The Pleiades Club
Telegrapher’s Paradise on Planet Mars
By JEFF W. HAYES
Tales of the Sierras, Looking Backward at Portland, Paradise on
Earth, Portland A. D. 1999, Autographs and Memoirs
of the Telegraph, etc.
To Edgar W. Collins, Poet-Laureate of the Telegraph; noble,
high-minded gentleman; a true friend; this little
volume is inscribed with a loving heart.
Chapter I—On the Planet Mars
- Eternity Illustrated
- Lincoln’s Birthday on Planet Mars
- Aaron Hilliker Sings Old Song
- Biff Cook Makes a Speech
Chapter II—Fourth of July on Planet Mars
- Colonel Crain Delivers Address
Chapter III—Dixie Day on Planet Mars
Chapter IV—Chicago Takes a Hand
- Al Baker’s Speech
Chapter V—Peter Rowe’s Prohibition Speech
Chapter VI—California Elects a President
Chapter VII—Echoes From Gotham
Chapter VIII—The Planet Mars Enjoys a Telegraphers’ Tournament
Chapter IX—Washington’s Birthday Celebration on Planet Mars
Chapter X—Some Splendid Telegraphing
Chapter XI—Cleveland Day on Planet Mars
Chapter XII—Planet Mars Entertains Railroad Telegraph Superintendents
Chapter XIII—Charles A. Tinker Arrives on Planet Mars
Chapter XIV—Tom Edison’s Inventions Applauded on Planet Mars
Chapter XV—Debut of Henry Ward Beecher on Planet Mars
- Ernest Emery Heard From
- V. De Graw Speaks
Chapter XVI—The Magnetic and Morse Clubs Entertain
Chapter XVII—Our Canadian Brothers on Planet Mars
Chapter XVIII—Relief Expedition From Planet Mars
- Colonel L. D. Parker Remembers Friends
- Exodus to Jupiter Contemplated
Chapter XIX—Pennsylvania Day on Planet Mars
Chapter XX—The Journey to Jupiter
- Adam Sends “73” to His Posterity
CHAPTERS NOT INCLUDED IN BOOK PUBLICATION [XIX–XXIII]
In offering the “Pleiades Club” to the public, I have no apologies to make. Some may object to the declarations contained herein, but they are all consistent with intelligent beliefs, and not contrary to fixed or orthodox faith. “There is no death,” and my thought is to strengthen and impress this health-giving idea upon all of my readers. I have undertaken to describe a reign of harmony that exists after “Life’s fitful fever” which is more worthy of credence than the hell afire and damnation espoused by some creeds and religions; and I hope that my telegraph friends will feel better on this score’ from a perusal of the “Pleiades Club.”
ON THE PLANET MARS
ETERNITY is an awe-inspiring theme and one which our little finite minds are unable to comprehend. It is a subject, however, which should never worry or distress us, when we stop to realize that we are all living in the eternal now.
Once upon a time, an evangelist, in following up his line of business, rendered a discourse on “Eternity” which would have given one an opportunity for endless mathematics.
“Supposing this earth was a huge ball of steel,” he began, “25,000 miles in circumference and a little bird would pass over it once every thousand years, lightly touching this immense steel-body with the tip of its wing. Were you to tell the souls in Hades that they would be released by the time the bird had cut a hole through and divided the sphere, there would be great rejoicing among the condemned.”
Knowing that there is nothing lost in God’s creation this little allegory should never make one nervous, for we also know that, like John Brown, our “soul goes marching on,” onward and upward.
Having delivered my text, I will proceed with my story.
Lincoln’s Birthday on Planet Mars.
It was a delightful gathering which assembled at a dinner on the planet Mars given in honor of Abraham Lincoln, on the occasion of his birthday, by the Pleiades Club, composed mostly of old-time telegraph men and their admirers, A. D. 1916.
Numerically, the gathering was greater than that which assembled on any previous occasion on Mother Earth, and viewing the happy, smiling faces of those present, one felt that it was good to be here.
Sounders clicked on every side; all were readable, and harmony prevailed, nobody ever sending six dots for the letter “p” or the figure 4 for a “v.”
President Lincoln presided and much attention was paid to his remarks. The President’s face possessed that wonderfully kind and loving appearance so apparent during life and his voice bespoke his gentle spirit. Earnestly he chatted with some late arrivals on Mars, asking particularly for his old telegraph associates on earth. He enquired about the “Sacred three” and Billy Dealy and many of the boys in the field in the stirring days of the war.
The President was a busy soul, looking out for “his Father’s business,” as he expressed it, and he was the recipient of much reverence from all assembled.
Aaron Hilliker Sings Olden Song.
Music was called for, when to the astonishment of all, the form of A. B. Hilliker appeared at the threshold. Aaron was as full of bonhomme as of yore and responded to many requests by singing “The Old Oaken Bucket,” which evoked an enthusiastic encore.
“What did you sine in the spring of ‘73?” queried Jim Largay.
“You should have asked me what I sined in ‘53,” replied Hilliker, as he smiled at Professor Morse, who pleasantly returned the recognition.
“The question before the Club tonight is ‘Preparedness,’ remarked General Thomas T. Eckert, “and I would like to see this subject fully discussed,” continued that gallant gentleman.
Biff Cook Makes a Speech.
“Never mind,” interposed “Biff” Cook, “that is all provided for and should our beloved country ever get into a war, it will be one of short duration. It will be a one man’s war against a congress of nations. Why, my friends, the ‘Wizard of Menlo Park’ has all that studied out, but he is not talking about it or giving the idea away.”
“Why,” continued Cook, emphasizing his words, “Tom Edison has it all figured out that in twelve hours’ time he can weave a cobweb of wires on our ocean’s shore to completely annihilate immediately any threatening craft fifty miles out at sea. I wish that I could communicate this information to the timid people down there on earth, for I believe it would do them a world of good.
“I know all about this, for Tom told me about the scheme back there in ‘74, when I used to ‘dot on his quadruplex’ along with Eddie Fullum and Billy Landy, at 145 Broadway.
“No, boys,” went on “Biff,” “let’s talk of the wireless. We are all so much interested in that. Why, it was only last week that we all heard New York talking to Honolulu and I tried to break in, but that ‘ham’ in New York would not adjust and we lost our opportunity of being heard. Just think, if he had pulled up his relay just half an inch we would have been in direct communication. If that fellow had ever worked in Cheyenne alongside of Comb Green, when I worked the overland at Omaha, he would have known something about keeping adjusted and the dear old Earth would have received startling news which would have thrown the feat of Commander Peary into the shade.
“Don’t you know, cull,” continued Cook, “that I really believe that our planet Mars may be called upon to perform her good offices in case any hostile nation should attempt to invade the United States, and I believe that Tom Edison has solved that intricate problem.”
With these remarks, “Biff” sat down amid thundering applause.
* * * * * *
The St. Louis band, composed of W. W. Cummings, Sidney B. Fairchild, James Nelson and James Murray, then rendered “The Star-Spangled Banner,” after which the audience was addressed on the subject of wireless telegraph.
Professor Zingalli, of Milan, whose name would indicate that he was “flagging” while on earth, gave the assemblage a graphic account of the possibilities of the wireless.
“Why, my friends,” he said, “this science is still in its infancy. Were I to tell you of all its possibilities, you would not believe me. The day is sure to come when all you gentlemen will have an opportunity of talking to your loved ones on earth by means of the wireless telephone. There will be a million circuits running into Chicago, none of them interfering with the other. Every hamlet in the country will have a wireless telephone and telegraph instrument. Trains will be run by wireless, ships will use wireless as a motive power and city car lines’ power will be usurped by the ever present wireless.”
“Then I would not have to walk any more from San Francisco to Chicago, would I?” ejaculated the irrepressible “Bogy.”
“Cold day when you ever walked,” laughed Hank Cowan, who sat opposite his former colleague. “That ‘con’ told me a different story; yes, you walked all the way, of course you did, but only from one end of the car to the other.”
This sally caused much merriment among the members of the Club, which gave way to a speech entitled “The Future of the Telegraph,” specially prepared for the occasion by Col. Mark D. Crain.
The meeting then adjourned subject to the call of the secretary, who was none else than that prince of good fellows, Jim P. Doody.
FOURTH OF JULY ON PLANET MARS
THERE was much commotion on the planet Mars. As closely as the most patriotic mathematician could reckon time and compare it with a corresponding period on the Earth, it was Fourth of July and the dwellers on Mars decided to celebrate in a “sane” manner.
Everybody to their own liking and the American members of the Pleiades Club determined that this should be the occasion when Colonel Marquis Delafayette Crain should address them on “The Future of the Telegraph.”
The club members began gathering at an early hour, forming into little knots in a semi-circle around the speaker’s stand. It was a “get acquainted” meeting, too, and the committee of arrangements was kept very busy.
“Yes, I have known Bert Ayres for many years and copied press from him many a night,” said O. A. Gurley, as Mr. Ayres was introduced. Merry sallies passed between the two gentlemen, when the gavel sounded with a loud rap and the master of ceremonies introduced Col. Mark D. Crain, the speaker.
Loud and enthusiastic greetings followed this introduction and the Colonel smilingly acknowledged the welcome.
Colonel Crain Delivers Address.
“I am to speak today upon the future of the telegraph,” he began, but he was interrupted by Ed. Parmalee, who asked him to change his topic to the “past” history of the telegraph.
“Cannot do it just now, as I am all primed with my topic, and some other time will do; besides, you know, we are now in Eternity and we have all the time there is.”
The Colonel then took up his manuscript, which he began to read:
“The telegraph has made astounding progress during the past five years,” he began, “but there are much better things in store for the employes than ever before.
“For instance, a device has been invented which practically annihilates time when it comes to taking messages off the wires.
“A typewriter with the standard keyboard is used, but the combinations are numerous. To an expert, ten words are written with one touch of the key and a fifty-word night letter will be written by simply touching five different keys on the typewriter. It all depends upon knowing how, and you know,” remarked the Colonel merrily, “we get paid for what we know, and not for what we do.
“You can now see that it will take but ten seconds to receive a fifty-word night letter, but the toll to the public is just the same. The companies, however, are willing to divide the earnings with the operators and a new schedule of salaries has been made as follows:
“Operators will receive ten mills for each message handled, but they are required to handle at least 500 messages every hour, their work being confined to five hours a day.
“You see their wages will therefore be $5 per hour, or $25 per day for five hours’ work. The company will not permit an operator to work more than twenty days a month, so the maximum salary for each operator will be $500.
“The company will furnish three meals a day—”
“Did I understand you to say ‘free meals a day?’” broke in Jake Tubman, who sat near the speaker.
“I. should have said three free meals a day,” laughingly, replied the speaker, and, continuing, “and automobiles will call for and return each employe home.
“The chief will meet each operator at the door when he quits for the day and ask him the state of his health, how he enjoyed his work, and if he has any grievance to relate. The manager, too, will greet operators all at the landing of the elevator and ask them if they care to ‘draw’ today.”
“Oh, my, that strikes me about right,” cried out Fred Loomis, and many others showed their appreciation of the innovation.
“All operators will be treated with much consideration and distinction, especial attention being given to pacifying all recalcitrants and smoothing out all kicks and complaints which may arise, but it is thought the programme outlined will wipe out all differences.”
Colonel Crain’s speech was followed with wild applause and a big demonstration. The band played “Happy Days” on the harps.
After order had been restored, Colonel Crain was asked to speak on the “old timers,” it being remarked that he should be quite at home on that topic.
“Yes, I know a few of them,” began Mark. “They came and went when I was in Kansas City, and we always had a delightful time.
“Let’s see, there was Jim Delong—”
“Present,” interrupted the voice of Mr. Delong, amid applause.
The speaker continued:
“Yes, there was Billy Spink, too—”
“Here also,” broke in the familiar voice of Mr. Spink, who received an encore.
“Then there was Frank Farley, Dan Martin, Billy Foy, Jim Cook, Milton Geowey, Harry Smith, John Topliff—”
“Don’t forget me,” broke in Fred Swain, as he swung into sight on the arm of Bob Rankin.
“I’m not going to overlook you,” continued Crain; “I remember the time you wanted to take a trip with me from the window of the tenth floor of the Chicago office, without an aeroplane.”
This remark evoked much merriment among the old timers of Chicago.
“Well, gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to meet and greet you all here today and to realize that we do not have to put a sub. on and that all the wires are always working O. K.”
“That is because you have the pick of the construction department,” smilingly remarked M. C. Bristol, and the assemblage acquiesced.
“Let’s get back to the original text,” said Billy West, who had been deeply interested in Mr. Crain’s address. “I would like to hear more of the future of the telegraph and I greatly enjoy hearing Colonel Crain’s remarks.”
“Yes, here are a few pages that the Colonel overlooked,” said secretary Jim Doody, handing the same to Mr. Crain.
“Ah, yes, I have something else to say and a little story to relate which, I think, you will all be pleased to listen to.” Silence once more reigned as the speaker began: “The telegraph stock is away up, Western Union selling for $495 and Postal $415. The companies are studying the advisability of segregating a portion of their stock for charitable purposes, which idea is under consideration by the executive committee.
“An operator will be retired when he has reached the age of thirty with a pension of five years’ salary in advance to enable him to go into some profitable business.”
“I’m glad I am not on Earth to witness such dreadful extravagances,” interrupted Russell Sage, who had been an attentive listener.
“Those are my sentiments also,” cried Jay Gould, who had arrived in time to hear the last part of Colonel Crain’s address.
“My remarks will close with a little story about one of our most distinguished members. The story may not be a new one to you who are here present, but it is a good one,” and Colonel Crain paused.
“Oh, go ahead,” shouted the audience; “let’s have the story.”
“It was about a quarter of a century ago on the planet Mars and a great commotion was going on at the gates. There had been an unusual exodus from Earth, the accommodation train bringing with it many millionaires, all ready to become citizens.
“One man hurriedly left the train and began elbowing his way through the surging crowd.
“Addressing the doorkeeper, the newcomer asked to be admitted instantly, but was told that he must take his turn.
“Indignation filled the newly arrived, who exclaimed, ‘My name is Jay Gould and while on earth I could buy my way in at any place. I did not bring any money with me, but I can give you a check for any amount you say. I want to get in quickly, so just say how much money you want.’
“The doorkeeper paused for a moment and replied: ‘A million up here counts for one cent and a second of time is the same as a thousand years.’
“‘All right,’ exclaimed Gould, ‘just tell me how much money you want to let me in.’
“Again did the doorkeeper stop to think, finally ejaculating, ‘One hundred millions.’
“‘Here is a check for it,’ said Gould.
“‘Wait a minute,’ replied the doorkeeper.
“This conversation occurred about twenty-five years ago and it is evident that Mr. Gould did not ‘wait a minute’ as suggested by the doorkeeper.”
This story was received with a tumult of applause by the entire assemblage, after which the meeting adjourned.
It was understood that the next meeting would be addressed by a number of southern operators, who will relate their telegraphic experience while on Earth.
DIXIE DAY ON PLANET MARS.
IT WAS certainly a choice gathering of spirits who flocked together at Telegraphers’ Tabernacle to listen to the doings of the boys from Dixie who were members of this honorable body.
Fred B. Moxon, courtly and affable as of old, called the meeting to order.
Mr. Moxon explained that the meeting was called for the purpose of having a pleasant time and everyone was cordially invited to say something.
“Is Bob Irwin, ‘Canada’s fastest man,’ present?” came an inquiry from Dave Ryan.
“No, Bob and Aleck Sinnot went a-fishing this morning down to Hesperian canal, but we expect to see them back very soon.”
“I say, Dave,” queried Kentucky George Ellsworth, “how about that story that Brother Topping tells about you when you were on General Bragg’s staff? Did the General really cease hostilities on a certain occasion till you could be located?”
