60 Rare Historical Photos That You Probably Haven't Seen Before
Telephone wires around the city of Manhattan in 1887.
I'm sure there were no ill-health effects by having this big mess of telephone wires dangling over New York City 1887. The Telephone Company of New York was formed under franchise in 1876. The company's purpose was to rent telephone equipment to users, who were expected to provide wires to connect them. And it was a mess! The advent of the telephone promised to save the cost of hiring a private telegraph operator. The invention took off - and by 1885, Broadway was "festooned" with wires. The New York Telephone Company was created in 1896, taking over the New York City operations of the American Bell Telephone Company -which was created by, none other, Alexander Graham Bell.
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Harmon Leon is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, comedian and the author of the book Meet the Deplorables... - and you can find his other work in Vice, The Observer, The Nation, Esquire and Wired.