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Philo Taylor Farnsworth (August 19, 1906 – March 11, 1971) was an American inventor and television pioneer. A few months after arriving in California, Farnsworth was prepared to show his models and drawings to a patent attorney who was nationally recognized as an authority on electrophysics. Kneiss as published in the Western Pacific's March 1953 company magazineTuesday, March 3, 1903, was just another rainy day to most San Franciscans.
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This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President and Secretary.Firstmark Corporation was a holding company whose subsidiaries engaged in various financial services. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President and Secretary and is over 28 years old. Although he made many contributions that were crucial to the early development of all-electronic television, he is perhaps best known for inventing the first fully functional all-electronic image pickup device (video camera tube), the "image dissector", the first fully functional and complete all-electronic television system, and for being the first person to demonstrate such a system to the public.In later life, Farnsworth invented a small nuclear fusion device, the Farnsworth–Hirsch fusor, or simply "fusor", employing inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC).
Everson and Gorrell agreed that Farnsworth should apply for patents for his designs, a decision which proved crucial in later disputes with RCA.
Beginning in the mid-1980s, the financially shaky Firstmark allegedly sought to conceal its condition by increasing the margin between the quantity of notes sold to investors and those redeemed by investors.Firstmark Corporation was alleged to have deceived investors into purchasing new notes, rolling over current notes or otherwise refraining from redeeming their notes. Wright Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a man holding a CRT and a antenna with a early TV and city skyline in the background.
Although not a practical device for generating nuclear energy, the fusor serves as a viable source of neutrons. Most television systems in use at the time used image scanning devices ("rasterizers") employing rotating "Nipkow disks" comprising lenses arranged in spiral patterns such that they swept across an image in a succession of short arcs while focusing the light they captured on photosensitive elements, thus producing a varying electrical signal corresponding to the variations in light intensity.
Carrie Nation, armed with axe and Bible, smashed some bottled goods and glassware in a Montgomery Street saloon and was hustled off to jail.
The result was an ever-growing pyramid of debt that forced Firstmark into bankruptcy in 1988. The design of this device has been the acknowledged inspiration for other fusion approaches including the Polywell reactor concept in terms of a general approach to fusion design.Farnsworth was born on August 19, 1906, to Lewis Edwin Farnsworth and Serena Amanda Bastian, a Mormon couple then living in a log cabin built by Lewis's father in a place called Indian Creek near Beaver, Utah. Farnsworth recognized the limitations of the mechanical systems, and that an all-electronic scanning system could produce a superior image for transmission to a receiving device.On September 7, 1927, Farnsworth's image dissector camera tube transmitted its first image, a simple straight line, at his laboratory at 202 Green Street in San Francisco. To jail likewise went Miss Flo Russell, a young lady whose crime lay in exposing an ankle and bit of petticoat while lifting her skirts high enough to clear the muddy pavement, and to jail in Marin County, across the Bay, went one George Gow, who illegally failed to bring his automobile to a dead stop when a horse-drawn vehicle approached within 300 feet.Over in Corea (as it then was spelled), San Franciscans learned from their newspapers, fighting went on along the Yalu River between the Russians and the Japanese, and at Harvard Professor Hollis, chairman of the Athletic Committee, said that football aroused only the worst impulses and should be abolished. The family moved to a farm in Rigby, Idaho, in 1918, where Lewis supplemented his farming income by hauling freight with his horse-drawn wagon. Patent Office issues decision in Zworykin-v-Farnsworth Interference #64,027, awarding "priority of invention" of electronic television to Philo T.
Up in Sacramento Governor Pardee signed a bill making the Golden Poppy the state flower of California.No, not too much excitement, but even so readers of the San Francisco Chronicle next day reached. Philo was excited to find his new home was wired for electricity, with a Delco generator providing power for lighting and farm machinery. An extremely bright source was required because of the low light sensitivity of the design.
He was a quick study in mechanical and electrical technology, repairing the troublesome generator, and upon finding a burned out electric motor among some items discarded by the previous tenants, proceeding to rewind the armature and convert his mother's hand-powered washing machine into an electric-powered one. By 1928, Farnsworth had developed the system sufficiently to hold a demonstration for the press. By branch lines it was also to serve San Jose, Alameda, Berkeley, Richmond, Fresno, Chico and Prattville. Philo developed an early interest in electronics after his first telephone conversation with an out-of-state relative and the discovery of a large cache of technology magazines in the attic of the family’s new home.Farnsworth excelled in chemistry and physics at Rigby High School, and produced sketches and prototypes of electron tubes. His backers had demanded to know when they would see dollars from the invention, so the first image shown was, appropriately, a dollar sign. One of the drawings he did on a blackboard for his chemistry teacher, Justin Tolman, was recalled and reproduced for a patent interference case between Farnsworth and Radio Corporation of America (RCA).
In 1929, the design was further improved by elimination of a motor-generator, so the television system now had no mechanical parts. Bartnett, San Francisco, lawyer and promoter, had subscribed to 14,900 of the 15,000 shares of capital stock but behind him, speculation went, were probably the Goulds, the Vanderbilts, Jim Hill or David Moffat.Perhaps the reason that the Chronicle put its writeup back on page 14 along with the truss ads and the electric belts was that the story was not exactly new, Men had talked about a railroad through the Feather River Canyon for a long time, particularly one named Arthur W.