“Just you read United States history and get better acquainted with me,” testily replied Ryan. But a smile speedily lit up the old war horse’s face when he recognized the president of the meeting.
“Well, if there isn’t Fred Moxon, whom I left in St. Louis in 1875. Glad to see you, old boy; do you remember how you used to paste me when I was down there in Galveston? I tell you what, to take you and fight those native mosquitoes was a bigger job than fighting under General Bragg.”
“Yes, Dave, you remember how that old Long Horn wire used to work and how those repeaters at Denison would rattle? The man in charge of the Denison repeaters went to sleep one night and I could not hear you break.”
“I never broke in my life,” interrupted Ryan.
“That’s right, too,” agreed Moxon, “and the only way I knew you were getting me was to ask New Orleans.”
“Same old stunt,” broke in Cy Whitaker, who just arrived and took a seat in front.
“Why, here is Ed Whitford, is he in our class?” asked “Fid” Powers.
“Yes, he is eligible, for he worked two winters in New Orleans. Let him sit down, as I have one on him,” suggested Dick Babbitt.
“Sit down, Ed, you are welcome at our festive board. I want to tell the boys of the joke you played on me once upon a time.
“I dropped into the Chicago office to get acquainted with the boys and see what new things had been introduced. Whitford was always the master of ceremonies in the Chicago office, doubtless because he could always see a funny side to everything.
“‘Look at this big ground wire,’ said Whitford, pointing to the iron pillar, which ran from floor to ceiling, the only obstruction in the big room. ‘Yes, this is the ground wire which grounds every wire in Chicago and ofttimes holds millions of volts. There is enough electricity in the ground wire at this minute to completely annihilate an entire army if applied in the proper way; yes, this ground wire is one of the institutions of Chicago.
“‘Want to see some good receiving? Well, come here and witness the finest operator in the world. He can copy 100 words behind, as I will show you.”
“Going up to Jack Carroll, who was receiving a special from Luke Fisher, at Omaha, Whitford grabbed Carroll’s hand, which he shook for two minutes, Fisher sending at top notch speed.
“Releasing his hand, Carroll took up a new sheet and began to copy just as if he had not been interrupted.
“‘Wonderful, wonderful,’ ejaculated the spectators, but we did not know that Jack had a time in squaring himself with Luke Fisher to get him to repeat the missing portion.”
“Yes, Ed, you were always on hand like warts when it came to going to the annual reunion of the Old Timers, too,” said Billy West, who arrived at this juncture, high hat and gold-headed cane.
“Glad to see you again, Bill,” shouted many voices.
“Gentlemen, let us quit shop talk for a few minutes and see what the latest is from the seat of the great European battle ground.
“I say, Mr. Chairman, can you tell me if Ethiopia has joined the allies,” questioned Jim Taylor, a recently arrived colored employe from Minneapolis.
“Yes, you bet; I could make out a battalion marching north and they were carrying the national flag of Ethiopia,” remarked Charlie Newton, as he sauntered in.
“What am the flag of Ethiopia?” asked Taylor.
“Why, it is a picture of a watermelon cut in halves on one side of the flag and a ham bone on the other side,” laughingly replied Newton, and a burst of merriment ensued.
“I have been practicing with mirrors,” began Moxon, “and I find that I can bottle up and concentrate enough of the sun’s rays to completely vaporize any intruding battleship 100 miles at sea. We turn on our searchlight, which is equal to a billion candle power and signal for her to turn back. Upon her refusal to do so, the bottled up energy of the sun is turned on and presently a smoke arises which in five minutes is lifted and nothing can be seen of the unfriendly man o’ war.
“I am in telepathic communication with my old partner, Jeff Hayes, who is still a resident of the terrestrial sphere, and we are able to convey much intelligence in this way to each other. I have already given him the dope on this new idea and you will find that the matter will be given the widest publicity on earth.
“I notice we have with us Col. Tally Mann, once of Sherman, Jack Taylor of Galveston, Ed Davis, David Flannery, Charlie Patch, Jim Stacey, Jack McDonald, Jimmie Rust, Jack Sinclair, Jack Graham and Phil Fall.”
At the mention of each name a cheer went up, each gentleman arising and making a graceful bow.
Bob Irwin, “Canada’s fastest,” put in an appearance now with a string of Dollie Varden trout which he stated he had caught over in the Hesperian canal.
“No, I did not subsidize any small boy, either,” warmly remarked Irwin, “for I am a fisherman from way back.”
“Yes, you used to catch catfish on the Mississippi below St. Louis,” said John Topliff as he bobbed to the front.
“I never contradict my chief operator; you taught me that stunt,” retorted Irwin, and all the St. Louis contingent laughed to the echo.
“I never liked that story Dick Babbitt propagated about David Flannery. You remember that one about ‘Jobs and Positions.’ I never liked it and I am going to tell Dick so.”
“I plead guilty,” said Babbitt, adding “and I throw myself upon the mercy of the Court.” This remark was made with mock solemnity, which evoked an “Aw, forgit it” from Davis.
The band, of which Ed Leloup was the leader, discoursed some stirring Southern melodies, after which the meeting took the form of a general social feast, many introductions being made.
There was no bickering, no quarreling, no riotousness on the planet Mars. Surely everyone was supposed to forget all these ere they could remain in peace in this delightful haven of rest.
Everything was so harmonious here that few cared to leave its delightful precincts until lapse of time urged him for a higher climb.
To the lover of music, music was everywhere; to the student of literature, the universe was an open book, always ready to instruct an earnest student; to the inquirer after the arts and sciences, Mars gives ample opportunity for study and advancement, but to the person who makes inquiry after the pleasures of a flesh, a big and emphatic “No” is given. Mars and its inhabitants are built on different lines.
Pardon being asked for and granted for this diversion, Chairman Moxon announced that the next meeting would be held under the auspices of the old Chicago office, which announcement created a whirlwind of applause.
Lara Boone and Hank Spencer then sang, “Oh Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight” and the meeting passed into history.
CHICAGO TAKES A HAND.
IT WAS Chicago day on the planet Mars and from every quarter of our nearest starry neighbor came flitting the individuals who at one time or another worked in the Chicago telegraph offices.
It did not matter what company was the employer, railroad or telegraph; all were as welcome as the flowers in May and all felt at home.
There were many familiar faces and it will be our privilege to mention many of the dear denizens of this happy stopping place, where all is peace and harmony and where our telegraph and railroad friends obtain their first taste of heavenly happiness.
Al Baker presided over the meeting and announced that James E. Pettit would be temporary secretary for the Society of the United States Military Telegraph Corps.
“Why not make John Brant secretary for the Old Timers’ association also; it would look so much like olden times,” said Col. John J. Dickey, and the suggestion evoked much applause and presently both gentlemen were at their desks wielding their pens just as they used to do on earth.
Al Baker’s Speech.
“They used to call me the ‘old preacher’ when I was night chief operator of the Chicago office,” began the president, Mr. Baker.
He was interrupted by Fred Swain, who remarked that they had often heard A. B. Cowan relate incidents showing his tendency toward Biblical lore.
“Yes, I have heard the story,” replied Baker. “It occurred on the occasion of a big storm in Chicago, but we are here today to talk ‘shop’ and I hope we will hear from many of our friends present, for we can tell something interesting, each one of us.
“I have a few preliminary remarks to make and I hope our beloved secretary, Mr. Brant, will report me as correctly as possible.
“I want to convey to the telegraph people on old Mother Earth that it is a psychological fact that if they would only make their profession a life-long business, similar to that of a doctor, dentist, lawyer or minister, their condition while on earth would vastly improve. They should take advantage of all the education obtainable in their line, through reading and studying text books on electrical matters and endeavor to qualify themselves for higher positions which are bound to come.
“It will not be long ere the prevailing company will build into Mexico, and, in fact, cover South America. Those fellows down there need somebody to show them how to telegraph and I guess there would be a great number of good tutors in New York, Chicago and St. Louis, and just fancy the revenue that would be derived.
“The opening of this southern country would give every ambitious and capable man in the service an opportunity of shining as a superintendent or in some other official capacity.
“You remember, boys, how they used to sing after the war of the rebellion a ditty about ‘Uncle Sam is rich enough to buy us all a farm.’
“Well, the telegraph company is rich enough to make all capable men a superintendent in South America.
“Of course you understand, boys,” he continued, “that the subject we are discussing will not interest us personally, for we are all now ‘about our Father’s business,’ but it is a happy thought to know that our loved ones on earth are going to be provided for.”
Mr. Baker’s remarks were greeted with much delighted applause and Secretary Brant stated that he had made a stenographic copy of the same, which he would hand to Fred Moxon, who in turn would transmit it by telepathy to his friend on the terrestrial planet.
“We will now listen to the Chicago Glee Club,” remarked President Baker, and vociferous cheers went up as the forms of Sam Bracken, Al Babb, Jim Delong and Harry Smith appeared, each bearing a harp of a thousand strings.
Some of these gentlemen could not warble a note while on earth, but were now students of music and harmony, and well did they acquit themselves, even indulging their audience in a little rag time.
Al Babb was particularly happy in his illustrative Indian war dances, scalp dances and the like.
Applications for membership into the Chicago branch of the Pleiades Club brought out many hundreds of new and old faces, and as time was no object to them it was decided to hold this as a continuous meeting until everyone was ready to acquiesce in adjournment.
“Boys, I am interested to visit the next ‘mile-post’ in our eternal flight,” remarked “Dad” Armstrong as he came on the platform to shake hands with President Baker.
“I would like to go up to Jupiter for a month or so,” continued Armstrong, but he was interrupted by Ed Whitford, who exclaimed, “Better go a little slow, Dad; you know if you climb upwards you cannot come back, for it is just like the butterfly and caterpillar. You have to keep a-going if you start,” and here Whitford paused and presently sang that good old hymn, “I’m a pilgrim, I can tarry but a while.”
Armstrong, to the delight of the club, concluded to tarry a while longer. “I notice we have Henry C. Maynard with us today,” said the president. “Will he kindly step to the front?” Cheers rent the air as Mr. Maynard’s familiar figure mounted to the platform.
“I say, Brother Maynard, do you remember the night you told me, along about eleven o’clock, that you could now dispense ‘without’ my services?”
The speaker was Billy Wallace, and his remark occasioned much merriment.
“Oh, yes, I remember very well,” returned Mr. Maynard, “but you know that I did not care so much for the queen’s English as I did to see the ‘C U B’ was. promptly handled on the overland.
“I am very glad to see this happy throng,” continued Mr. Maynard, “and I am perfectly willing to have ‘Chicago day’ last for an entire year, for I believe there would not be one dull moment during this period.
“I will have occasion to address you quite often during the meeting.”
“Can you tell me, please, who it was that got ‘and a city’ for ‘audacity’?” questioned J. DeWitt Congdon.
“I am the ‘guilty’ man, for I got that the same night that the young fellow in Galveston reported that Tom Brown, a negro, was found ‘quilty’ of murder,” exclaimed Charley Hazelton, who sat near “c g.”
“We will be glad to hear from Pete Rowe and listen to some of his wild and woolly experiences in Elko, Nev.,” said the president, “but we will hearken first to a song by Les Bradley, who will favor us with ‘Pat Clancey’s Shovel.’“ The song was rendered in the most inimitable style by Bradley.
PETER ROWE’S PROHIBITION SPEECH.
THE AUDIENCE at the meeting of the telegraph people assembled in session at the Pleiades Club on the planet Mars to listen to remarks from Peter A. Rowe and others, were quite on the qui vive in anticipation of something out of the ordinary and they were certainly well rewarded for their patient waiting.
Mr. Al Baker, who was presiding, introduced the speaker of the day, for “there is no night” on the planet Mars, and Mr. Rowe was well received.
“I have been asked to relate my experience out in the West, but I think that I would prefer to say something upon a subject nearer my heart,” Mr. Rowe began.
“I did go it some while on earth and were I inclined to be remorseful, I would be very unhappy indeed, but up here in the second heaven we have all learned that remorse is as much to be dreaded as is hate, malice, envy, revenge and a hundred more kindred vices.
“Every sin is forgiven as we turn from it and now I have nothing to regret for any shortcomings that I may have had while on Earth.
“To get back to my topic. I notice on the bulletin board that there is a connection between this mile post on our heavenly flight and my former friends on Earth and I would like to have your secretary quote my remarks for the benefit of those who are still tempted in the manner I was, while on Earth.
“I am rejoiced to know that the South has gone dry, and I am thankful, too, that the West is following in the same line, and were I again a legislator from Cook County, Ill., I would preach from the house-top and from the hilltop, the great good of national prohibition and I would not cease a moment till I made Chicago a ‘dry’ city. I feel that I would have the hearty thanks of the telegraph and railroad companies and also of all the telegraph employes once the bill became a law and all were inured to it.
“Our people on Mars are true blue and there is no insincerity to be found in our ranks. We have all been purged of that and we all feel the better for it.”
* * * * *
Mr. Rowe continued in his happy vein to relate his experiences while he was manager at Elko, Nev., when that office was a repeating point, his remarks evoking many merry rounds of applause.
He was very much in earnest in his statements on prohibition and his listeners were greatly interested, Mr. Fred Moxon taking the notes down in shorthand for the benefit of his earthly friends.
The band played, “Father, dear father, coom heim with me now,” and a bright little star was placed in Mr. Rowe’s crown, Mike Burke all the time whistling enquiringly, “Will there be any stars in my crown?”
“While you are on the subject of ‘lifting’ the craft, I wish some one of our gifted speakers would say a few words upon the ‘Telegraph and Telephone Life Insurance Association.’
“I notice the sentiment on the subject is general,” said Chairman Baker, “and that it is highly approved of by all of our friends assembled. Much good work along these lines is at present being done in the Chicago office, which I am proud to say never takes a back seat from any place when it comes to doing things right. The present Chicago agent for the Telegraph and Telephone Life Insurance Association, Mr. Edward F. Hatch, has many applications to his ‘wampum belt,’ as Hawkeye Bill would put it, and this same spirit should be more manifest all over the country. Just see what immeasurable good the association does.”
“All these remarks are well timed and I agree with the speakers, but let us have a little fun now. Can’t Sam Bracken get out his stalwart nine from the Chicago 1883 bunch and play W. H. Cummings of St. Louis a game of base ball?” Thus spoke Fred Catlin and many left the club room to witness the game, which was played with much spirit, Chicago, of course, winning with a decisive score.
It was. pleasant to note the absolute democracy of feeling pervading the denizens of Mars; there was no feeling of seeming superiority displayed by any one person over another; all were equal and on the same level and plane. Former superintendents were pleased to hobnob with their linemen and chiefs and operators linked arms like brothers and all differences and distinctions were wiped out forever.
Is it not too bad that such a feeling is impossible, or seems to be so, on Earth at the present time?
Conversation, visiting and “get acquainted” knots of telegraph men and women now ensued and it was good to notice the many familiar faces of those who came loitering along to take part in the happy meeting.
There was Emil Shape, so well known a few years ago in Milwaukee; George Brigham, from Toledo; John W. Moreland, from San Francisco; Commodore Haines, from Los Angeles; John Henderson, from Portland; John and William Grier, from Salt Lake; ex-manager Snider, from Cheyenne; Frank B. Knight, from Omaha; James Swan, from Minneapolis, and many others.
John Henderson, who was acquainted while on Earth with all of these gentlemen, was kept busy in introducing one to the other, his introduction being accompanied by a humorous sally. Mr. Henderson was in a very pleasant spirit and greeted the Grier brothers most affectionately, calling upon Tom Kehoe, Joe Hurley, Mike Burke, Mike Conway and W. B. Hibbard to come and take a seat close by where they could all talk uninterruptedly.
