Drawing for Improvements in Telegraphy
After years of experiments, Alexander Graham Bell devised the first apparatus to transmit human speech via machine. Bell patented his “Improvements in Telegraphy" (aka the telephone) on March 7, 1876, making it “…possible to connect every man’s house, office or factory with a central station, so as to give him direct communication with his neighbors.” His work culminated in one of the most profitable and contested of all 19th-century patents.
From the series: Patent Case Files, compiled 1836 - 1993. Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, 1836 - 1978.
- Colorado River. Grand Canyon, foot of Toroweap, looking up, easterly. The man on the top left side is unidentified. Hillers photo. 1871 - 1878.
NARA ID: 517845
- Grand Canyon. Muav Canyon, Colorado River. The very small figure, a man is down in the canyon, maybe a topographer. Hillers photo. 1871 - 1878.
NARA ID: 518025
These animated gifs were generated from stereograms taken by John Hillers during the Powell Surveys of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon in the 1870s. They are among some of the earliest photographs taken of the Grand Canyon.
This record, dated September 26, 1871, is the Oath of Enlistment and Allegiance of Thomas Shaw, who, at the age of 25 re-enlisted to extend his service in the U.S. Army. The enlisting official certifies that Mr. Shaw was “entirely sober” when he enlisted and “duly qualified” to perform the duties required of him in the Army.
Oath of Enlistment and Allegiance for Thomas Shaw, 9/26/1871
From the Records of the Adjutant General’s Office
On May 20, 1873, Jacob W. Davis of Levi Strauss & Co. received patent #139,121 for an “improvement in fastening pocket openings.” Davis’s improvement consisted of “the employment of a metal rivet or eyelet at each edge of the pocket opening to prevent the ripping of the seam at those points.”
In a deposition given during a patent infringement lawsuit in 1874, Davis recounts the story of how he came to first use rivets on work pants. He explains how, in January 1871, a woman asked him to make a pair of pants for her husband and to make them strong. Before working on the pants, he had been using rivets to attach straps to horse blankets, and when he noticed the rivets lying on the table, he thought to use them to attach the pockets.
Patent Drawing for J. W. Davis’ Fastening Pocket Openings, 05/20/1873
On December 12, 1874, Representative Joseph Rainey (R-SC) took his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first African American congressman. Rep. Rainey served in Congress until March 3, 1879.
Credentials of Rep. Joseph H. Rainey, 11/23/1974, HR 44A-J1, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives