbell kept a close watch on beach strip happenings, astutely identifying changes in the area's social character and recording his own history of the place in a series of articles in 1899 published in the Burlington Gazette"
https://www.erudit.org/revue/uhr/2001/v30/n1/1015941ar.pdf
I have some articles to look through from the library, but I stopped by the waterworks today and their history guy gave me this;

In the early days, the only way they could tell in the pumphouse when the reservoir was full was by the arrival, on foot, of Mr. Calder, superintendent of the reservoir. At a later date he would drive down by horse and buggy to tell the men to stop pumping. Because of this inconvenience, the McFarlane s were one of the first families in Hamilton to get a telephone, and thereafter the regular journeys between reservoir and pumphouse came to an end The phone was a wall type with a separate battery box for each of four phone cranks; (1) to call central. (2) the engineer’s residence (3)the filter basins, and (4) the engine house. This phone was also used for fire alarms; before us advent the signal to increase the pressure was a gong in the engineer's house.
 

Dianne

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#85
very interesting... so wealthier citizens may have "donated" use of their phones for some public services. I wonder whether John Hughes was the engineer with a residence line? attached is an 1898 map marking H.L. Bastien's boat house, but I cannot locate a mention of John Hughes. HamFIP_1898_index.jpg
 

scotto

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#86
very interesting... so wealthier citizens may have "donated" use of their phones for some public services. I wonder whether John Hughes was the engineer with a residence line? attached is an 1898 map marking H.L. Bastien's boat house, but I cannot locate a mention of John Hughes.
That would be Bastien's business in the north end of Hamilton, his boat house was on the Beach. I checked the same insurance maps and I don't see his name listed. On the older 1877 map, there is a building across from the Ocean House, but I can't read the name on the building.

Attached is another copy of the picture you emailed me, notice the only building on the harbour is a boat house. Most likely Bastien's.

burl230.jpg
 

scotto

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#87
The Telephone History of Hamilton

I copied this from scrapbook at the library

In telephone history Hamilton occupies the eminent position being the city where, in 1878, the first telephone office in the British Empire was established. Outstanding also are the careers of the men who were intimately associated with the establishment of this office and in the development of the business.
The sequence of events which led to the opening of a telephone office and the people involved are of special interest and are therefore included in this record.
The prime mover was Hugh C. Baker and his associates were , Thomas H. Wadland, Kenneth J. Dunstan and George Black.
In 1875 Mr. Black and his friend T.C. Mewburn and C.D. Cory were in the habit of playing chess and using the telegraph wires existing between their houses, communicated their moves by using the code signals shown in exhibit No. 3 of Hamilton "Firsts" in Telephone History.
Mr. Baker witnessed the first public demonstration of the telephone at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in June 1876 and it was his foresight and enterprise which resulted in the establishment at Hamilton of the first telephone office in the British Empire.
In January 1878 Mr. Baker started the Hamilton District Telegraph Co. in the old Kronsbein Block at 6 Main Street.
His experience with the telephones was so satisfactory in his chess games that Mr. Baker visited the Bells at Brantford in June 1878 and secured an exclusive license to install telephones in the counties of Wentworth, Halton and Haldimand. Ten of the telegraph signal boxes were changed to telephones and on July 15, 1878 the Hamilton Central office became a telephone exchange. By the end of 1878 all signal boxes had been changed to telephones.
In the meantime, in fact in August 1876, Alexander Graham Bell succeeded in transmitting the voices of three persons at time from the outbuildings of his father's place Tutelo Heights, Brantford, to the receiver placed on the veranda of the Bell residence.
The first instance in Canada in which more than two telephones operated satisfactorily on one circuit was on August 29,1877.

A telegraph wire was placed between Mr. Hugh C. Baker's residence, Burlington Terrace, Mr. T.C. Mewburn's house at Main Street and Mr. Charles D. Cory's house on Jackson Street. At each of the there were three telephones and the result was a success. The length of the circuit was about three miles and the conversation was carried on between the three points with ease. (A check of the route indicates this distance was in the order of about one mile. The distance reported in the newspaper of that time appears to be incorrect.) The piano was distinctly heard and "Home Sweet Home" and "Auld Lang Syne" were recognized at the extreme distance.

The first contract (officially known as the second lease) for the use of telephone instruments in this country was dated October 18, 1877. The parties to the contract were Alexander Melville Bell of Brantford, father of the inventor; Charles D. Cory, Mrs. J.R. Thomson, sister of Mr. Cory, Hugh C. Baker and George Black of Hamilton. Licenses were obtained for four box telephones - numbered 360, 362, 363 and 659 - to be used between the houses of the lessees and the houses of their friends.
This lease actually was dated back to August 29, 1877 although signed on October 18, 1877.
(N.B. What is officially known as the first lease of telephone service executed in Canada is dated November 9, 1877, but in the body of the lease the rental is given as beginning Sept. 21, 1877. The lease was retained for the Canadian Government by Melville Bell.
On February 4, 1878 Mr. Baker, President of the Hamilton District Telegraph Co., applied to the city for permission to erect poles and by December of that year there were about 40 telephones operating through the Hamilton Exchange.
The headquarters of this company were in the basement of the old Kronsbein Block in No. 6 Main Street and James Street that stood where the "Regent" office of the Bell Telephone Co. subsequently was located. In September 1929 a tablet was unveiled to this effect by Mr. C.F. Sise, President of the company- it reads as follows;