Oh yes, here is Joe Sears; the last time I saw him he was in Pioche, Nev., and here is George Millar from Austin, and James Farrell, from Carson, and Tom Booth and “Graphy” from Virginia City.
And now that we are all gathered together and have all the time that there is and we have no work to do at the office, we will enjoy ourselves to the utmost by relating our experiences for the benefit of those who are left behind, knowing that all of our remarks will be carefully chronicled in the Telegraph and Telephone Age through its special correspondent on the planet Mars, Fred B. Moxon.
Then followed a series of story telling, of experiences, humorous and pathetic.
The news had been received of the generous Christmas present given to all employes by the Western Union Telegraph Company, which fact occasioned many pleasant remarks from its former operators, accompanied also by a doleful remonstrance from the former stockholders of the company, who could not understand the occasion of this uncalled for extravagance.
A committee composed of Frank Jaynes, William B. Hibbard, Colonel J. J. Dickey and E. P. Wright, framed resolutions of appreciation to be transmitted to the president of the Western Union Telegraph Company, Newcomb Carlton, indicating the feeling existing among the former co-laborers now on the planet Mars toward that company.
The meeting is still in session.
CALIFORNIA ELECTS A PRESIDENT.
WHILE the telegraph boys of Chicago were enjoying themselves and making merry, a great noise was heard up the line, and a cloud of dust was discernible, acting as a precursor of the California contingent, who had just learned of the recent election on Earth and desired to share their honors with their brothers there.
“You’ve got to come to California if you want to elect a president,” exclaimed Commodore R. R. Haines, so long known to the fraternity during his life at Los Angeles.
“California creates wonders and now it is going into competition with Ohio and is developing presidents,” sang out James Gamble, and at the mention of his name, there came a mighty applause from all in the grand stand and bleachers.
“I am glad that California is diversifying its products, for if we are to give to the world only our product of native sons we will be having too much competition from among our oriental neighbors,” quoth Frank Jaynes, handsome and blithe as ever.
“Well, we have come to celebrate California’s part in the election of 1916 and let us do it up right,” interrupted Geo. Senf, “and I believe the Chicago club will excuse us for butting in.”
“Welcome, Gentlemen,” said President A. L. Baker, “and we invite you cordially to sit at our merry round table and partake of the intellectual feast which we always have to offer a brother telegrapher.”
Among the California contingent came a number who had visited San Francisco, tarried awhile and returned to the effete East. Some flippantly remarked that they “beat” it East.
Among this number were the following gentlemen: Jeff Prentice, John Moreland, Harry Converse, David Crawford, John Yontz, William Skinner, George Millar, James Farrell, William Cohen, W. J. Wallis and many other bright lights in the telegraph sky.
Dr. O. P. S. Plummer, the first telegraph superintendent in Oregon and dear old James H. Guild, were there hobnobbing and both bright and happy.
“I am figuring on getting up a telegrapher’s tournament up here on the planet Mars,” said Johnnie Henderson.
“Are you figuring upon giving your audience an exhibition of ‘slow’ sending?” asked Billy Dumars, but John denied the soft impeachment and declared that he believed the talent up in Mars would put the earthly inhabitants to the blush, and the idea was taken up and talked over until everyone was enthused. The day of the tournament was fixed for Washington’s birthday.
“I will show them how I used to send in the spring of 73,” said Marsh Greene.
“Yes, and I will give them an illustration of fast work, right off the reel, as I took it from C. F. Stumm for the edification of Professor Morse,” exclaimed Louis A. Somers, as he carelessly toyed with a very noticeable medal pinned to his coat lapel, bearing some mystic telegraphic symbols.
It being all settled about the tournament, its date and place, the club resolved itself into its original form and several hours were devoted to getting acquainted with the president-makers and welcoming them to this haven of rest.
“Bug” sending versus hand sending was taken up and discussed, the old-timer advocating the old style and giving his reasons therefor, but this was all dissipated when a coterie of “bug” men rallied to the support of their favorite weapon, giving some startling illustrations of the efficacy of their machine.
“It puts you on your mettle,” cried one. “You never know till you make the sense if it is going to be ‘pome,’ ‘home’ or ‘some.’ It keeps your brain active and working and does not allow you to get mentally lazy with your work, which, unhappily, is too much the case with all telegraph operators.”
“You have your nerve to make such a statement, but I really believe you are more than half right after all,” said George Baxter, “for I know myself that it is easier to sleep than to think.”
“Yes, and it is more blessed to send than to receive,” broke in Al Stoner, who had been an interested listener to the discussion.
“Yes, the ‘bug’ has come to stay until I have improved my flash light key, which will send and do its own receiving at the rate of 1,000 messages an hour,” interposed Nick Burke, and his audience smiled a little bit unbelievingly.
“We will have a song from H. C. Maynard,” but he asked to be excused, as he believed he was getting signals from the Earth.
“Oh, nothing but echoes from Verdun, you ought to know that,” said Albert J. Desson as he came in arm and arm with Dan C. Schull, both of Cleveland.
Some unthinking people may wrongfully accuse the writer of a seeming levity in dealing with the people who have gone before, but they are certainly in error, for that is furthest from his intentions.
Our once earthly friends dwell in a different thought, with different aspirations and desires, none of which is of the Earth, earthy. They retain only their happy state of consciousness, and have no remorse or nuts to crack, on this side of Jordan.
Much favorable comment was heard about the Christmas present given the employes by the prevailing earthly telegraph company and many complimentary remarks were made concerning the present organization and its management.
“The telegraph is in its infancy,” remarked Gen. Anson Stager, “and I have been taught many things I never dreamed of in my philosophy, Horatio, and I am willing to admit we were all asleep to the business end of the telegraph in 1876, but it is coming now and the only rival of the telegraph will be Uncle Sam and his fast mail.
“New usages will constantly be made of the telegraph, new innovations instituted, a more modern system of delivery will be found and speed will be added to efficiency and accuracy.
“I remember when we thought gross earnings of seven millions were startling and it is hard to realize that the present figures show nearly ten times that amount. Well, good luck go with it,” and Gen. Stager took William Orton’s arm for a stroll down to nature’s canal, hard by.
The San Francisco boys sang, “It is a long way to California,” and it seemed evident that they wanted to talk more about California’s share in electing a president than ordinary shop talk.
“Do you think the company will further increase the boys’ salaries in California because that state elected the president?” asked Bob Hamilton.
“Well, they certainly should, because there is nothing too good for California,” replied Ed. Fleming, who was on hand with Thomas Reynolds, taking in the sights.
“Sure thing,” said Johnny Lowrey, who strolled in at this time. “You are right, there is nothing too good for a native son.”
“Gentlemen,” said President Baker, “there is only one thing that we cut out up here on the planet Mars, and that is all mention of politics. Religion we will discuss at any time, because we know that religion is nothing more than getting acquainted with your Maker.”
“Those are my sentiments, Mr. President,” said D. W. Knapp, who had just arrived on a late California express and who proceeded to shake hands with the old San Francisco friends.
“I have much to tell you of an interesting character,” said President Baker, “but I find that the California boys have taken away most of our audience to go down to the canal to see the sights, so we will call this meeting temporarily adjourned.”
ECHOES FROM GOTHAM.
THE PLEIADES CLUB, of which so much has been written lately, seems to possess some value based upon the fact that it brings to the attention of the old and new-timers the names of former prominent telegraph people, those who excelled in the art of telegraphy and those who possessed qualities that made them shining marks in the eyes of their contemporaries. It is the intention of the author to cover those sections of the country where there were well-known members of the profession. Of course it must be remembered that the exceptional operators of ye olden days sooner or later gravitated to the large telegraph centers, such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Boston, San Francisco and a dozen other cities which have housed at one time or another the brilliant operators of the past, those who have left their impress on the fraternity that will not be effaced for many generations to come. These oldtimers have left their record in printers’ ink. The youngertimers, as they advance in years, become the old-timers of tomorrow. Thus history repeats itself.
The eastern coterie of members of the Pleiades Club without hesitation called upon Alfred S. Downer to preside over the gathering of the New York contingent. Manager Downer, who wielded the scepter of authority in the general operating room at 195 Broadway, New York, for so many years, was now on a level with those who worked the way wires in his office. His brother, David R. Downer, who was never known to utter a stronger swear word than “My stars,” was the assistant manager. He related that he had reprimanded hundreds of operators for making errors, then he himself was found guilty of putting down “Admiral Jones, Commander Nasty Yard, Brooklyn, N. Y.” He admitted that to the day of his retirement from the service this “Nasty” Navy error had haunted him. The incident was remembered by the old New Yorkers present, among them being Morris Brick, James H. Largay, David B. Mitchell, Leslie Bradley, J. H. Dwight, A. S. Brown, Thomas Kennedy, Thomas Dolan, Fred. W. Baldwin and many others. This last-named gentleman had fastened to his belt many practical jokes he had “pulled off” while on Earth. In fact, it was a dull day or busy one at the wires, whatever the case might be, when Fred. Baldwin failed to disturb the serenity of the otherwise calm atmosphere of the operating department with his mirth-exciting pranks.
Sometimes he was known as “Old Man Kav,” and it is to the credit of the latter that he coaxed every new arrival in the office to work extra the first day or night as the case might be for “Old Man Kav” without compensation. “Old Man Kav” may have been a myth but he was an expensive one to the new arrivals. There never was so much sickness or dire distress attached to anyone compared with the excuses advanced by “Old Man Kav” to work the new comers or rather introduce them to the New York fraternity, persuading them by carefully worded notes to work for him.
The New York force was large and it necessarily had its quota of cranks. When they became generally known as such their lives were made, to say the least, unhappy at times. John Lenhart frequently found the desk at which he worked fumigated with limburger cheese, but who performed the ceremony no one could ever find out.
Every new man on the force was instructed by note signed “Old Man Kav” to hand his worn-out pens and penholders to irritable Tom Kennedy, the wire chief, but to discover who issued such instructions was more than the office detective could find out.
No married operator in the New York force thirty or forty years ago was considered first-class until he had purchased in one of the suburban New Jersey or Long Island towns a home of his own. It was not a difficult task to him to figure how six good laying hens could yield a sufficient number of eggs, the profit on which would pay for his home in five years. One of these lightning calculating operators had drummed up quite a few customers for his fresh-laid eggs. He brought them to the office each morning, hid them away until noon, when he delivered them to his customers. It did not take long, “Old Man Kav” said, for him to size up the hen merchant’s tricks. He speedily made arrangements with a local egg dealer to furnish him with a few dozen eggs that had seen better days and some previous years. As the fresh eggs arrived each morning and the unsuspecting owner was busy at his wire, the old-time product was substituted for the strictly fresh variety. The reader can imagine the nature of the language that was exchanged during the following week between the embryo egg merchant and his customers, some of whom were officials of the company, more vividly than anything we can say. The office detective again failed to locate the guilty party and the egg merchant speedily went out of business.
Tom Finnigan, who barricaded the entrance to the operating department with his partly form, was a character different from anyone else that ever graced the New York telegraph ranks. His utterances were dry and crispy and served to keep the “good fellows” on the force supplied with ample material as a basis for their jokes. It was Tom’s duty to announce to the manager those at the door who wished to see him. One day a Texas operator was an applicant for a position. Tom reported his arrival to Manager Downer, who asked Finnigan if the fellow looked as though he was a good, fast telegrapher. Finnigan quickly responded “I think he is. He tells me he came up from Texas on a cyclone.” The manager, turning to Finnigan, said, “You have my authority to hire him.”
Chairman Downer was an attentive listener to all that had been said concerning his management and he nodded affirmatively as the old stories were retold.
It will be interesting to relate how the improvident telegraphers in the olden days spent their money. They were paid every Friday. With the extra work that was forced upon them they earned from $20 to $50 per week. On Friday night their suppers cost them two to three dollars; on Saturday night one and a half to two dollars and a half; on Sunday night a dollar to a dollar and a half; on Monday night from fifty cents to a dollar; on Tuesday night from twenty-five cents to fifty cents, and on Wednesday and Thursday nights, ten to fifteen cents. Frequently money had to be borrowed to pay for Thurs day’s meal, but as the office boys could be depended upon for a “touch” the old-timers never went hungry.
The formalities were brought to a close to give the former New Yorkers an opportunity to greet their old employer.
THE PLANET MARS ENJOYS A TELEGRAPHERS’ TOURNAMENT.
AS THE planet Mars has more than 600 days to its year, and as time is of no moment in that delightful abode, Washington’s birthday could be celebrated anytime convenient to the members of the Pleiades Club, and accordingly the telegraph tournament was scheduled to come off when all preparations were completed.
Such bustling, hurrying and skurrying was seldom witnessed on Earth and the telegraph man was in evidence everywhere. Visitors were apprised of what was in store and even the laity took a great interest in what was about to transpire. In addition to talent from the United States and Canada, there were applications from foreign countries of operators who had been noted in their profession in their respective lands.
The unanimous choice of a president was Fred Catlin, of New York, who demurred a little, as he hoped to be a participant or judge, but finally acquiesced, and was duly installed as president.
The committee of arrangements was composed of the following well known gentlemen:
R. H. Rochester, A. S. Brown, Dave McAneeny, J. H. Dwight, John Brant, Court Cunningham, Marion H. Kerner and D. Harmon. The judges were composed of the following: Madison Buell, G. W. Gardanier, W. B. Somerville, Belvidere Brooks, C. H. Summers, E. C. Cockey and J. C. Hinchman.
The usual exponents of “bug” and hand sending were present to demonstrate the advantages of their respective methods, but there were many present who had never heard of or seen the “bug” and were anxious to see its merits tested.
“I will be on hand with my first typewriter, constructed in 1868, and will undertake to show how I copied the president’s message that year,” said E. Payson Porter, and the Chicago members of the club applauded loudly.
“Yes, and I will bring my old register with me, that I used for so long when I was manager at Akron, Ohio, and show you how I copied so much which never came,” remarked ex-manager Allen, formerly of Akron.
“And I will give you an illustration how to read by the ‘back stroke,’“ said W. H. Kelsey.
“All right, gentlemen,” interrupted Fred Catlin, “we will be glad to hear from all, but we have to get down to business and appoint several important committees to carry out this good work.
“In addition to the usual programme in such cases, there is also going to be an illustration of ‘ham’ sending, also a demonstration of a beginner at the key.”
At this juncture, two young men entered the room, each carrying a typewriter and a Martin vibroplex, similar to those used upon the terrestrial planet.
“We are going to give a preliminary exhibition of what the youngsters can do with a ‘bug’ and ‘mill.’
“To be sure, it does not require as much activity or muscle to telegraph nowadays as it did formerly, when we were compelled to make twelve to eighteen copies with a stylus.
“We are now in an entirely different class than we were formerly and the results are greater than they used to be.
“The operator of twenty-five years ago was necessarily, in some respects, the superior of the present generation, but he could not possibly turn out the work that is being performed daily and hourly by his latter-day brother with such ease and speed.
“While our younger brothers are getting their instruments in order, we will rig up a Morse set and have W. L. Waugh give us an illustration of his beautiful sending while William T. Loper will demonstrate how he used to take fourteen copies of manifold with a stylus in the olden days in St. Louis.”
“Yes, I used to see Billy Loper do this when I was night chief in St. Louis and he certainly did it well,” said Charles J. Lawson, who sauntered in from the rear, when he heard Mr. Loper’s name mentioned.
While the audience applauded the expected treat, Messrs. Loper and Waugh squared themselves for the fray.
Like shot poured into a funnel, clicked the dots and dashes, Mr. Loper methodically and with the greatest ease copying the perfect Morse with his favorite stylus on fourteen manifold sheets, in his own beautiful characteristic writing.
For one hour and without a break, the twain worked fast but gracefully, much Phillips’ code being used and after counting the hour’s work, it was ascertained that two thousand eight hundred words had been transmitted.
Specimens of the work .were distributed among the admiring audience, who were loud in their praise of Mr. Loper’s copper-plate chirography and the sheets were given out as souvenirs of the occasion.
It was noticeable that after this exhibition, few of the operators from foreign countries enrolled themselves as competitors at the coming tournament.
“Let’s give the young fellows a show now,” said Fred Catlin, and the two young men previously mentioned, one named Smith, from Birmingham, Postal, and one Brown, from Atlanta, Western Union, came to the front.
The quick, jerky, “bug” sending seemed marvelous to some of the very old-timers and it seemed a little bit difficult for them at first to so adjust their brains to keep up with the merry jingle. The receiving operator, also, was doing some marvelous stunts.
While the sender was transmitting at top-notch speed, the Birmingham boy took out a cigarette, which he lighted and began to puff with as much sang froid as though he were in a down-town cafe, never missing a word or even a punctuation mark.
For one hour this great exhibition kept up, at the end of which time one hundred and thirty messages had been transmitted and copied without an error.
“This is splendid work,” said the president, “and shows clearly how the ‘bug’ and ‘mill’ have it on even the most famous old-timers. It shows plainly how mechanical devices supplant brain material, and after all these are god-sends to the latter day generation of operators.”
Everybody interested in the doings of the telegraph were talking of the day’s proceedings, commending the great work of the old-timers and marvelling at the speed and accuracy of the “up-to-the-minute” telegrapher.
Many new applications were received from those anxious to partake in the coming tournament, and files of back copies of the Telegraph and Telephone Age were looked over and read with the idea to conform with the usual modus of procedure on such occasions.
Everybody was on the qui vive, but all was harmony and a feeling of brotherly love pervaded the inhabitants of this joyous planet.
WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION ON THE PLANET MARS.
ALL OF the telegraph people residing on the planet Mars had gathered around in the grand stand to get a front view in the tournament which was scheduled to come off February 22, Washington’s birthday. There was no crowding or elbowing or pushing, as there was a place for everyone, and everybody was in his place.
A gigantic sounder was in the middle of the arena specially arranged so all could hear, and many good-natured jokes were told on this instrument while waiting for the big event to take place.
All ex-members of the profession were there and there were no goats or black sheep, and only joy and happiness prevailed. It did one’s soul good to see the forms and faces of the old linemen and battery men who were in the assemblage, all of whom were on the alert for line or battery trouble, just as they were erstwhile on Earth, and all seemed anxious to do something to make the tournament an affair never to be forgotten. They included such old-time linemen as George Melton, Harry Collins, Joe Keenan, Tom Dushane, John Crouch, Tommy Calahan, Delos Rich, Jimmy Brush and many others well known in their day.
At this juncture a great noise was heard across the river Styxx—the name is spelled with a double “x” on Mars. Shots from fowling pieces, small pistols, hurrahing and cheering of all kinds were distinguished behind a column of dust which, presently clearing away, disclosed to view an immense army of regulars and irregulars, some clad in uniform, bearing rifles, but mostly composed of a uniformed delegation bearing weapons of a more ancient date.
Fifes and drums were playing, adding inspiration to the scene. A herald appeared before the grand stand and announced that this being Washington’s birthday it was only immensely proper to pay the respects to that great personage, inasmuch as he was coming with his Continental troops to celebrate the day and participate in the tournament.
Just then the first column of General Washington’s army swung into line, bivouacking on the green sward fronting the grand stand. A long list of generals and presidents arrived in carriages, but Thomas Jefferson, with true Jeffersonian simplicity, appeared mounted on a milk white steed.
“First in war, first in peace,” began Abraham Lincoln, addressing the “Father” of his country, but he was interrupted by General Washington, who extended his hand, remarking “And I will shake hands with him who is first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Mr. Lincoln agreed to share that honor with his illustrious patron and friend, and the cannons belched forth the regulation presidential salute.
A little hatchet with a cherry handle was suspended from General Washington’s belt, a little after the style in which the Scotchman wears his paint brush.
Many old British generals were present but not in line. Marquis De Lafayette, smiling and full of bonhomme, went up and down the line, shaking hands with the presidents and soldiers alike.
The bulletin board on the planet Mars is on the azure sky and an electric pen propelled by wireless telegraph copies off in red ink, not unlike tongues of fire, indelibly all items of news.
George Washington and his heroes were reading the latest bulletins from the big war, and as they read a look of deep concern covered the faces of all. “I don’t like this late news,” said the general, “but I know my country is in safe hands and that President Wilson will be backed by congress in everything he may want to undertake. But this is not war, it is barbarism.”
“We fought like gentlemen,” ejaculated Lord Cornwall, and General Washington doffed his hat to acknowledge the compliment.
“It will be all right to delay giving any advice to President Wilson until he really needs it,” continued Gen. Washington, “but I wish to inform him that he has a mighty army up here in Mars who will appear at the proper time to lend aid and assistance to his efforts.”
“Come, my illustrious predecessor, come with me and after a little speech-making we will partake of the hospitality of the Pleiades Club.” Thus spoke Abraham Lincoln as he took the arm of George Washington for a stroll around the grand stand.
“I was very much interested in telegraphy and telegraph operators during my career at the White House,” Mr. Lincoln continued, “and I wish to introduce you to some of those I met and who will, no doubt, take part in this tournament, now about to take place.”
“We had nothing but ‘wig-wagging’ from the tops of high hills and some signal fires during my time,” said General Washington, “and this new invention by my dear friend, Professor Morse, came to serve his country in good stead, and I will be delighted to meet all your old telegraph friends.”
The two presidents then met the following old-timers who were in the United States’ service during the Civil War: H. A. Bogardus, W. K. Applebaugh, S. M. Brown, Madison Buell, W. W. Burhans, M. J. Childs, Eli Cole, C. D. Hammond, J. D. Truax, Isaac McMichael, J. La Bonte, G. H. Peck, W. B. Somerville, L. B. Spellman, O. K. Newton, F. A. Nash, Geo. Purdon, and many others.
President Fred Catlin of the telegraphers’ tournament decided it would be more patriotic to devote the day to entertaining the great presidents and generals in a different way and let the harder part of the programme come along later, and his views were accepted.
The members of the United States Military Corps were everywhere introducing and being introduced, Fred Loomis, George Baxter and Marion H. Kerner being particularly happy.
General Grant was surrounded by a throng of admirers. He proved himself not very strong on the “send,” but a most cheerful listener.
“When I was with Grant,” began Fred Loomis.
“When were you with Grant?” queried George Baxter.
“Oh, that is just in the song,” was the laughing reply, and even General Grant smiled as he remembered about the tramp “who was with Grant” just ten years before the war.
No attempt was made to give an exhibition of fast sending or receiving, as the United States Military Corps were too busy in showing attention to former officers, with whom now, however, they hobnobbed like college chums.
It was a glorious day, filled with enthusiasm, glowing speeches and patriotic sentiment.
General Washington’s old body-guard, “Sam,” was on hand and he took much delight in relating the oft-repeated story how he approached Mr. Washington one day, doffing his hat at the same time.
To everyone’s surprise, General Washington immediately took off his own head-gear.
“How is it that you take off your hat to a colored man?” was asked by the English ambassador.
“Because he took off his hat to me, and I will not permit even a negro to outdo me in politeness,” replied the general, and the little incident became historical.
SOME SPLENDID TELEGRAPHING.
“ARE YOU gwine to be a member of the Pleiades Club?”
“Yes, I is; indeed, I is.”
This refrain was sung with much gusto by the members of the telegraph club in session at the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle, on the planet Mars, on the afternoon of the day set apart for the telegraphers tournament. The song was set to the music of the “Old Lime Kiln Club” and was enthusiastically received.
From all points of the compass were arriving in balloons, dirigibles, aeroplanes, members of the craft anxious to be present at the big blow-out. Submarines, only on pleasure bent, however, came up the Hesperian canal, filled with the operators of the olden days; across the River “Styxx” arrived colony after colony of ex-telegraph officials, operators and linemen, but there was no elbowing to obtain a front seat.
President Fred Catlin looked magnificent as he called the vast assemblage to order. This took some little time, as there were many new arrivals and much interest manifested by those already in the Tabernacle to see who the newcomers were; there was also much visiting, good humor and hilarity, and everybody was happy.
“As a preliminary,” said Mr. Catlin, “I will take pleasure in giving our friends an illustration of how the Western Associated Press was worked in 1875. We will have Albert S. Ayres, whom you all knew as ‘Patsey’ Ayres, do the sending at Cincinnati and the following gentlemen will do the receiving: at Indianapolis, Milton Goewey; St. Louis, John W. McDonald of Texas; Louisville, Charles Newton; Memphis, Ed. Foote; Nashville, James U. Rust; Chattanooga, Jack St. Clair; New Orleans, Taylor Adams, and at Galveston, Alex. Sinnott.”
At the mention of each of these names, a shout of approval shook the audience, which indicated that all were well and favorably known.
“Patsey” Ayres had been fumbling with the key for several minutes, screwing it up until there was less than a thousandth part of an inch play, and then began a series of dots and dashes, fast and furious, but beautiful to listen to and like the music of a grand opera to the trained ears of the telegraphers present.
For an hour or more Mr. Ayers continued his tireless and musical performance on the key, but never once was it necessary for any of the receivers to break him. All of these operators were wizards with the stylus and many in the audience took back with them a manifold sheet as a souvenir of the occasion.
This was a particularly happy event and recalled to mind to many the great receiving of forty years ago.
“I find that you are so much pleased with this event that I shall take pleasure in giving you an illustration of how ‘C. U. B.’ was sent over the Overland in early days from Chicago,” said the president, “and I have called for the following gentlemen to officiate:
“J. De Witt Congdon will do the pitching in Chicago and the following will do the receiving at their respective offices: ‘Dad’ Armstrong at Omaha, John Wilkie at Cheyenne, George Merrifield at Denver, Edward C. Keeler at Ogden, Jack Wolfenden at Salt Lake, P. A. Rowe at Elko, Davey Crawford at Virginia City, Joe Wood of Boston and E. H. Beardsley at Sacramento, George Bowker and John Lowrey at San Francisco, John Donnelly at Los Angeles, Billy Leigh and G. W. Thurman at Portland, Sam Mcintosh at New Westminster, B. C, and John Henderson at Victoria, B. C.
“Gentlemen,” said Mr. Catlin, “this is a long circuit and you see you can have any kind of weather you desire, from extreme cold to the torrid zone, almost, but this never interferes with a good operator, and now the performance will begin.”
While Mr. Congdon’s sending was not as beautiful as was that of Mr. Ayres, it reached each point from the extreme northwest down to the region of Catalina Island, each dot and dash arriving at its terminal in perfect shape.
This was certainly a great feat and it was much talked about by the happy visitors.
There was some delay in making the preparations and before the main event was reached it was suggested by Hank Bogardus that the business be suspended for the time being, so that all could witness a game of base ball about to open on the Elysian Fields, at the rear of the tournament hall. “Those base ball enthusiasts,” said Bogy, “will make such a noise that it will be impossible to hear our instruments in the hall, and I for one do not want to have the beautiful Morse that will be in evidence drowned out.”
All agreed to the suggestion and forthwith there was a parade from the hall to the ball grounds of famous telegraphers that shone in the earthly telegraph firmament in years gone by.
It was interesting to hear the remarks made by these former “knights of the key” as the different plays were made, showing plainly that they had not lost any of their former enthusiasm for the national game.
“Who is the manager of the office on the grounds?” inquired Billy Blanchard. “Bring him up here so he can enjoy the game with us,” but before that official could be found and Billy’s request carried out the game had finished and the telegraph crowd returned to the hall to take up their work where they left off. When they got back and seated it was evident that they were hardly in the right frame of mind, after the excitement over the base ball game, to resume the details of their own work, so President Catlin said that as there was no hurry to finish the work in hand he suggested that the tournament be adjourned until the next day. This would give all hands a chance to get over the effects of their base ball experience and be able to concentrate their thoughts upon the more important work in hand.
This suggestion was gladly accepted and all filed out and boarded a canal craft for a ride down one of the Martian waterways in the beautiful moonlight.
CLEVELAND DAY ON THE PLANET MARS.
THE BULLETIN board, which was the azure blue sky of Mars, contained the names of many new arrivals by fast express train from the terrestrial planet. These bulletins were seared into the bright sky by an electric pen wielded by wireless telegraph, which left an impression plainly visible and legible to all on the planet, and as there is no slumber or tired feeling on the planet Mars, all of its sojourners were on the qui vive in anticipation of meeting old friends.
“Ah! There’s Nelson A. Buell, of Cleveland, Ohio,” cried out A. H. Vanduzer, and instantly the Cleveland fraternity marshalled into line, as one great body, to welcome the arrival of one of its loved members while on Earth.
It was easy to recognize the face and form of the former manager of the Cleveland office, with his Napoleonic face, from which radiated love and kindness for his brother man.
There was a long list of friends and former associates to greet Mr. Buell, operators, linemen, clerks and messengers being in the gathering.
Among those assembled to greet the newly arrived were the following:
E. P. Wright, A. H. Vanduzer, Chas. H. Lapp, L. A. Somers, A. J. Desson, Nick Kerver, C. F. Stumm, Geo. T. Lowe, George Phillips, S. B. Roberts, G. H. Wadsworth, E. T. Tindall, O. A. Gurley, E. C. Stockwell, W. R. Williams, Richard Babbitt, D. C. Shull, J. N. McNamara, Marshall S. Green, Thomas Callahan, John J. McCart, George E. Hinman and his brother Walter, W. H. Eckman, Jas. P. McKinstry, George W. Baxter, Dan R. Francis, Harry Collins, George Melton, George Winston Patteson, Frank G. Beach, W. H. Spencer, Ed Schemerhorn, Hank Cowan, Charlie Phillips, Ed. C. Jenney, Ed. B. Beecher, J. H. Wade, Anson Stager, Wm. Hunter, Charlie Gorham, Hank W. Stager, Tom Miles, Thos. H. Gould and others.
Many telegraph people from adjacent cities were also in evidence and such dear old faces as Zeke Butman, of Fremont, Ohio; Dewitt C. Hill, of Painesville, Ohio; William Bryant, of Erie, Pa.; Ed Burke and P. F. McCarthy, of Sandusky; John A. Townsend, of Dunkirk, N. Y.; Frank Ross and John Owens, of Columbus, Ohio; Henry W. Wynkoop, of Crestline; Wm. Kline, Jr., Charles O. and George M. Brigham, of Toledo, and Mark Luce, of Titusville, Pa.
Mr. BuelPs arrival was hailed with much delight and when he announced that the next meeting of the Old Time Telegraphers was to be held in Cleveland, the enthusiasm became greater, for all remembered the previous meeting of that Association in the Forest City in 1886 and the good time everyone had upon that occasion.
“I will never forget the ride to Rocky River,” said Mr. Stumm.
“And I will always remembers the trip to Put-in-Bay and Kelly’s Island,” remarked O. A. Gurley.
All of the members had something pleasant to relate and all gave out the hope that their wishes in the matter could reach their former earthly colleagues.
“That matter will be attended to in the highest style of the art, as I will write the subject up and hand it to Fred Moxon for transmission to his earthly partner,” said George Hinman, as he proceeded to sharpen his pencil.
Late copies of Telegraph and Telephone Age, brought to the planet Mars by Nelson A. Buell were passed around and eagerly scanned and the doings of the Pleiades Club were favorably commented upon.
