HIGHER rates recently became effective for telephone service and postage so it's easy to remember when costs weren't so high.
Nobody, however, remembers the Valentine's Day in 1876 when Barnesville area native Elisha Gray and an attorney for Alexander Graham Bell were at the U.S. Patent Office with papers related to the telephone. Controversies and a lawsuit later occurred about the invention, and Bell was named as the inventor although many still believe that is debatable.
Gray went on with many inventions, including a forerunner of the fax machine. After he died in 1901, a note was found among his belongings, and it read, in part, "The history of the telephone will never be fully written.... It is partly hidden away ... and partly lying on the hearts and consciences of a few whose lips are sealed - some in death and others by a golden clasp whose grip is even tighter."
THIS POST card, belonging to Marie Bundy, shows a horse-drawn postal vehicle, which delivered mail in 1910 on a rural route.
DISPLAYING a photograph of Barnesville area inventor Elisha Gray and his telephone-related equipment are Jean and Jack English. Jack English made a model of the equipment after examining it in the Smithsonian Institution. A legal battle between Gray and Alexander Graham Bell about the telephone lasted seven years, and “Anecdotes of Ohio” by Gilbert F. Dodds reports “... the Gray-Bell controversy, in the minds of many people, has never been satisfactorily settled.”
POSTAL uniforms weren’t available when this group worked at the Barton Post Office in 1907. According to Jeff Gazdik, the town doctor’s office was housed at the rear of the building.
Changes have been made in postal service over the years with transportation ranging from stagecoaches to airplanes.
Those are only some of the changes regarding mail. For example, it cost a penny to send a picture post card in 1908. (Of course, it was harder to get a penny then.
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