ON THIS SITE
WAS ESTABLISHED
IN MARCH 1878
BY
HUGH COSSSART BAKER
THE FIRST
TELEPHONE EXCHANGE
IN THE
BRITISH EMPIRE​
 

Dianne

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#88
ah okay... I didn't realize he had two businesses... strange they wouldn't map the beach one. if that is his boat house, he would have been in close proximity to "donate" use of his line to the lighthouse/keeper's cottage. Capt. Campbell's log book may sort some of this out... you'd think he'd record the first time he ever used the newly invented telephone.
 

scotto

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#89
Gillies believes Freeman Station most historic structure in the city

Sent in by David;

Gillies believes Freeman Station most historic structure in the city: it was a battle to save it from the wrecking ball.
By Mark Gillies
Bulington Gazette
February 2, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON


Burlington Junction also had freight warehouses, which were always busy with boxcars being loaded or unloaded. The responsibility and stress levels were extremely high for Harry Lorimer. The complicated schedules and logistics were unbelievable. Harry was lucky to have a telephone, some needed high tech assistance. The Station Master’s number was easy to remember. Who could forget “2”? Harry was the only Station Master for two different Freeman Stations. One burnt to the ground in 1904, and was replaced by another GTR station in 1906.

Read more;
http://www.burlingtongazette.ca/gil...s-a-battle-to-save-it-from-the-wrecking-ball/
 

Dianne

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#90
Re: The Telephone History of Hamilton

I don't know how I missed this post... excellent information! do you know what the source was for this article? there seems to be a big difference between the first telephone pay station, the first telephone exchange and the first telephone, and the Bell Telephone books seem to only list the pay stations (or at least those are the only pages Bell Historical Collections provided as relevant). it is interesting it mentions Mr. Black as wasn't he the one also mentioned as removing the Ocean House telegraph wire for the winter? perhaps the line for one of the chess players was there? why would the line be removed for the winter and the only listing for an Ocean House telephone prior to 1893 has summer in brackets? a similar "local exchange" could have been used for Waterworks and if so may not have appeared in telephone books?
re: the old Kronsbein Block-6 Main Street East- attached is a picture from 1910 (the building with the peaked roofline)- I've been unable to find an earlier one. it is possible the wooden Bell sign on the beach originated at another location and was moved to the beach when porcelain signs and logo were introduced in 1890's, as it's not consistent with 1897 Bell Telephone pay station signs.
also attached is an undated picture of the Provident building ("on the corner of King and Hugson streets (rented premises on the upper floors"), which was where the exchange moved in 1881 and was located until 1891 as per Bell Historical Collections.
Kronsbein Block.jpg HamiltonLoanandProvidentbuilding_zpsbb773a4e.jpg

"in June 1878 and secured an exclusive license to install telephones in the counties of Wentworth, Halton and Haldimand. Ten of the telegraph signal boxes were changed to telephones and on July 15, 1878 the Hamilton Central office became a telephone exchange. By the end of 1878 all signal boxes had been changed to telephones."


-finding out where these ten telegraph signal boxes were should provide information about the first beach location of a telephone.


"In 1880, The Bell Telephone Company of Canada, incorporated earlier that year on April 29, took over the operations of the District Telegraph Company of Hamilton ( to be more precise Bell Telephone Co took over a company that was named “The Hamilton Telephone Company” since the District Telegraph Company of Hamilton had changed its name earlier in 1880)" (Bell Historical Collection)


-the wooden Bell Telephone Co. sign from the beach should be after April 29, 1880.
 
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Dianne

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#91
I just noticed the Bell Telephone book listings for Bastien's boat house all say "the bay", not "beach" as they do for John Hughes and the Ocean House. attached are pages from 1891 and 1892
1891 bell phone book-1_result.jpg 1891 bell phone book-2_result.jpg 1891 bell phone book-3_result.jpg 1892 bell phone book-1_result.jpg 1892 bell phone book-2_result.jpg
 

Dianne

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#92
attached is what is believed to be the 1893 pay station page of the telephone book (it has a question mark beside date)
189_ bell phone book-1_result.jpg 189_ bell phone book-2_result.jpg
 

scotto

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#93
thank you, Scott. are you saying "Church Crossing" was a railway station? John Hughes' telephone pay station was marked as "Church Crossing", but was also marked "residence."
do you have any information about him or his relatives?
Missed this one, we recently had a request about the Hughes that live on the Beach now and if they were related to Joel Hughes from 1940's (my guess) which they were not. But there was some relation down here and were found. I will check when time permits.
 

scotto

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#94
excellent information! do you know what the source was for this article?
The article was part of a scrapbook on the history of the telephone in Hamilton. There wasn't a date or an author added to the page.




