Telegrams and more letters….

This week I continued to work on the collections from the A.K. Smiley Public Library. The items I worked on mainly consisted of receipts, telegrams and letters. Most of the telegrams this week were sent to James T. Taylor, the engineer in-charge at the Bear Valley Company. The main subject that was discussed through these telegrams was the installation of telephone lines and the rates at which they were charged. What was surprising were the prices. The connections were given on a contract basis. The 6-month contract was worth a mere $17.50 and the annual contract was worth just $35.
Looking at the telephone per month prices now, we have come a long way (even excluding the 4G charges). Some of the items I scanned in the previous weeks had telegrams where information regarding the tapping of the telephone wires were discussed. Though I still haven’t found any items where the reason for tapping them was given, I am curious to find out why.
There were a few receipts that were sent from the Stroll & Thayer Company, which were known for selling books and stationary items. A lot of the articles that were listed in the receipt were mainly crayons and books.
Another set of telegrams contained information regarding shipment of instruments, raw materials required to build a ‘C’ shaped galvanized iron flume along with any additional raw materials. The constructions costs were also enclosed along with some of the telegrams. What was surprising to me was that James T. Taylor, the engineer-in-charge had to oversee all the above mentioned activities. Usually an engineer’s work is very specific and related only to a particular department such as civil, electrical or electronic. Whereas, in this case apart from doing his job as an engineer, he was managing the complete process.