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Contents

About Minor Davis

Minor Meek Davis was born in North Chatham, Massachusetts in 1858. He was educated at the Coffin School in Nantucket before moving with his family to Nebraska. There, he entered the telegraphic profession as a messenger for Western Union. The family moved again to Washington, D.C., where Davis took jobs as an operator for various telegraph companies. In 1876 he was hired as an operator in Western Union’s main office in New York, where he remained for the next five years. With no college training, he dedicated himself to studying the engineering behind telegraphy. In 1883 he co-authored The Quadruplex with William Maver, Jr. Among the first textbooks on telegraphy, it described the operation of Thomas Edison’s four way telegraph. During the next two years, Davis worked in various telegraph offices in New York before being taken on by Francis Jones, head of the electrical department at United Lines, as his assistant. When Jones became head engineer at the newly formed Postal Telegraph-Cable Company, Davis continued on as his assistant. A prolific inventor, he received several patents for his innovations with distribution circuits. In 1893 he became one of the pioneer members of AIEEE, and was honored among the first class of Fellows in 1912. He was appointed head electrical engineer of the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company in 1907, and retired in 1919.

Catalogue

Biographical Materials

Obituary of Minor Davis, unknown newspaper, unknown year.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - Obituary.pdf


Portrait and biography for entry in The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, James T. White & Co., New York, 1934.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - Biographical materials.pdf


Correspondence

Davis bound the following letters into a scrapbook. All of these are letters of congratulation sent to Davis in 1907 on the occasion of his promotion to chief Electrical Engineer for the Postal Telegraph Company.

Letter from John Skirrow, New York, 1907.

Letter from unknown sender, New York, 1907.

Letter from unknown sender, unknown date.

Letter from E. G. Cochrane, New York, 1907.

Letter from F. E. d'Humy, New York, 1907.

Letter from W. I. Capen, Chicago, 1907.

Letter from George H. Usher, Atlanta, 1907.

Letter from G. E. Paine, Atlanta, 1907.

Letter from F. E. McKiernan, New York, 1907.

Letter from Charles Shirley, New York, 1907.

Letter from J. H. Flood, New York, 1907.

Letter from T. W. Carroll, Chicago, 1907.

Letter from H. C. Shaw, San Francisco, 1907.

Letter from T. N. Roberts, Chicago, 1907.

Letter from J. F. Looney, Chicago, 1907.

Letter from A. W. Rinehart, Pittsburgh, 1907.

Letter from A. C. Kaufman, Albany, 1907.

Letter from Joe E. Fenn, La Junta, Colorado, 1907.

Letter from J. H. Gingrich, Harrisburg, 1907.

Letter from J. D. Holland, Louisville, 1907.

Letter from Henry G. Pierson, New York, 1907.

Letter from A. B. Richards, Omaha, 1907.

Letter from J. Z. Hayes, Detroit, 1907.

Letter from W. J. Slater, Louisville, 1907.

Letter from Frank M. Ferrin, Boston, 1907.

Letter from W. J. Camp, Montreal, 1907.

Letter from H. C. Bunting, Salt Lake City, 1907.

Letter from L. W. Storror, San Francisco, 1907.

Letter from L. Lemon, Philadelphia, 1907.

Letter from Samuel A. Duncan, Atlanta, 1907.

Letter from unknown sender, unknown date.

Letter from H. A. Tuttle, Minneapolis, 1907.

Letter from G. Johnson, Meadville, Pennsylvania, 1907.

Letter from C. L. Lewis, Los Angeles, 1907.

Letter from C. E. Bagley, Pittsburgh, 1907.

Letter from E. S. Williams, Chicago, 1907.

Letter from unknown sender, Montreal, 1907.

Letter from Donald Murray, London, 1907.

Letter from J. G. Blake, San Francisco, 1907.

Letter from F. W. Conger, Chicago, 1907.

Letter from unknown sender, Philadelphia, 1910.

Letter from E. B. Pillsbury, New York, 1910.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - Correspondence.pdf

Publications

Davis, Minor. The Postal Telegraph. New York, 1910.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - The Postal Telegraph.pdf


Inventions and Patents

Davis, Minor. U. S. Patent No. 381,200, Static Compensator for Telegraphs. New York, 1888.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - Patent 381220.pdf


Davis, Minor. U. S. Patent No. 426,583, Switch Apparatus. New York, 1890.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - Patent 426583.pdf


Davis, Minor. U. S. Patent No. 541,994, Duplex and Diplex Telegraphy. New York, 1895.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - Patent 541994.pdf


Davis, Minor. U. S. Patent No. 955,141, Anti-Induction Device. New York, 1910.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - Patent 955141.pdf


Davis, Minor. U. S. Patent No. 955,142, Device for Preventing Induction in Electrical Conductors. New York, 1910.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - Patent 955142.pdf


Davis, Minor. U. S. Patent No. 1,352,117, Protecting Device for Electrical Instruments. New York, 1920.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - Patent 1352117.pdf


Blueprint P-138, Cartridge adopted to fit postal carbon mountings, L. S. Brach Supply Co., Newark, 1919.

Minor Davis Scrapbook, IEEE Archives, Piscataway, NJ

Media:Minor Davis - Blueprint P-138.pdf