These two items were also in the book. No mention of Hughes, Ocean House or even the Pumping Station.
 

Attachments

scotto

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#95
there seems to be a big difference between the first telephone pay station, the first telephone exchange and the first telephone, and the Bell Telephone books seem to only list the pay stations (or at least those are the only pages Bell Historical Collections provided as relevant). it is interesting it mentions Mr. Black as wasn't he the one also mentioned as removing the Ocean House telegraph wire for the winter? perhaps the line for one of the chess players was there? why would the line be removed for the winter and the only listing for an Ocean House telephone prior to 1893 has summer in brackets? a similar "local exchange" could have been used for Waterworks and if so may not have appeared in telephone books?
Good catch as how many Mr. Blacks would have an interest in the telephone back in the late 1880's. The Ocean House and the Yacht Clun both closed for the winter months, but the train would still run and require communication.
 

scotto

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#96
attached is what is believed to be the 1893 pay station page of the telephone book (it has a question mark beside date)
View attachment 2990 View attachment 2991
All of the pay stations were part of a business and not stand alone. This takes away from the Beach Bell house as being just a pay station, how many people could there possibly be having to pay their monthly bill to support such an office?
 

Dianne

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#97
great information... was there a date for that phone list? I'm thinking it must be between 1878-1880, as its name was changed to Hamilton Telephone Company in 1880. (Bell Historical Collection).
re: the map of first phones... yes that seems to fit this: ""In an attempt to introduce the use of the telephone in Hamilton, the Rev. Thomas Henderson had chosen Mr. George Black, the Hamilton manager of the Montreal Telegraph Company, as his Hamilton representative; and it was Mr. Black who persuaded Mr. Baker to try telephones instead of telegraph instruments for transmitting his chess moves to his two friends. As a result, Mr. Melville Bell came to Hamilton and installed three telephones on Mr. Baker's private telegraph line. After several successful trials, a public demonstration of the installation was arranged, and it was reported in the Hamilton Spectator and the Hamilton Times on August 30, 1877". (T.Roy Woodhouse)
"The papers reported that six men went to Mr. Baker's house on Herkimer Street, five to Mr. Mewburn's house on Main Street and five to Mr. Cory's house on Jackson Street. Three telephones at each place were connected to three at each of the other two places. They talked to each other and listened to songs and the event was voted a huge success." (T.Roy Woodhouse)."
http://www3.sympatico.ca/dljordan/hughcossartbaker.htm
I guess that answers first telephones in Hamilton, but not first telephones on the beach. interesting the phone list seems pretty long for being before the Bell Telephone Co. "took over operations"

"In 1880, The Bell Telephone Company of Canada, incorporated earlier that year on April 29, took over the operations of the District Telegraph Company of Hamilton ( to be more precise Bell Telephone Co took over a company that was named “The Hamilton Telephone Company” since the District Telegraph Company of Hamilton had changed its name earlier in 1880)"
-Bell Historical Collection
 
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Dianne

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#98
if it were 1897, there would be a few, but so much doesn't fit with that date. in all the pay station pages we have been provided, only the one from 1883 says "Bell Telephone Co." like the wooden sign from the Keeper's Cottage.
 

Dianne

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#99
"In January 1878 Mr. Baker started the Hamilton District Telegraph Co. in the old Kronsbein Block at 6 Main Street. His experience with the telephones was so satisfactory in his chess games that Mr. Baker visited the Bells at Brantford in June 1878 and secured an exclusive license to install telephones in the counties of Wentworth, Halton and Haldimand. Ten of the telegraph signal boxes were changed to telephones and on July 15, 1878 the Hamilton Central office became a telephone exchange. By the end of 1878 all signal boxes had been changed to telephones."

Charles said that the railways did not have signal boxes in those days except at crossings... and "they are more usually called crossing cabins or towers. ("Signal box" is a UK railway term.)... The railway telegraphs were all inside the stations on the operator's desks." He also said that each agency station (not flag stop) would have had a telegraph"

"King Street, the GWR crossing, Stuart Street, Waterdown, Burlington Freeman, Burlington Freeman crossing, Burlington downtown would all have had telegraphs.
We know Ocean House had one, and it will be a safe bet Brant House had one too.
We know Beach Road had one." and he's unsure whether "there was a crossing tower where the radial crossed the H&NW in Burlington - that may have been controlled from the downtown Burlington station."

He also said because "railways continued to use telegraph for station-to-station train control well into the 1940s, that "telephone would not have replaced the telegraph, but may well have been installed alongside."

btw do we actually know the telegraph/telephone was inside the hotel Ocean House or could it have been an outbuilding?
 
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scotto

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great information... was there a date for that phone list? I'm thinking it must be between 1878-1880, as its name was changed to Hamilton Telephone Company in 1880. (Bell Historical Collection).
You are likely correct, but there weren't many dates on any of the articles or pictures.
 
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