1847 - 1870

1847 - 1863

1847
11 February Born in Milan, Ohio.
1847–54
  Lives in Milan.
1854–63
  Lives in Port Huron, Mich.
1859–60
Winter Starts selling newspapers and candy on the trains of the Grand Trunk Railroad.
top 1862
Spring Publishes and prints on the train his own newspaper, the Weekly Herald.
Fall Studies telegraphy with James Mackenzie, station agent at Mount Clemens, Mich.
1862–63
Winter Begins work as a telegraph operator in Micah Walker's book and jewelry store in Port Huron.
1863
Late Spring– Summer Starts job as a telegrapher for the Grand Trunk Railroad at Stratford Junction, Ontario.

1863 - 1865

1863–64
  Returns briefly to Port Huron.
  Works the night shift as a railroad telegrapher near Adrian, Mich., where he meets Ezra Gilliland for the first time.
  Works for two months as a railroad telegrapher in Fort Wayne, Ind.
1864–65
Fall–Winter Works in the Indianapolis, Ind., office of the Western Union Telegraph Co. and experiments on improvements in telegraph repeaters.
  1865
Spring–Fall Works in the Cincinnati, Ohio, office of Western Union.
  Experiments on self-adjusting relays.
17 September Becomes a founding member of the Cincinnati District of the National Telegraphic Union.
September Is promoted to telegraph operator first class.
  Begins designing devices for multiple telegraphy.

1865 - 1869

1865–66
Fall–Spring  Becomes the regular press-wire operator in the Memphis, Tenn., office of the South-Western Telegraph Co.
  Conducts repeater experiments.
1866
Spring Enters Western Union's Louisville, Ky., office as a press-wire operator.
4 June Transfers his membership in the National Telegraphic Union to the Louisville District.
1 August Leaves for New Orleans, La., planning to embark for Brazil.
1866–67
Fall–Summer Returns to the Western Union office in Louisville after a short stay in Port Huron.
1867
Summer Returns to the Western Union office in Cincinnati.
October Returns to Port Huron.
top 1868
March–April Begins work as an operator at the main Western Union office in Boston, Mass.
11 April Publishes in the Telegrapher the first of several articles on his telegraph inventions and on the Boston telegraph community.
11 July Makes the first of several agreements with E. Baker Welch, a Boston businessman who helps finance his early inventive work.
28 July Signs a caveat for a fire alarm telegraph and assigns the invention to Welch.
13 October Signs a patent application for an electric vote recorder, which later issues as his first patent.
top 1869
21 January Sells rights in his first successful printing telegraph, the Boston instrument, to Boston businessmen Joel Hills and William Plummer.
30 January Announces his resignation from his job with Western Union in order to devote himself full time to inventing and to pursuing various telegraph enterprises.
Winter–Spring Joins Frank Hanaford in establishing a business to produce and sell private line telegraphs at 9 Wilson Lane in Boston.
13 April Tries and fails to make his new double transmitter work between Rochester, N.Y., and New York City.
April–May Moves to New York City.
22 June Receives his first telegraph patent (for the Boston instrument).
c. 1 August Replaces Franklin Pope as superintendent of Samuel Laws's Gold and Stock Reporting Telegraph Co. in New York City and makes improvements on Laws's stock printer.
12 September Moves to Elizabeth, N.J., and boards with Pope's mother.
2 October Joins his partners Pope and James Ashley in advertising their newly formed Pope, Edison & Co. as a firm of electrical engineers and telegraph contractors.
Fall Operates a small shop in the electrical instrument factory of Leverett Bradley in Jersey City, N.J.

 

1870

10 February Signs two contracts with George Field and Elisha Andrews of the Gold and Stock Telegraph Co. that provide funds for developing inventions and establishing a shop.
c. 15 February Joins William Unger in establishing his first major shop, the Newark Telegraph Works, in Newark, N.J.
18 April Joins Pope and Ashley in assigning to the Gold and Stock Telegraph Co. their rights to printing telegraph patents.
May Engages Lemuel Serrell as patent attorney.
1 July Joins Pope, Ashley, Marshall Clifford Lefferts, and William Allen in establishing the American Printing Telegraph Co., an enterprise for providing private line telegraphs.
3 August Signs an agreement with Daniel Craig to invent an improved perforator for automatic telegraphy.
1 October Signs an agreement with George Harrington making them partners in the American Telegraph Works and providing Edison with funds for automatic telegraph experiments.
19 October Negotiates with Marshall Lefferts to sell his newly designed universal private line printer to Gold and Stock.
c. 26 October Charles Batchelor begins employment at the American Telegraph Works.
28 November The Automatic Telegraph Co. is incorporated and Harrington is named president.
1 December Pope, Edison & Co. announces its dissolution.