Frank L Pope
By 1869, Pope was nationally recognized as an established telegraph engineer. During that spring, a 22 year old Thomas Edison made an important contact in New York by involving Franklin Pope with experiments of his new Double Transmitter. Edison's transmitter allowed two communications in opposite directions at the same time on a single wire. Just prior to Edison's permanent move from Boston to the New York City area, Pope and Edison conducted tests and modifications to the transmitter together in New York.
Edison then traveled to Rochester, N.Y. to test the transmitter over a 400 mile segment of a line belonging to the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company. It appears that Pope remained in New York in order to operate the instruments at the other end during these tests.
In the summer of 1869 Pope resigned his position with G&S Reporting Tel. Co. and by the fall became partners with Edison and James Ashley, editor of The Telegrapher, forming the electrical engineering firm of Pope, Edison & Co.. Edison, who had recently moved from Boston, had very little money to his name at this time. He boarded at Pope's family home in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Pope also lent Edison his daily spending money, as little as fifty cents a day at times. Together they formed two companies during their partnership.
The Financial and Commercial Telegraph Company and The American Printing Telegraph Company. Pope and Edison jointly filed for patents in printing telegraphy during this period. Three printers were invented to be marketed by their companies. The first two printers, also known as stock tickers, were intended to provide gold and stock quotations in the New York area.
The third printer, " The Pope and Edison Type-Printing Telegraph ", was intended to be used on " private lines ", lines transmitting messages other than commercial quotations, for " individuals and business houses ". Their American Printing Telegraph Co., according to 19th century author, James D. Reid, was the first company to get involved in this business. The award winning printer they designed for this application was intended to be operated by anyone.
It consisted of a printing mechanism with a circular dial containing the alphabet and figures, a polar relay, and two telegraph keys. Pressing one key would simultaneously advance the transmitting and receiving dials one step at a time, using one polarity of current. Once the appropriate character desired was in position on the dial, the other key was pressed generating the opposite polarity and activating the printer. Although it was slow, it was very effective and was sold to various businesses on the east coast and in the San Francisco area. Both companies were eventually absorbed by the Gold and Stock Telegraph Co., which essentially dissolved the Pope, Edison partnership.
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Troy, New York