“While the secretary of the Old Timers, John Brant, is reading felicitous telegrams at the Cleveland meeting from terrestrial friends, I hope it will not be amiss for us to extend our congratulations to that honorable body and I suggest that a committee of the Cleveland Old Timers now here assembled be appointed to draft a suitable and loving message for our friends to be read on the occasion of the 1917 reunion.”
Thus spoke E. P. Wright, and cheer after cheer greeted his suggestion and Gen. Anson Stager, Jeptha H. Wade, Frank G. Beach and Thomas Callahan were appointed such committee, which showed the democratic spirit of the assemblage.
“I believe that I will send a private wireless message to my old friend, Allen A. Briggs, and tell him what a nice place it is up here,” said Hank Stager, and many others fell into line to do the same stunt.
Presidents Garfield and McKinley, both members of the Ohio Society, stopped to read the bulletins and to shake hands with Nelson Buell, whom the late presidents remembered particularly well for his ever-gentle courtesy when they met in the telegraph office.
“We will watch with keen interest the occurrences at the next Old Timers’ meeting, and while not regretting being present, we will extend our hearty congratulations to our worthy brothers in session.” This seemed to be the consensus of opinion, heartily expressed, which was handed to Mr. Moxon, with the remark, “More to come.”
And so it appears that the doings of our earthly brothers are being solicitously watched over by those engaged in the same line of business and who have gone before us, and we are never for a moment left alone, even to our innermost thoughts and desires.
The railroad superintendents of telegraph as well as the commercial superintendents are forming an association on the planet Mars and a report of the meeting and the names of those present will be the topic of a future chapter in the Pleiades Club series.
PLANET MARS ENTERTAINS RAILROAD TELEGRAPH SUPERINTENDENTS.
THERE was a large number of sailing craft on the Hesperian canal, on the planet Mars, all headed in the same direction and all evidently bound on the same mission. There were also some small steamers which kept up a fusillade of whistles extending “73” in Morse signals to the other craft. On board these vessels there was a lively lot of men, with a fair sprinkling of ladies, all beaming with smiles and good nature. This gay crowd was en route to attend the gathering of the railroad and commercial superintendents of telegraph which was booked to occur April 22.
The meeting was to take place in the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle and everybody was asked to join, for as I mentioned before, there is no class distinction on the planet Mars. There was a long list of names and a long array of forms and faces very familiar to the denizens of Earth.
The first one to alight from the steamer was Chas. W. Hammond, whose once serious face was now wreathed with smiles and good humor. He stopped to shake hands with his many friends who gathered around him and to crack some of his old jokes with them, for he is as dearly loved on the planet Mars as he was on Mother Earth.
“Hello, there, Charlie,” exclaimed James W. Stacey, extending his hand to Hammond. “I have not seen you since you came down to Houston to visit,” and the first superintendent of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe telegraph system smiled at his former colleague. Merry sallies passed between these gentlemen and the crowd proceeded up the little hillock to the Tabernacle.
“Well, if there is not my old friend and patron, Henry W. Wynkoop, all the way from Crestline, Ohio, and O. H. Booth from Mansfield, Ohio,” and both gentlemen, arm in arm, bowed their acknowledgments to a host of their former co-workers.
And here we have still another Ohio railroad superintendent as the form of Wm. Kline, Jr., came down the line accompanied by George A. Beach. Mr. Kline was for many years with the Lake Shore at Toledo, Ohio, and has graduated more first class operators from his road than any other superintendent in the country, all of whom esteemed and loved their chief.
George A. Beach, also from Toledo, where he spent so many years with the Wabash Railroad, accompanied by Joseph Keenan was surrounded by a number of old friends and colleagues.
Frank Vandenburg, from the Southern Pacific, San Francisco, and Col. John J. Dickey, of the Union Pacific, were recounting the happy days spent on the Pacific Coast.
“Yes, I remember how you favored big batteries, big relays and big operators,” ejaculated Col. Dickey, addressing Vandenburg.
“Yes, and I recollect how you used to like to attend the yearly gatherings of the old-timers,” returned Vandenburg, with a broad smile.
“Right you are, and you can see that I am doing business at the old stand,” came from Col. Dickey as he halted to shake hands with W. B. Hibbard and J. C. Sheldon, who were passing along in an automobile.
It was a great pleasure to witness the meeting between Harry C. Hope and U. J. Fry, “the former of St. Paul and the latter of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul road at Milwaukee. Mr. Hope was never a speechmaker but he is certainly a most delightful and entertaining singlehanded talker.
Mr. Fry was in his usual kind and gentle mood and made inquiries for the many gone before whom he was anxious to meet.
E. J. Little, from St. Paul, a recent arrival, accompanied Messrs. Hope and Fry around the Tabernacle, shaking hands with old friends. Mr. Little brought the latest telegraph news from the Earth, which was listened to attentively.
Many old commercial superintendents whose names are historical with the telegraph now came along in automobiles to take part in the meeting.
Of course there was the revered S. F. B. Morse, father of the telegraph, who received a great ovation. There was C. H. Haskins, so well known to the old Chicagoan, Col. J. J. S. Wilson, so long with the Western Union at Chicago; I. McMichael and James Swan of Minneapolis, C. O. Rowe of Pittsburg, E. P. Wright of Cleveland, L. C. Baker of St. Louis, Frank G. Beach of the Atlantic and Pacific, Cleveland; David Flanery of New Orleans, George H. Usher of Atlanta, Ga.; C. A. Darlton of Washington, Asa R. Swift of Chicago, S. A. D. Forristall of Boston, Sam S. Bogart, Jesse H. Bunnell and E. G. Cochrane of New York, and George M. Dugan of Tip Top, Ky.
The smiling face of James H. Guild, who was superintendent for the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company’s telegraphs for so long during the pioneer days of Oregon and Washington, was much in evidence. He was surrounded by a happy throng of his old boys, who were relating all the latest news which came up from the Earth. Mr. Guild had always been a great exponent of total abstinence and he expressed much pleasure to know that both Oregon and Washington had gone dry. Many of the other superintendents readily gave their “ok” to Mr. Guild’s views.
Frank Jaynes, James Gamble, George Ladd, R. R. Haines, Peter Lovell and others of the Pacific Coast were busily engaged in making the day pleasant for all those in attendance and in this they were cheerfully assisted by their brothers from the East.
A committee composed of Henry C. Hope, U. J. Fry and Wm. Kline, Jr., was appointed to draft a telegram of congratulations to be extended the president of the Association of Railway Telegraph Superintendents, soon to convene in Washington, D. C.
Copies of Telegraph and Telephone Age containing the news of the passing of Charles A. Tinker were read with much interest and a committee was appointed to watch the Cannon Ball Express train to welcome that gentleman’s arrival on the planet Mars.
The meeting is still in session and it will continue to be for a day or two, after which there will be the usual excursion over the little planet, all to be wound up by a magnificent banquet.
We hope to receive more particulars of the doings of the meeting for future publication.
CHARLES A. TINKER ARRIVES ON THE PLANET MARS.
THE BRIGHT azure sky on the planet Mars, which serves as a bulletin board for its whilom dwellers, was covered with news from Mother Earth and the wireless electric pen was busy at work transcribing more items of interest to the sojourners.
News from Washington announcing the declaration of war excited some anxiety and apprehension and each article was read and debated upon by everyone. Secretary Fred Moxon was kept busily engaged in deciphering the telepathic messages from his earthly friend and arranging them for the bulletin board.
“What, ho!” he cried, “here is something new,” as he copied off the announcement of the passing of Charles Almerin Tinker.
“I dare say Mr. Tinker will not delay in climbing the Horeb Heights and he is most likely to arrive on the Thunderbolt Express, which is due tomorrow,” ejaculated Moxon, “and I believe that I will immediately bulletin the event, knowing that there will be many who will want to be among the first to welcome him to our Elysian home. President Lincoln and Secretary Edwin M. Stanton will want to meet their old friend and comrade; besides, there is a long list of members of the old United States Military Corps who will be on hand when the express train arrives.”
A bulletin was accordingly indicted chronicling the passing of Mr. Tinker and announcing his expected arrival on the morrow, which attracted much attention.
A regiment, bearing banners with the legends, “Spirit of 1865,” “The United States Military Telegraph Corps,” etc., accompanied by several bands of music playing stirring airs, came down the line under the leadership of Col. Marquis D. Crain. The regiment was composed of admirers of Mr. Tinker and were mostly members of the United States Military Telegraph Corps, and all were eager to greet their former colleague.
Among those who were formed in line were the following: James E. Pettit, C. Fred Loomis, Hamilton Young, Ed P. Whitford, Thomas T. Eckert, Samuel Bruch, Jesse H. Bunnell, W. K. Applebaugh, C. D. Hammond, J. C. Van Duzer, Dennis Doren, Anson Stager, G. M. Brush, Eli Cole, H. W. Cowan, J. E. Gamble, Patrick Mullarkey, Douglass Kent, G. D. Sheldon and many others.
“I would like to be among those to escort my young friend to our Tabernacle,” remarked President Lincoln, who could not think of Mr. Tinker in any other light than being “young,” forgetting for the time being that he had not seen the gentleman for more than a half century. But time does not count in eternity. “I remember him so well, and I used to be greatly pleased to call him and his immediate colleagues ‘The Sacred Three.’“
“See, what is that in the sky that looks like a comet?” was asked on all sides. “If this is the Thunderbolt Express it is twelve hours ahead of its record,” and everybody hastened down to the spacious plaza where the big air machine from Earth made her landing.
There was no screeching of whistles or ringing of bells, or cries from the omnipresent hack and cabmen. Instead of such distracting noises came the sound of many voices in patriotic melody, and in the midst of tuneful airs of “Hail Columbia” Charles A. Tinker was welcomed to a temporary abiding place on the planet Mars.
The meeting between President Lincoln and his former confidential operator was joyous, but not affecting, for there is only joy in this haven.
Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Tinker locked arms for a stroll, for both had much to talk about concerning past events. Mr. Tinker verified many of the reports already inscribed on the bulletin board and his patriotic words and spirit evoked a tumult of applause.
The evening was given over to a social demonstration, many of Mr. Tinker’s contemporaries and former employes being in line to say some welcoming words to their old friend.
A committee of Confederate telegraphers during the Civil War, composed of George Ellsworth, David S. Ryan, J. C. Hueston, C. C. Chute, Barney Hughes, David Flanery, J. B. Tree, M. W. Barr, J. W. Kates and others, came around to pay their respects to Mr. Tinker and all distinctions and differences were forgotten.
General Grant, minus his once ever-present cigar, and the noted Sherman brothers, William Tecumseh and John, and many others of note, made an informal call on Mr. Tinker and bid him welcome.
Fred B. Moxon, whom Mr. Tinker recognized as having once been a page in the White House, shook hands with the great cipher operator, Mr. Moxon presenting Mr. Tinker with a deadhead pass over his telepathic wires to Earth.
“This looks good to me,” said Mr. Tinker. “I only hope, in using it, I will not be getting into trouble with the Interstate Commerce Commission.”
“Never fear for that,” said Charlie Hammond, who called to greet his old chieftain. “When you get rested I will take you down the Mow Pack from St. Louis to Houston, Tex., in my private car ‘Telegraph,’ and I will give you a life-long pass over the route, and lifetime here means eternity, if you want to remain here.”
Mr. Tinker remarked, like St. Peter, that “It is good to be here,” and the whole assemblage replied by a fervent “Amen.”
These little spheres are peopled by ex-inhabitants of the Earth, who got tired of their long journey and desired to tarry on the way.
Mr. Tinker recognized some faces in passing, but as he was on a thorough express train he could not stop to exchange greetings.
The day was spent in a patriotic manner, many eloquent addresses being made by former statesmen and warriors, and soul-inspiring melodies filled the air from all sides.
Truly, it was a never-to-be-forgotten day and even the oldest inhabitant of this delightful place, Methusaleh by name, voted it to be a red letter day in the history of the planet Mars.
TOM EDISON’S INVENTIONS APPLAUDED ON PLANET MARS.
THERE is no way in which material things can be smuggled into the sacred precincts of the planet Mars. There is no gold, silver or paper money, and nothing to buy, even if one possessed the money, for there are no material pleasures or enjoyments in this delightful spot.
Everyone is on a higher and more ennobling plane and it is only the few who still thirst after the lusts of the flesh who are rendered unhappy, but these are not quite purged of their earthly desires.
It was announced upon the ever-ready bulletin board, viz., the bright firmament of Mars, by the usual magic touch of the wireless wand, that there would be an entertainment given at the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle, the chief feature of which would be a phonographic concert, to be followed by an exhibition of perfect Morse sending. There would also be an exhibition of “ham” sending and a rendition of a scene supposed to have taken place on “Old No. 4 East” upon Mother Earth in the early 70s.
The records were made by George W. Conkling, the past master of rapid transmission, who very recently joined the Pleiades Club, and Secretary Moxon did not inform his audience how he acquired the records, believing his duties did not extend to giving out state secrets.
Many thousands gathered around to hear the music, and it was certainly worthy to note that the clamor was for the patriotic national anthems. When the “Star-Spangled Banner” was rendered, everyone arose to his feet, many so-called foreigners also, thus showing their respect and admiration for the flag.
This preliminary was the beginning of the real event of the entertainment, and when the dots and dashes came humming over the talking machine much enthusiasm ensued.
“Puts me in mind of the time when I worked the Kansas City duplex alongside of Ed. Foote, with Paul Bossert and Jim Delong at the other end,” said James B. Coulter.
“Yes, it sounds like the way Adam Beidler used to try and paste Emil Shape, on the first Milwaukee wire,” ejaculated Harry McGill, who was an interested spectator and listener.
“I really believe that this talking machine is the same as the one we see illustrated in Telegraph and Telephone Age, and which I was going to purchase just shortly before I took my long flight,” remarked Wm. H. Magehan, of St. Louis, a late arrival.
Selections from the talking machine were again in order, and each individual stated his preference of pieces to be played, and they were courteously taken care of.
Mike Tully asked to have “My Wild Irish Boy” played; Charlie Newton designated “My Old Kentucky Home” as his choice, and Lara C. Boone gave “St. Louis-Louis-Louis” as his favorite, all of which were rendered in the highest style of the art.
Joe Anderson, of Buffalo, would not be content until he had listened to “John Anderson, My Jo-John,” and Billy Thurman laughingly remarked that the occasion put him in mind of the summer evenings in Oregon along in 1883.
Everybody voted the entertainment a big success and all expressed a desire to have a repetition of the programme very soon.
Timothy Collins, who was one of the “Great 8” in Omaha, and who later became a guardian of the peace in Buffalo, passed up the sun-kissed walk, whistling “A Policeman’s Life is Not a Happy One,” and Court Cunningham suggested that record should be procured so Tim could get the right swing to the air, which suggestion was acceded to.
“These talking machines and the telegraph records beat those old harps we used to hear talked of in the Bible,” whispered Dick Tubman to his friend, Sam Cassidy, but the latter scouted the remark, declaring that the music of a jewsharp could not be excelled, and to verify his statement Sam gave a demonstration of an artist playing the jewsharp, which was received with applause.
“I don’t feel like criticizing your choice of music,” said John Leatch, recently of San Francisco, “but you really should turn back to the stirring melodies of California when they sang ‘Empty is the Cradle, Baby’s Gone.’“
“What a chestnut John Leatch has plucked,” echoed Captain James R. Dennis, as he smiled complacently at his old-time colleague.
“Get your partners for Lancer’s quadrille,” came in stentorian tones from the master of ceremonies pro tern, A. R. Pippitt, and many ladies, once familiarly known to the fraternity in Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Omaha, San Francisco and other places throughout the United States, joined hands with their brother operators and were presently whirling on the green sward to the sweet strains of Strauss’ Blue Danube waltz, which followed the more formal square dance.
The music was rendered by the miniature talking machine which had been entertaining the company all evening with songs, band melodies, telegraph records and now came in to be used for dance music.
It was surely a lovely scene and everyone in the vast assemblage had something nice to say about the great wizard of modern times, who has added so much, not only to the comfort of all mankind, but has found it practicable to have every household possess an instrument of joy forever, which will make life on the farm, the shepherd’s hovel, the Indian camp fire, in fact, every place in this vast world, more delightful by the music and delineations reproduced by the modern talking machine.
It was ascertained from Secretary Moxon that the latest advices from Mr. Edison showed he had retired to the top of Pike’s Peak, to be alone with nature and to solve some abstruse problems, and, understanding the vigils of the great inventor, Hankus Cowanus, a knight errant of the key, was detailed to signal the peak in hope of receiving some intelligence from him.
“You can’t do it,” said Fred Moxon. “Your sending never did carry from Chicago to Cincinnati, even in your palmy days. Just leave it to me and you will have an ‘extra’ out next week which will tell you Mr. Edison knows every desire of your little heart and he is going about his Father’s business.”
The matter was allowed to rest there and we will get more reports from these wonderful people later.
DEBUT OF HENRY WARD BEECHER ON PLANET MARS.
IT WAS a bright, intelligent lot of men and women who called upon Secretary Fred B. Moxon, on the planet Mars, quite recently.
The spokesman, Ernest W. Emery, who had in his possession half a year’s files of Telegraph and Telephone Age, addressed Mr. Moxon.
Ernest Emery Heard From.
“We are no kickers,” he began, “but Charles A. Tinker just gave us all these late copies of the Age, and we notice that among the records of the club, of which you are secretary, you never vouchsafe a kind word for any of the eastern boys or girls. There is nothing right about this, and you must admit it. Our friends down there on the Earth are as interested to hear from us, as are the survivors in the Windy City or the dwellers on the Nebraska prairies.”
“Right you are,” replied Mr. Moxon, “and I do not think anyone is to be blamed for it. Washington is the city where I was born and bred and it fills a deep place in my heart, but the club is still young and my correspondent is covering the ground systematically, and you will all be heard from. Indeed, you will all have a chapter in the very near future, and if you will give me a little ‘dope’ on some of our present members who are bashful, I will get you all in excepting your photographs, very soon.”
Peter DeGraw, Ham. Young and Ernest Emery then locked arms for a walk down the Rue for the purpose of interviewing other old members of the guard from Washington and procuring additional data.
“Hello, there’s Bob Bender, newly arrived and looking as fresh as a clam. He was an attendant at the recent reunion of the Old Timers’ Association in New York and ought to be full of good information. Let’s stop him and get the news.”
Bob Bender was delighted to greet his old friends again and listened with much interest to the experiences of his companions and, in turn, gave them the latest news from Washington.
“Yes, George C. Maynard is there, looking as noble as ever, and Judd Thompson, C. F. Thompson, H. McKeldin, John H. Miller and Dennis Brown are still in the harness. Washington has gone dry.”
Mr. Bender went on to say that he had been over to New York recently, but as there was going to be a New York chapter in the Pleiades Club very soon, and also a Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore number, he did not care to spoil a good story by anticipating the future.
Mr. Bender locked arms with his comrades in their interesting walk, and as they passed Aeolianville they stopped to shake hands with William T. Loper, who was being entertained by that most wonderful orator, Henry Ward Beecher.
The quartette, composed of Messrs. Emery, DeGraw, Bender and Young, stopped for a minute. They had overheard some “shop talk.”
“Yes,” Loper was saying, “you are the only fellow who ever rushed me. Don’t you remember your sermon on ‘Agreeing with your enemy,’ and none of us could keep up with you? I came nearly throwing up my job on that very occasion.” It was stated for the benefit of those who were not acquainted with the facts that each Sunday Mr. Loper went from Washington to New York to copy Henry Ward Beecher’s sermon. He then went to the telegraph office at 195 Broadway, New York, and the sermons were telegraphed from his note book to the principal papers in the United States by Mr. Loper himself, who was one of the finest operators as well as stenographers of his day, and one of the few shorthand men who could copy Henry Ward Beecher.
“Hi, hi, 73,” came from the merry four and Loper smiled all over, while Beecher asked what was meant by “73.”
Later in the day Fred Moxon interviewed his morning visitor and made inquiries about the Cassidy boys, James P. and John S., and many other of his boyhood friends still on Earth.
“We will have a Washington day very soon and we will invite all of our old friends from near-by and I hope that each city will get up a similar demonstration, as these meetings are all for the good, and as the records of the same will be printed in Telegraph and Telephone Age, it will be a great comfort for our surviving friends to read of the good times we are having up here.”
“When I was in the Washington office,” said Ham. Young, “it gave me great pleasure to assist our boys through their difficulties, and make their lives less burdensome, and it now makes my heart feel good to see those who have passed from Earth to Mars enjoying their wellearned rest. The Washington boys all partake of the nature of the ‘Father of his Country,’ whom we have all met in this ethereal mansion on various occasions, and are proud to be identified with so distinguished a gentleman, though we are all on a level here.”
P. V. DeGraw Speaks.
“Washington is very different now to what it was years ago when I used to rattle off the Associated Press news,” chimed in Vory DeGraw. “We had no multiplexes and page printers those days and each man was an artist at the key. I have nothing but the happiest recollections of my old telegraph friends in Washington, several of whom have recently joined the throng in this abode of rest and happiness.”
Ernest Emery’s eyes sparkled with greater brilliancy than ever as he heard the names of his old-time Washington friends mentioned. “I hope that ‘Washington Day’ will be an event worthy of the great city and its associations,” he said. “Being the capital of the nation the best men in the telegraph profession exist there, and those now here will enter into the festivities of the occasion with the greatest of pleasure, when their lives in that city are recalled and rehearsed. All will have something pleasant to relate.”
THE MAGNETIC AND MORSE CLUBS ENTERTAIN.
MUCH activity was being displayed by the New York members of the Pleiades Club on the fields surrounding the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle, and the air reverberated with the sound of the hammer. This activity was being manifest in the construction of old-fashioned balloons, shambling dirigibles and the more graceful aeroplane.
Of course it was really not necessary for the spirits on the planet Mars to have any such slow means of locomotion but the idea seemed to keep busy and active and be entertaining to their friends.
The air craft was unique in appearance and novel in design, and would have been considered marvelous on Mother Earth.
Many hundreds of ex-New York telegraphers were on the plaza, engaged in more serious conversation than was generally their wont. The interest centered on the war and the devastation being created by the U-boats.
“I have the greatest confidence and hope in the ability of Tom Edison to cope successfully with this menace,”’ said Biff Cook, “just as he has mastered many another difficult problem. I have no doubt that even now his keen brain has invented a device to offset the machinations of the submarine. I don’t like to see our American boys engaged in this strife and hope that Uncle Sam’s entrance into the arena will have the moral effect of bringing on the hoped-for peace,” and “Biff” sat down after prolonged applause.
The New York Aeroplane Club invited their friends for a whirl through space, their object being to try and meet the “Thunderbolt Express,” which was expected hourly bearing George W. Conkling.
Some hundred miles down the line, the “Thunderbolt Express” was stopped and Mr. Conkling stepped aboard the dirigible “Gotham” (Tom Ragen, commander), where he was saluted by whistles laden with “73,” etc.
Mr. Conkling was pleased with his reception and the evening was spent in listening to the latest news from Mother Earth as delivered by America’s fastest telegrapher.
“There is going to be a meeting of the Magnetic Club tonight in the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle and you are all invited to come and have a good time.”
The speaker was John W. Mackay, and as his voice rang out in hospitable notes, a tumult of applause broke out on every side, which assured a full house.
The irrepressible John W. Kelly promised to be on hand to entertain the gathering as “only Kelly can.”
Former telegraph presidents, general superintendents, construction superintendents, linemen, managers, operators, chiefs and wiremen all promised to take part in the banquet which was destined to be a never-forgotten affair.
Music was the feature of the banquet and all the patriotic pieces were played and encored to the echo.
J. W. Kelly was more than usually at home and his songs and jokes kept the audience in a roar.
Addresses were made by the following gentlemen: Belvidere Brooks, Alfred S. Brown, “Biff” Cook, Charlie Parr, Tom Dolan, A. E. Sink, Jimmy Hennessey, Ed. Delaney and others.
“We have had such a nice time this evening and we have all been very much entertained,” said Belvidere Brooks, “and as none of us are tired, supposing we take an air flight in our machines by way of recreation, and when we return the members of the Morse Club will be very glad to have you tarry at our big round table and partake of the Club’s hospitality.”
Events were occurring rather fast, but there was nobody disinclined to have all the enjoyment there was in sight, and after a joyful aerial ride, the Morse Club rooms began filling up.
A diversion of programme was made and many ladies, known to the profession, were present.
The speakers were: Alfred S. Downer and his brother David, Gillie Olmstead, Henry A. Bogardus, Gib Merrill, George Fagan, Hank Cowan and others.
Those present besides those mentioned were: William Orton, Norvin Green, C. A. Tinker, E. D. L. Sweet, R. H. Rochester, D. Rich, Stephen D. Field and his uncle Cyrus W. Field, Moses G. Farmer, S. F. B. Morse, Alfred Vail, Ed. Leslie, Fred N. Bassett, P. V. DeGraw, Ham. Young, L. B. McCarthy, Dennis Doran, H. H. Ward, W. D. Schram, J. W. Morlan, W. L. Waugh, Thomas T. Eckert, Maurice Brick, D. B. Mitchell, Thomas P. Scully, J. A. Henneberry, E. E. Stewart, James McParlan, H. V. Shelley, M. H. Redding, Lant Jones, H. P. Dwight, J. C. Hinchman, William J. Holmes and many others well known on earth several years ago.
OUR CANADIAN BROTHERS ON PLANET MARS.
THE FOLLOWING list of Canadian operators who lived, flourished and passed away, either in this country or in Canada, has been furnished by John Fletcher, superintendent Canadian Pacific Railroad Telegraph, with the suggestion that they be admitted into the sacred precincts of the Pleiades Club. The list embraces some well known and revered names:
Sam Garvey, Manager Dominion Telegraph Company, Montreal, in the seventies; S. E. Gibbs, chief operator at Toronto, Dominion Telegraph Company, in the seventies; Jim Ingram, of Ogdensburg, N. Y., manager for a number of years of the Montreal Telegraph Company there, succeeding John Henderson in the early seventies; John Murray, manager of the Montreal Telegraph Company at Brockville, Ont., in the seventies and later in charge of the District Telegraph Company at Montreal; Alexander McNaughton, of the old Montreal Telegraph force in the seventies and eighties; Larry Longmore of the same company and of the same time; James Dakers, secretary of the old Montreal Company, whose presence in the operating room was a constant lesson in the virtue of economy; Alexander Grant, superintendent of the Montreal Company, a fine man and greatly respected; Thomas Elwood, superintendent of the Dominion Telegraph Company at Toronto, a fine operator and a man beloved by all who knew him; P. Snyder, an old Dominion star and in later life superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s Telegraph at St. John, N. B.; Hiram Pingle, who made his reputation at the House of Commons in the seventies as a very fast sender, later superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railroad at Toronto; A. W. Barber succeeded Pingle as superintendent at Toronto and he, too, some years ago, went over to the silent majority; Jonas Oliver, well known in western Canada around 1890 to 1905, a self-educated Icelander, fine operator (“Little Skratti Icelandic” was his nickname); David J. Duff, one of the best known of the younger generation of Canadian operators, died 1905, at Winnipeg, aged twenty-eight; was a great favorite, not only in his native city of Winnipeg, but in Chicago, where he had worked for several years, in Philadelphia, New York and at Palm Beach, Fla.; Cleo C. Young, home town, McAlester, Okla., died in Winnipeg, 1913, a first class operator, aged thirty-one; Charles L. Hallett, died in Winnipeg recently, had been in the insurance business for the past twelve years, formerly circuit manager at Fort William, aged fifty-four years; Winnipeg is such a healthy place there are not many applicants for membership in the Pleiades Club; Orville A. Glenn, one of Winnipeg’s best known stars, died 1911, aged thirty-seven years. At time of his death he was a member of the grain exchange and doing a lucrative brokerage business; Joseph Quelch, a first class telegrapher and at one time manager of the Dominion Telegraph Company at Montreal in the seventies. He was one of the finest boys one could wish to see; Samuel Ritchie was another of the old Dominion Telegraph boys and was strictly first class; William Duchesmeau, at one time manager for the Canadian Pacific Railroad at Quebec, a fine operator and a good man; John McKenzie, a chief operator for the old Montreal Telegraph Company about the same time, well liked by all; James Poustie, superintendent of construction and maintenance for the old Montreal Telegraph Company; Edward Flanagan, of Prescott, Ont, who died in Utah in the eighties, a fine operator; Robert Empey and Jack Wolfenden, two Canucks, who died in the Far West, both stars; the former would be employed as a comic sketch artist on some metropolitan journal if he were alive today; A. Laurie, a Montreal boy, a fine operator who died in Vancouver in the nineties; Samuel Macintosh, manager for the Canadian Pacific Railroad at New Westminster in 1887 and later in the insurance business, died there in the nineties; William Fraser, night chief at Vancouver for a number of years, has been in British Honduras and in the Southern States prior to 1890; George Scott, of the Pacific Cable Board, Vancouver, gilt edged, all around, first class man, was in the South African war; J. H. Giffen, lately chief operator at Moose Jaw for the Canadian Pacific Railroad, died in 1915.
RELIEF EXPEDITION FROM PLANET MARS.
IT HAD been decided by the members of the Pleiades Club to send out a special train with attendants to gather in any and all stray members found loitering, so to speak, at the different wayside stopping places between the Earth and Mars and bring them all into the fold under the shadow of the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle. There were a number who did not respond to the roll call, and while not believing that anything could be lost in God’s great economic universe, still it was thought only right to gather everybody in and have all in their respective places.
Commodore R. R. Haines, who was a leader during his sojourn on Earth, was appointed Captain of the expedition and a delegation selected from every section of the country and Canada were invited to accompany the craft to identify all telegraph people eligible for membership who were idling their time away among the many stopping places on this long journey.
It had been resolved to begin at the moon and work the way back, so Luna was the first satellite to be visited and, lo and behold, Edward C. Cockey came to greet the searching party.
Mr. Cockey was astonished to see his visitors and was not at all loath to join them, the only regret he expressed being that now the sentimental young ladies would have no one to watch over them from the moon. He asked if the “Man in the Moon” was still talked about on Earth and was assured that he was. Aaron Hilliker sang:
“I’m in love with the man in the moon,
And I’m going to marry him soon,
And behind some dark cloud, where there’s no one allowed,
I’ll make love to the man in the moon.”
“That settles it and I’m with you even if I must desert my kingdom forever,” cried “Happy” Cockey, as he took passage in Electric No. 1, bound for the outer regions.
The next stopping place will be “500,000-mile station,” said Captain Haines, “and I believe we will find some notable personage there.”
It took but one hour for Electric No. 1 to make the journey to Skippityvous, as the retreat was named by Tom Dushane, the only Frenchman aboard.
“What do you know about that?” cried Ed. C. Keeler, “I’ll be jiggered if there isn’t Col. L. D. Parker, Charles Thomas, Frank Kingsbury and Arthur W. Copp sitting out there under a big oak tree playing a series of delightful games.”
Colonel L. D. Parker Remembers Friends.
Col. Parker expressed his satisfaction with his present surroundings, but did not object to joining the merry party, as he remembered the many happy days spent with his comrades on Earth. Charlie Thomas, Arthur Copp and Frank Kingsbury were ready to say goodbye to 500,000-mile station when told of the doings on the planet Mars.
