Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 71.djvu/323

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THE DEVELOPMENT OF TELEPHONE SERVICE

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moted, and in common with other industries, the telephone companies have found it difficult to sell stocks or bonds for their construction purposes. It has been probably as much due to this as to the lessening of the demand for telephone service that our output of instruments has decreased. Most of the companies have met this condition of things by applying their net earnings in part, and in some cases wholly, to their new construction. The result of this consers-ative policy, although temporarily disappointing to stockholders, has been to materially increase the intrinsic value and earning capacity of the properties, and in view of the importance of an early occupation of the field while numerous infringing claimants were striving to gain a foothold, we have no doubt the policy was the right one. How far it should be continued under the more favorable conditions that now prevail is to be carefully considered by each company.

On December 5, 188-i, Judge Wallace delivered his opinion in the Drawbaugh case. In part it reads:

Concededly Bell was an original inventor of the telephone, the principle of which with the essential means for its application, are described in his first patent, and of the improved apparatus described in his second patent. . . . Mr. Cross, an expert, caused apparatus to be made in conformity to the description and to drawings as shown in Figure 7 of the patent, which proved itself to be an operative, practical telephone. Probably the date of his (Bell's) inceptive invention might be carried back to July, 1875, but irrespective of the time of the invention, the justice of his claim to be an original inventor of the telephone must remain unchallenged. It was through him also that the telephone was made known to the scientific public, and thence introduced into commercial use. . . . From 1867, to July, 1873, Drawbaugh was intimately connected with persons composing the Drawbaugh Manufacturing Company, which was engaged in manufacturing devices under Drawbaugh's patents. He was a stockholder and the master mechanic of the company. Among the officers and stockholders were many men of capital and enterprise. There came a time when the managers of the company wanted Drawbaugh to suggest new devices for the company to manufacture. He never suggested the telephone nor attempted to induce the managers of that company to investigate or exhibit his talking machine. A number of the managers and employees of this concern testify that they never heard of the existence of the talking machine during the life of the company. Without attempting to refer to other testimony to the same general effect, what has already been referred to, shows that if Drawbaugh had seriously desired to bring his talking machine into public notice and secure the fruits of his invention, he had ample opportunity to do so. . . . Without regard to other features of the case, it is sufficient to say that the defense is not established so as to remove a fair doubt of its truth, and such doubt is fatal.