Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad Co. signed by Theodore N. Vail - Stock CertificateInv# AG2415 Stock
Stock signed by Theodore N. Vail. Great color and graphics!
Theodore Newton Vail (July 16, 1845 – April 16, 1920) was president of American Telephone & Telegraph between 1885 and 1889, and again from 1907 to 1919. Vail saw telephone service as a public utility and moved to consolidate telephone networks under the Bell system. In 1913 he oversaw the Kingsbury Commitment that led to a more open system for connection.
At first he studied medicine with his uncle. He also studied telegraphy. Success in the latter led him to go to New York, where he became manager of a local telegraphy office.
He went west with his father in 1866 to farm. In the fall of 1868, he was made operator and afterward agent at Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, on the Union Pacific Railroad. Pine Bluffs was at that time the principal supply point for wood for The Union Pacific, which had not then been completed.
In the Spring of 1869, Vail was appointed clerk of the railway mail service between Omaha and Ogden. His success in getting the mail through during the snow blockage of 1870, came to the attention of upper management.
He was promoted to the Chicago and Iowa City railway post office, an important distribution point at the time. When the railway post office was established on The Union Pacific, Vail was promoted to head clerk.
In March, 1873, Vail was assigned to duty in the office of the General Superintendent of Railway Mail Service, Washington, D.C. There he exercised special oversight of distribution of the mails, and justified to Congress the compensation the railways received for carrying the mail. In June, 1874, he was appointed Assistant Superintendent of Railway Mail Service. In 1875, he became Assistant General Superintendent.
In February, 1876, Vail was appointed General Superintendent after his boss retired. He had reached the highest grade attainable in this branch of the Federal government. He was the youngest officer in the Railway Mail Service, both in years and terms of service. When this final appointment was made by the Postmaster General, the latter said that his only objection to Vail was his youth.
As General Superintendent, Vail helped put postal employees under the general civil service laws. He established the system of six months' probationary appointments, which were subsequently adopted by all agencies.
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