“We will stop off at Angel’s Camp and pick up Samuel J. Kelley, who was with me in Los Angeles once upon a time,” remarked Captain Haines, as they started out into space.
It did not take many hours to reach Angel’s Camp, where the whistles of their aeroplane tooted “73” to Sam Kelley, which brought that brother to the front, accompanied by Charles Stone.
The loiterers were taken aboard the car without much ceremony, neither having to undergo that irksome task of shaving and changing his clothes and both were delighted to be in such excellent company, with the prospect of meeting still more friends.
At Salt Creek, a surprise met the voyagers when it was ascertained that Frank P. Medina would be on hand to join the party. Medina had stopped off at Salt Creek with his friend, Jack O’Brien, of San Francisco, and had been having an enjoyable time, but was now ready to climb higher toward the goal.
And so it kept up all day, the passengers regaling themselves by merry songs and stories, in which Col. L. D. Parker took a leading part.
The Colonel was anxious to hear the latest news from Mother Earth and affectionately inquired after Edward J. Nally, Edgar W. Collins, A. B. Richards, A. A. Briggs, Thomas P. Wheeler, Harry A. Tuttle and many others, all old co-workers, and he listened with much interest to Arthur Copp’s history of each of these individuals.
Many more stops were made en route back to the planet Mars and many noted telegraph men were gathered into the van, notably James Bell, of Nevada; John Henderson, of Chicago; Ed. Sholes, Fred Benson, George and Joe Harris, of St. Paul; Ruby Sheldon, of Cleveland; Charles Catlin, Robert W. Chapman, George B. Simpson and Charles D. Burke, of Chicago.
Many songs were sung, everyone joining in singing “Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight?” and “Hail! the Conquering Hero Comes,” until the long journey was at an end and they landed safely upon the planet Mars.
A big program of entertainment had been prepared to welcome the loiterers to their new resting place and a special bulletin of the two days’ proceedings was prepared by Secretary Fred B. Moxon to be transmitted to his terrestrial partner, who would then disseminate the same through the columns of Telegraph and Telephone Age to all parts of the earthly globe.
Exodus to Jupiter Contemplated.
A movement was now on foot to have an exodus from Mars to Jupiter, and this proposition was being much canvassed, particularly by the real old timers on Mars.
General George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Lord Wellington, William Shakespeare, Christopher Columbus, Americus Vespucius, Abraham Lincoln and many other leaders while on Earth had manifested their disposition in favor of making the trip, all realizing, however, that there was no comeback.
“We understand,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “that we are in God’s kingdom, and that we will be as safe up there in Jupiter as we are right here on Mars, and the thought of God’s omnipresence should remove doubt and fear from every heart.”
Much interest but no anxiety was felt for the members who were determined to proceed, yet there were many who desired to await the arrival of some particular dear one from Earth and those decided they had “better bide-a-wee.”
Preparations for this hegira are now going on.
PENNSYLVANIA DAY ON PLANET MARS.
IN MOST every western city in the United States there exists a Pennsylvanian Society to which any genteel person is eligible provided he or she hails from the classic precincts of the Keystone State, the members of the society evidently being of the opinion that “Once a Pennsylvanian, always a gentleman.”
The love of state is strong and it is beautiful to observe the consideration shown to the denizens of the Smoky City by the dwellers of the City of Brotherly Love, and also to see how freely the former citizens of the oil region will hob-nob with the residents of the more favored Harrisburg, Stroudsburg and Erie.
Such is the condition of affairs on the terrestrial planet during life and it is not to be wondered at that the feeling would exist after the inhabitants of Pennsylvania had taken a long flight to the planet Mars.
It was the latter part of the month of June, 1917, that Jim McKinstry, Dan Francis and George W. Baxter, all formerly of Erie; Mark Luce, Ed. M. Boynton, recently from the oil section; Peter McKeever, from Pittsburgh, and some of the former Philadelphia boys met and talked over the proposition of having a good old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration on the occasion of the next Independence Day.
A number of gentlemen dropped in on the meeting from Pennsylvania, many of whom had acquired national fame and whose names are household words still on earth.
Telegraphers’ Tabernacle, on the planet Mars, was to be the place where the happy event was to take place and the usual bulletin written by a wireless wand on heaven’s bright empyrean gave notice to all of the coming event.
“I wonder how these Pennsylvanians would like to have a visit from the Chicago delegation,” ejaculated Ed. Whitford, “we have quite a formidable crowd to introduce.”
A cordial invitation was extended the Chicago delegation and any other members of the craft who wanted to come, and preparations for the entertainment were immediately begun.
Wednesday, July 4, 1917, arrived and the grounds around Telegraphers’ Tabernacle, on the planet Mars, were the scene of much merriment, the badges of the Keystone State being in evidence everywhere.
It was not what the people on Mother Earth would term a “sane” Fourth, as there was a big display of firecrackers and the like, the wish having been expressed that the occasion would be one of the “old-fashioned” kind. Conditions were changed from those on the terrestrial planet, there being nothing of a combustible or inflammatory character on Mars which might invite a conflagration.
A brass band was heard in the distance playing that old song, “We are Coming, Father Abraham, Six Hundred Thousand More,” and immediately automobiles containing the Chicago delegation began to arrive.
Among them were the following: Frank M. and Newt Crittendon, Wm. Foley, N. L. Boydston, C. H. Kelly, J. E. Zeublin, A. C. Thomas, John Boughan, P. A. Rowe, Fred Swain, W. W. Wells, J. C. Delong, A. J. Long, John D. Walker, T. P. Dudley, F. S. Kent, S. O. Bracken, Wm. Wallace, Jr., Al Baker, W. C. Ramsdell, Col. J. J. S. . Wilson, W. Chapman, S. C. Mason, J. C. Springer, M. C. Bristol, C. H. Summers, G. W. Fulton, Francis W. Jones, H. C. Maynard, E. S. Patton, W. A. Leary, John A. Strong, Luke Fisher, H. G. McGill, Billy McMillen, C. M. Roebuck, Henry Tatge, J. DeWitt Congdon, Harry S. Converse, Frank W. Farley, Jeff Prentice, Earl Rudd, C. H. Haskins, C. W. Gearhart and many others, including a large sprinkling of ladies.
Good natured chaffing was carried on, Charlie Roebuck being asked what was done with that undistributed $300,000,000 his firm had in reserve.
“Oh, we bought Liberty Bonds with that money,” came the immediate and patriotic reply.
Among other pieces played by the bands were, “We’ll Rally Round the Flag, Boys, We’ll Rally Once Again”; “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching”; “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean”; “America”; “Dixie Land,” and such darky songs as “Darkies, Have You Seen the Massa, with the Moustache on His Face, Walking Down the Road this Morning, Like He’s Gwine to Leeb the Place?”
The Tabernacle was visited during the day by Generals Grant, Sherman, McClellan, Sheridan, Franz Siegel, G. H. Thomas, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and many others, including all the Presidents back to George Washington’s time.
Songs were sung, speeches made, music indulged in and a most enjoyable and entertaining program was given.
The Philadelphia and Pittsburgh committees were unremitting in their efforts and the Fourth of July, 1917, passed into history on the planet Mars with pleasant memories and a strong feeling of meeting again and often.
THE JOURNEY TO JUPITER.
THERE was no great preparation among the whilom dwellers on the planet Mars for their exodus to the planet Jupiter, and the long journey was to be taken without any formality. Professor Samuel F. B. Morse early indicated his willingness to join the moving multitude and his decision was hailed with delight. Professor Morse was in close conversation with Fred Moxon for several hours prior to the departure.
Mr. Moxon had disclosed to Professor Morse his modus operandi of communication with Mother Earth and similar methods were arranged to obtain signals from Jupiter after the arrival of the newcomers on the planet.
It was an unknown and untried field which they were to invade, but, realizing that God was present everywhere, there was no fear in the spirit of the vast throng.
Goodbyes were heard on every side, but there was no sorrow expressed and nothing occurred to mar the serenity and tranquility of either the travelers or those who remained. It was akin to the experience of passing through the belief of death on earth, for there was no coming back, but onward, upward to God’s immortal realm.
The firmament of the planet Mars was interestedly but not anxiously scanned all day for some intelligence from the exodus party, and toward evening of the same day they were rewarded by a flash on the sky, written by wireless pen in the unmistakable chirography of Fred B. Moxon. The message read as follows:
“Greetings from New Providence, Jupiter. God hath wrought wonders and wonderful are His works. We arrived in high spirits, happy, and will give more particulars later.
“Signed, S. F. B. Morse.”
The message occasioned much joy and satisfaction and further news was looked for.
A few hours later the wireless wand began moving again, inditing a long message from Professor Morse as follows:
“Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! We have just had a visit from Adam and Eve. We have also met Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon, and this evening we are to have a gathering of the entire family now residing on the planet Jupiter.
“I find the Bible is historically correct as regards the names and doings of the incidents recorded, and everything is very interesting and absorbing to us. We have learned much already, but there is still a great deal more to learn and to prove.”
A cry of joy went up from the readers of the message from Professor Morse, many remembering how his first message, “What hath God wrought?” had broken the fetters of time and annihilated space, and now comes a second message to break the shackles of human belief.
All day and evening messages were exchanged between the planets Mars and Jupiter, nothing undergoing censorship.
“Bogy” got in the first deadhead message to the Earth. It was addressed to John B. Taltavall, publisher Telegraph and Telephone Age, and announced his safe arrival on the planet Jupiter. He did not neglect sending “73” to all of his friends on Earth.
Adam Sends “73” to His Posterity.
Adam sent a message to his children, grandchildren ad infinitum. He was at a loss what to say to the posterity on Earth, as his legacy to them was a chapter of misery, but “Bogy,” with his usual effrontery and nonchalance, remarked, “Why Grandpa Adam, just do as I did—send them all your ‘73’”—which was done amid wild applause.
Noah, who was the first shipbuilder we know anything about, was greatly interested in listening to Homer Hallock relate of the era of shipbuilding on Earth.
Methusaleh smiled a trifle loftily when Jerry Newton told about the Texas woman who still lives at 130 years. “She is not my class at all,” ejaculated Methusaleh; “she belongs to Esau and Jacob and the younger generation.”
Intense interest was manifested when Adam took the floor during the evening for a little talk.
The newcomers are objects of much interest to the old sojourners on Jupiter, there having been no accessions from the Earth or Mars for as much as a thousand years, as nearly as anyone could reckon time, there being no established manner of computing the years.
Mark Twain, America’s great humorist, was with the new arrivals from Mars and, true to his colors, facetiously asked Nero if he would not play the Sailors’ Hornpipe on his fiddle, so all could have a dance, and wonderful to relate, Nero produced the instrument and graciously played the piece.
The last seen of Twain was down at the levee, where he found Samson, the strong man, to whom he related the doings of the latter day gladiators.
Later in the day Professor Morse read a communication from Mother Earth filled with good news from the great war, and there was much rejoicing, even Nebuchadnezzar and Confucius, China’s greatest philosopher, showing their interest.
Franklin L. Pope discovered that the telephone was known and worked by the denizens of Jupiter in prehistoric days and it was developed by Charles A. Tinker that the quadruplex was worked more than ten thousand years ago. These facts, however, should not take any lustre from the endearing names of Morse, Edison, Vail and others, who rediscovered both of these wonderful accessories to human convenience and gave them to the world.
More of these wonderful doings will be told in subsequent editions of this book.
The Pleiades Club was originally serialized in Telegraph and Telephone Age, as part of “Mr. Jeff W. Hayes’ Department.” Four installments appeared that were not included in the book publication. These chapters, along with an obituary from the magazine, are presented here as an appendix.
The Thunderbolt Express, on its voyage through space, between the earth and the planet Mars, was signaled from several way stations en route and the following gentlemen took first-class passage to Mars: Charles Deforest, Henry F. Carroll, Billy Birkett, H. L. Childress, Miss Dode Aspwell, Charles F. Holderman, John Egan, of Sacramento, Carrie Cox, of Salt Lake, O. F. Stowe, of Cleveland, and Edward White, of Portland, Ore. These gentlemen had learned of Commodore Haines* expedition but they had been “too busy” to take advantage of the Commodores’ invitation to take passage on his car. The members of this little party had many joyous anecdotes to relate of their varied experiences “out in the skies,” between the earth and Mars. A reception was accorded them upon their arrival on Mars, and all had an opportunity of visiting their old friends and colleagues. A tri-weekly express train had been established between Mars and Jupiter, and a hegira to the latter planet was quite large, showing conclusively that it only requires a “way short” to set the pace for Mars’ former star boarders. Some of the people who left with the Electric Express on August 12 were Jay Gould, D. Doran, James Fisk, Russell Sage, J. Pierpont Morgan and several other former notables and millionaires of New York. A few of these gentlemen wished to have their lives insured against any overt act by pirates who might undertake to intercept them en route, but Henry Ward Beecher and Dewitt Talmage, who were also of the party, laughed them to scorn, asking them what they were afraid to lose. “You have no bodies, you have no gold or silver, you should have no earthly desires, you know your immortal spirit is safe in God’s omnipresence, then get on and forget all of your apprehensions.”
This little speech had a wonderful effect and the party glided out to their mystic home on Jupiter amid the acclamations of those left behind. The Electric Express was as speedy almost as thought, and seven hours later the train rolled into the newly improvised union depot on the planet Jupiter, where they were greeted by their great, great grand parents, Adam and Eve, who welcomed them to their new home. All of the former Mars contingent were present to assist in the festivities about to ensue, which went to show that there is never anything lost in God’s economic universe.
Jupiter’s four moons were a subject of much interest to the newcomers, Jay Gould remarking that it would be out of the question to think of effecting a corner on electric illuminating, and Russell Sage nodded his sage head at Gould’s wise remark.
Telegraphic communications were sent to the planet Mars announcing the safe arrival of the Gould party. “That is not the first time that Jay Gould and Jim Fisk rode on a train without paying their fare, and I don’t believe that the conductor will be fired for carrying a deadhead,” said Jules Guthridge. “And now we will not be compelled to ride the breakbeam, either,” remarked several members of the I. W. W.
Solomon, who was present in all his glory, was now invited by the members of the United States Military Telegraph Corps to deliver an address which would be transmitted telegraphically to the slackers of North America, exhorting them to mend their ways. Solomon, however, replied that he could not add anything further to the remarks and expostulations of the American press, which, he believed, was amply able to cope with that particular subject.
It was then announced by the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, that a grand ball would be given at the Morse Auditorium on the following evening, which would be an entertainment for all nations and races who once upon a time dwelt on Mother Earth. The music for the occasion would embrace the primitive musical instruments of the far-off Esquimaux on the North, the Kamschatkan fiddle, the Patagonia banjo, the Chinese tom-tom, the Ethiopia ding-a-ling, besides the more interesting violin and piano forte of modern educated society. Adam was delegated to play the part of old Dan Tucker, and the whole population of Jupiter smiled as this iact was announced.
More of this romantic story will be told in subsequent editions of this journal.
The following names of Confederate military telegraphers have been proposed for admission to the Pleiades Club:
James S. Burruss, N. C. Pamplin, Joseph McGovern, Lee A. Angel, John Bragg, John W. Brown, Junius Potts, Allan Howard, John Crowley and Joseph W. Kates.
Burruss was with General Jubal A. Earley in the fighting around Staunton, Virginia, and at Appomattox. Union operator, Ed. Schemerhorn, arranged the parole for him. They met again about 1885.
N. C. Pamplin was operator for General Lee, and a grand operator, and a marvel with his pen.
PROFESSOR MORSE MAKES A SUGGESTION.
