Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PRESCOTT, George Bartlett, electrician, born in Kingston, New Hampshire, 16 September, 1830. He was educated at private schools in Portland, Maine, and from 1847 till 1858 was manager of telegraph offices. He became in 1858 superintendent of the American and in 1866 of the Western union telegraph companies' lines, and in 1869 electrician of the Western union telegraph company. Mr. Prescott was also electrician of the International ocean telegraph company from 1873 till 1880. In 1873 he visited Europe in the interest of the Western union telegraph com-party for the purpose of investigating the various systems of telegraphy in operation there, with a view of incorporating any improvement that he might discover into the system in the United States. He found many important objects of recommendation, and among others that were adopted was the system of transmitting messages in cities by pneumatic tubes, which he introduced in New York in 1876. Mr. Prescott also introduced the duplex and quadruplex telegraphs in 1870 and 1874. He was vice-president, director, and member of the executive and finance committee of the Gold and stock telegraph company in 1873-'81, and president of the American speaking telephone company in 1879-'82, also director and member of the executive committee of the Metropolitan telephone and telegraph company, and of the Bell telephone company of Philadelphia. His inventions include an improvement in telegraph insulators (1872) and an improvement in quadruplex telegraphs (1876), which he patented in the United States and Great Britain. Mr. Prescott has contributed many articles to periodicals, and has published "History, Theory, and Practice of the Electric Telegraph" (Boston, 1860): " The Proposed Union of the Telegraph and Postal Systems" (New York, 1869); "The Government and the Telegraph " (1872) ; "Electricity and the Electric Telegraph " (1877); "The Speaking Telephone, Talking Phonograph, and other Novelties" (1878) ; "The Speaking Telephone, Electric Light, and other Recent Electrical Inventions "(1879) ;" Dynamo-Electricity ; its Generation, Application, Transmission, Storage, and Measurement" (1884) ; and "Bell's Electric Speaking Telephone; its Invention, Construction, Application, Modification, and History" (1884).
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