Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 343

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(1847 - 1922) American inventor of the telephone, formed the Bell Telephone Company, and established the Volta Laboratory which produced numerous related inventions and improvements on existing technology. A fine content letter by the deaf poet ALICE JENNINGS. Jennings was one of Bell's pupils in the School of Vocal Physiology and Mechanics of Speech that Bell opened in Boston in 1872. In their Education of Deaf Children (1892), Edward Gallaudet and Bell praise her poetry and mention that she "became totally deaf in childhood". She corresponded with Bell on several occasions. A.L.S. 4pp. 8vo., Riverbank Oct. 16, 1934, to Nellie, in part: "...I am under a threefold obligation to you for your three last letters, but more especially for the one that came this morning, assuring me of your thought and sympathy on this rather hard day. I would like to keep the prayers, etc. for a little while. I long ago ceased to feel any prejudice against Jews. Their public utterances are often fine...what a blow that 1872 loss by fire was...It was Dr. [Alexander Graham] Bell who took me to see those ruins and then accompanied me home, to pour into my willing ears - or rather eyes - his plans and hopes and dreams about his great invention. He was then a poor and struggling inventor of 24, but to this day I cannot see a telephone without recalling those talks. We had similar tastes, especially in literature, and his calls at my home on the hill continued for some years, then stopped abruptly. Not a romance, although some considered it such, but just a pleasant friendship, which has had more or less influence on my later life and work. One sentence, in an earlier letter of his, has burned itself into my mind: 'You have genius and you need not fear to attempt the greatest things.' That I have not done so, has been largely owing to circumstances...". More social content follows. Boldly penned and very good.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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