It was the twenty-first day of August, 19 17, and the sun poured its resplendent rays upon the planets Mars and Jupiter. Professor S. F. B. Morse was holding a council, the members of which had been, during their lifetime upon earth, some of the brightest lights in the telegraphic profession. They were grave, earnest, and solicitous for the welfare of those left behind. Word had been received! in the usual way from the earth, of the shortage in the telegraph ranks, and the menace that this meant to the country during its hour of peril. A similar meeting was in progress on the planet Mars under the auspices of the Telegraphers’ Society. “Proferred advice is seldom listened to,” but Professor Morse had been requested to obtain the consensus of opinion of the telegraphers on Jupiter relative to the labor question upon earth, and express his own opinion on the matter. Fred Moxon had been asked to perform that same office on Mars, consulting with Professor Morse, on the subject, and then transmit the findings to his brother on the terrestrial sphere. Long and earnestly did the telepathic waves ebb and flow between the two planets, and sage was the advice transmitted to the earth.
Wing Lung Sing, an inhabitant of Jupiter, and who claimed to have been chief operator of the Pekin, China, office, 2,000 B. C, related to his audience that the Chinese language of his day contained but seventeen letters, and the characters in telegraph were made in dots and dashes, but different from the Morse code. For instance, A was one dash, and one dot, B was one dash and two dots, C was one dash and three dots, each succeeding letter having an additional dot to it, so that the letter W, which is the last in the Chinese alphabet, would be one dash and seventeen dots. “Why, I have heard a ‘ham’ in the South make twenty-seven dots once for the figure six, and the same artist frequently made nineteen dots for the letter,” ejaculated Jim Doody, “and the telegraph companies never charged him up with tolls upon the excessive dots, which showed how lenient they were.”
Grandma Eve was much interested in the phonograph, and William G. Bee, of Edison’s laboratory agreed to make her one of Edison’s latest diamond phonographs so that she and her elderly maiden daughters could have an enjoyable time.
It was stoutly denied by the oldest inhabitant that the electric light and phonograph were known, and were worked centuries ago. “It is merely just another attempt to rob the rich laurels so honestly earned by Mr. Edison,” said Adam, “and as father of this vast multitude I must request that my children make no attempt to belittle the great inventor’s grand work.”
Cain and Abel, who looked like two artless boys, dipped in at this time, with their pockets filled with fruit, which they were munching. Both boys seemed to think a great deal of each other, and all former jealousies and animosities had been forgiven and forgotten.
“Have an apple, papa,” said Abel, addressing Adam, but the latter blushed and declined, and grandma Eve smiled sweetly.
Eve was a beautiful lady, despite her age, and spent most of her time in meeting and talking with her large progeny. Adam was the weaker in character of the two, and he seemed to lean upon his spouse for advice and suggestion.
We have still a multitude of well known former telegraphers to introduce to our readers. Among them may be mentioned, at this time: “Gillie” Olmstead, Irving Fitch, W. K. Applebaugh, W. N. Gove, Harry A. Wells, “Tom” Dolan, W. D. Schram, Ed. A. Leslie, Gus Coleman, G. W. Gardanier, W. B. Somerville, E. C. Cockey, Robert Stewart, J. C. Hinchman, W. J. Holmes, Asa R. Swift, C. H. Summers, J. B. Tree, C. A. Darlton, Dave McAneeny, Albert E. Sink, F. W. Gregory, James D. Reid and Alfred Vail. Many others will be recorded in due time and their good qualities explained for the benefit of the present generation.
The Pleiades Club in Book Form.
Mr. Jeff W. Hayes, of Chicago, has issued in book form the story of the doings of the Pleiades Club, which have been running in this journal for some time past. The story is divided into twenty-two chapters. It recalls many famous old-timers who have passed from this life into that beyond, and is very entertaining. The book is sold for 50 cents per copy, and copies may be obtained by addressing J. B. Taltavall, Publisher, Telegraph and Telephone Age, 253 Broadway, New York, or Mr. Hayes, 5353 Glenwood Ave., Chicago, Ill.
“The faults of our brothers we write upon sand,
Their virtues, upon the tablets of Love and Memory.”
Thus quoted Michael J. Burke, as he came down the Rue Verne, on the arm of his friend, Charlie Vivian, so beloved on earth during his career there. Behind this twain came Nicholas Courcey Burke, arm in arm with Joseph E. Hurley.
“You are right, Mike Burke,” said Joe Hurley, “I want to have my faults written on the sands, for I really did have a tempestuous time on earth, but, while I am contrite and repentant, I am not remorseful, for that would be a state of affairs not permissible on the Planet Mars.
“I enjoyed that write-up by one of my friends recently published, and I only regret that I did not write more stories, as I have a fund of delightful tales to tell.”
A whispered conversation occurred between Hurley and Courcey Burke, the latter suggesting a method of giving the stories publicity, and Hurley nodded his pleasurable satisfaction. So our readers may look for some post mortem stories from the brain of Joseph E. Hurley.
The Thunderbolt Express arrived ahead of time today, bringing with it some old-timers, among whom were the following: Sam Wingate, Hank Martin and Elmer E. Mallory, of the Pacific Coast.
In introducing the new arrivals to the Pleiades Club, Dr. O. P. S. Plummer took occasion to refer especially to Elmer Mallory. He stated that Mr. Mallory had graduated from the high school at Portland, Ore., and immediately began the study of telegraphy, and seven months later was appointed night operator at Salem, Ore. His father, Hon. Rufus Mallory, had been contemplating a journey around the world, and had postponed the trip, pending his son’s graduation. When Elmer was told of his father’s plans for him, he startled the parent by a positive refusal to go, stating that he would lose his job if he went, and that he would sooner stay at home and telegraph than go on a trip around the world.
Twelve years later, however, the glamor of telegraph life had worn off and Elmer Mallory became a practicing attorney.
Word had been received from the planet Jupiter that a ballot cast to determine who was the most popular lady on the planet resulted in the selection of Mother Eve, and she was at the same time voted to be the most beautiful woman on Jupiter.
When it came to getting out a similar ballot for the men, Adam begged that his name be dropped, apologetically remarking he had never done anything for his posterity worthy of praise or laudation, and Abraham was elected as the most popular man on Jupiter, which seemed to give widespread satisfaction, especially among the Semitic brethren. Moses was a good second.
There seemed to be more life and hilarity on Jupiter than was experienced on Mars, due probably to the fact that there were more really oldtimers on the former planet and there was so much more to study.
This fact had been communicated to Secretary Moxon, who bulletined the same with his wireless stylus, and another party was formed to proceed to the far-off goal.
Mars will never be deserted, of course, but there will be many houses with the sign “To Let” exhibited around Hesperian Canal.
Joe Hurley was the first to register as a passenger for Jupiter. He did not care so particularly about going, he said, but he merely wanted to be “doing something.” The long, free ride may have been an inducement.
The Burke brothers declined to accompany him, as they were expecting some new acquisitions from their beloved Canada on a near date, probably some heroes of the great war.
The earthly correspondent for the Pleiades Club has recently been undergoing some unpleasant experiences, which will account for the less interesting chapter presented, but he promises that many beautiful pen pictures will be drawn in the future for these columns, so the widespread interest in the Pleiades Club will not be abated.
There was a secret meeting on the Planet Jupiter at which were present only those known to be American patriots. The object of this gathering was to confer with some of the prehistoric electricians and scientists with a view of obtaining some suggestion relative to the abatement of the submarine upon the Planet Earth. A number of these scientific men were alchemists and could convert a ten-pound stone into a five-pound chunk of gold, or an ounce of spring water into a three-carat diamond, and they proceeded to get their heads together to provide some means of abating the mischief performed by the submarines.
“You see, gentlemen,” remarked Confucius, “we have minerals on the Planet Jupiter which do not exist on Mother Earth. For instance, we have the invisible paint, a coat of which put on a merchant ship would enable that vessel to pass through a fleet of submarines without being detected. I will give this idea and what I know about it myself to all alchemists on Jupiter, and perhaps they can suggest a formula which might be successfully manufactured on the earth, which, of course, would very easily solve the vexed problem. This formula can be wired to Mars, telepathically, and in the same way communicated to the earth, and, knowing the loyalty of the person handling the message, there would be no danger of its reaching enemies through an underground telegraph company, and their country would be busy trying to ascertain if there were no more ships to destroy.
“My country,” continued Confucius, “has entered the war, and I feel at liberty in giving the world the benefit of my advice.”
The gist of the conference was wired to the Planet Mars, where it was bulletined in the usual way, and later communicated to the earthly correspondent, who was cautioned to deliver the idea personally to the President. All of this goes to show some of the grand achievements the telegraph is working in bringing to an end this cruel war. There is nobody on either Mars or Jupiter who does not possess the idea of progressiveness, and each one is daily and hourly becoming more and more educated, and consequently more efficient.“
I was much pleased with the article in the issue of Telegraph and Telegraph Age of August 16 concerning efficiency,” remarked Benjamin Franklin. “Of course I was not a telegraph operator and could not strike my colleague for the loan of a dollar until payday. but I know how embarrassing it was sometimes to have to refuse, and really how unnecessary it was for the borrower to effect such a negotiation. It often hampered the lender and was not doing a kind act for the borrower.”
“Right you are!” chipped in the ever present Bogy. “Now, if they’d been like me that article would never have been written, for I never borrowed more than two bits at a time from anyone, and I never did believe in this high financiering. Why, I never would know what to do with a whole dollar if I had it all at one time,” and Bogy sat down with a “7 x 9 smile” on his face.
At this moment Professor S. F. B. Morse approached the assemblage and announced that he had a telegram which he was about to send to Mars to be relayed to Mother Earth. “I will read you this message,” said the professor, “and if anyone desires to amend it in any way he’s at liberty to do so. ‘It is my desire to impress upon the followers of the key that the present crisis should show each one’s character. It is very necessary just now that all telegraph men should be imbued with patriotism, enthusiasm and loyalty. These three qualities are distinctively American, and each and every telegrapher should cease from entering into any combination which would portend evil to his employer. Anything of this nature, coming at the present time, would be unpatriotic and unwise in the highest sense of the expression. It is to be hoped that the American telegrapher will not do anything un-American while his country is in peril.’“
This message was transmitted to the Planet Mars, where it was transcribed on the beautiful sky of that planet, and immediately communicated to the terrestrial globe, with instructions to give Professor Morse’s message the widest publicity possible.
Moses then entertained the company with a vivid word picture delineating the manner in which he and the Israelites passed through the Red Sea; Samson portrayed his battle with the Philistines, and Jonah told of his experience with the whale, all of which was listened to with the greatest attention.
Among the old military telegraphers present who saw service during the Civil War were: General Anson Stager, David Strouse, J. H. Bunnell, Milton F. Adams, G. W. Baxter, S. H. Beckwith, F. T. Bickfort, A. H. Bliss, W. J. Bodell, Captain Samuel Bruch and several others who were prominent in telegraph circles between the years 1860 and 1865.
TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE AGE.
November 16, 1917.
Death of Jeff W. Hayes.
On Sunday, November 4, in the beautiful little chapel of Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, amid a mass of flowers and evergreens, with the streaming sunlight of a bright afternoon shedding warmth and inspiration over the scene, the last rites were performed over the remains of Jeff W. Hayes, who passed away at his home, 5353 Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, on November 2, as the result of an operation performed in Portland, Ore., a few weeks previously. There were present, beside the immediate family of the deceased, the principal telegraph officials of Chicago, headed by C. H. Gaunt, general manager of the Western Union, and E. W. Collins, general superintendent of the Postal-Telegraph- Cable Company. The ceremony was a mark of respect and sincere regard for one of the most widely known enthusiasts and writers the telegraph profession has produced in the United States.
It can truly be said that Jeff Hayes had a message for all telegraphers — a message of stimulation for the honor and dignity of the profession everywhere. He saw, even with his sightless eyes, countless ways of promoting cheer and fellowship. He devoted himself to the task of creating in the minds of all knights of the key the highest possible regard for their chosen vocation, and a profound respect for everything connected with the administration of it. He knew personally every official connected with the telegraph in the United States, and almost every Morse operator. He used the commonplace circumstances of telegraphers’ lives as themes for bright and inspiring stories, of which he wrote hundreds, and always with the purpose of bringing to view the buoyant, cheering and intellectual influences that surround the men who work the Morse wires, but which require the magic touch of the zealous writer to cause such influences to be deeply felt and appreciated.
Mr. Hayes never overlooked an opportunity to exalt a good deed which he learned of. He gave publicity in the widest way within his means to the admirable traits of those with whom he came in contact, and in his endless travels he always sought to magnify the influences which create contentment and concord, and to elevate, strengthen and sustain the men who constitute the great body of Morse telegraphers of America and Canada.
Since Mr. Hayes lost his sight some twenty years ago he has been endowed with a wonderful vitality and industry, and his capacity for work and almost continual travel have astonished those who watched his activity in the closing days of his life. Last winter, notwithstanding a severe personal obstruction that had been placed in his path, he set out again, with remarkable spirit, upon a trip embracing the entire West. He was alone, and secured the aid only of local guides to lead him about the various places he visited. But he covered a distance of nineteen thousand miles in the coldest weather, distributing his literature and gathering material for more stories and anecdotes relating to the profession in which he saw so much good. Some of these stories have been published and others were in preparation when the Reaper cut him down.
Certain inspiring and fascinating sentiments have always been connected with the operation of the Morse telegraph, because of the mysterious and subtle wire connection between the widely separated men who manipulate the electrical pulses. The system itself appeals to the imagination. There are inherent personal pleasures in telegraph signaling, and irresistible attachments to the work itself that lead men to adhere to it when a more mechanical operation would drive them away. Mr. Hayes wrote of the delightful and pleasurable side of the telegraph, of the weird and strange combinations of human experiences which have arisen in the profession, and the love and happiness and kindness that have been stimulated by the wire connection between individuals. He enlarged upon the wealth of knowledge that has been created and circulated by the telegraph, and he dwelt always upon the activities and opportunities of those who follow the telegraphers’ profession.
The pallbearers were: Edward F. Wach, assistant chief operator, Western Union, Chicago; A. E. Tyler, assistant chief, Board of Trade, Chicago; John R. Magill, ex-manager of the Globe-Democrat office, St. Louis; E. W. Collins, general superintendent, Postal, Chicago; T. R. Powers, chief operator, and Charles W. Potter, assistant chief operator, Postal, Chicago.
The early life of Mr. Hayes, who was sixty-four years of age, was spent in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was identified with the Western Union Telegraph Company, beginning as a messenger. Soon developing into a first class operator, he worked in various Ohio cities between 1870 and 1875, and located in St. Louis in the latter year. While in that city he founded a telegraph paper called the Electric, which was devoted to telegraphic gossip. From St. Louis Mr. Hayes went to Omaha, Neb.; later to Salt Lake City, Utah, and eventually to Austin, Nev., where he became the editor of a daily paper. Becoming interested in mining, he built several telegraph lines through California and Nevada. A few years later he was appointed manager of the Western Union Telegraph Company at Portland, Ore., which position he held until 1891, when he was appointed manager of the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company, in the same city, which position he held for several years, when he had the misfortune of losing his eyesight. He then conducted a messenger service until about 1905, since when he has given his entire time to telegraphic literature.
Mr. Hayes, in connection with Mr. P. G. Tempkins, of Los Angeles, in 1913, established the American Telegrapher, which continued publication for about three years, Mr. Tompkins having withdrawn from its management at the end of the first year.
Mr. Hayes’ articles in Telegraph and Telephone Age on the “Pleiades Club” — a novel conception — the publication of which had just terminated, will be long remembered by the fraternity. In a letter dated October 24, to the publisher of this paper, Mr. Hayes, in referring to these articles, stated ‘The Pleiades Club has had its day so far as the Age is concerned, and I will be glad to give the space to matters more interesting.
Mr. Hayes is survived by a wife, a son and a daughter.