Philo took violin lessons from Reuben Wilkins in Ucon, Idaho.Farnsworth asked his high school science teacher for advice about an electronic television system he was contemplating. That year, Farnsworth transmitted the first live human images using his television system, including a three and a half-inch image of his wife Elma ("Pem"), with her eyes closed because of the blinding light required.Many inventors had built electromechanical television systems prior to Farnsworth's seminal contribution, but Farnsworth designed and built the world's first working all-electronic television system, employing electronic scanning in both the pickup and display devices. Keddie.KEDDIE'S DREAM Keddie had come to California in the early sixties - a young Scottish lad, trained as a surveyor. He provided the teacher with diagrams covering several blackboards to show how it might be accomplished electronically. He first demonstrated his system to the press on September 3, 1928, and to the public at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on August 25, 1934.In 1930, Vladimir Zworykin, who had been developing his own all-electronic television system at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh since 1923, but which he had never been able to make work or satisfactorily demonstrate to his superiors, was recruited by RCA to lead its television development department. By that time the goId diggers that had briefly overrun the Feather River country following Bidwell's celebrated discovery on July 4, 1848, had departed with their pokes and six-shooters. Before leaving his old employer, Zworykin visited Farnsworth's laboratory and was sufficiently impressed with the performance of the Image Dissector that he reportedly had his team at Westinghouse make several copies of the device for experimentation. The science teacher encouraged him to do so.In the fall of 1922 the Farnsworths moved to Provo, Utah.
But Zworykin later abandoned research on the Image Dissector, which at the time required extremely bright illumination of its subjects to be effective, and turned his attention to what would become the Iconoscope.In 1931, David Sarnoff of RCA offered to buy Farnsworth's patents for $100,000 (USD), with the stipulation that he become an employee of RCA, but Farnsworth refused. The many-pronged turbulent river which Arguello had named Rio de las Plumas because of countless floating feathers from moulting wild pigeons, flowed in solitude through its deep gorges.One of thefirst professional jobs that came Keddie's way after he had hung out his shingle at Quincy, county seat of Plumas County, was that of exploring the North Fork of the Feather for the newly-organ ized OroviIIe and Beckwourth Pass Wagon Road Company.
But Philo stayed behind to work for the railroad in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, saving enough money to begin classes at Brigham Young University (BYU) when he rejoined his family in the fall of 1923.
In June of that year, Farnsworth joined the Philco company and moved to Philadelphia along with his wife and two children.[26] RCA would later file an interference suit against Farnsworth, claiming Zworykin's 1923 patent had priority over Farnsworth's design, despite the fact it could present no evidence that Zworykin had actually produced a functioning transmitter tube before 1931. Beckwourth Pass, for unknown ages a great Indian thoroughfare, had been discovered to civilization by Jim Beckwourth, a mulatto scout, in 1850. The family had moved into the first floor of a large two-story house, renting the top floor to BYU students. Farnsworth had lost two interference claims to Zworykin in 1928, but this time he prevailed and the U.S. A Sierra crossing more than 2,000 feet below the elevation of Donner Pass, it had become popular for covered wagon trains.Keddie made his canyon reconnaissance in the dead of winter but the snows he encountered were surprisingly light. Patent Office rendered a decision in 1934 awarding priority of the invention of the image dissector to Farnsworth. The Farnsworths later moved into half of a duplex, with family friends the Gardners moving into the other side when it became vacant. RCA lost a subsequent appeal, but litigation over a variety of issues continued for several years with Sarnoff finally agreeing to pay Farnsworth royalties. Philo developed a close friendship with Cliff Gardner, who shared Farnsworth's interest in electronics. Zworykin received a patent in 1928 for a color transmission version of his 1923 patent application, he also divided his original application in 1931, receiving a patent in 1935, while a second one was eventually issued in 1938 by the Court of Appeals on a non-Farnsworth related interference case, and over the objection of the Patent Office.In 1932, while in England to raise money for his legal battles with RCA, Farnsworth met with John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor who had given the world first public demonstration of a working television system in London in 1926, using mechanical imaging systems, and who was seeking to develop electronic television receivers.
Harpending, for one, was convinced that the Central Pacific had chosen a most inferior route over the mountains and would be easy competition. The two moved to Salt Lake City to start a radio repair business.The business failed and Gardner returned to Provo. Baird demonstrated his mechanical system for Farnsworth, and explained "the superiority of his system".
As the Quincy Union put it: "The Central Pacific have long since understood they must content themselves with the summer trade of Virginia City and Carson. But Farnsworth remained in Salt Lake City, and through enrollment in a University of Utah job-placement service became acquainted with Leslie Gorrell and George Everson, a pair of San Francisco philanthropists who were then conducting a Salt Lake City Community Chest fundraising campaign. But after watching several minutes of Farnsworth's version, "He advanced slowly, as if hypnotized, until he was standing directly before it, He stood there for some time; he turned without a word and left" Baird's company directors pursued a merger with Farnsworth, paying $50,000 to supply electronic television equipment and provide access to Farnsworth patents.
They agreed to fund Farnsworth's early television research, and set up a laboratory in Los Angeles for Farnsworth to carry out his experiments. Capital stock sales were authorized up to five million dollars, but a negligible amount was sold.
Where upon some of Keddie's new associates railroaded a most amazing bill through the California Legislature and induced Governor Haight to sign it.This new law was entitled "An Act Authorizing the Board of Supervisors of Plumas County to take and Subscribe to the Capital Stock of the Oroville and Virginia City Railroad Corn- pany." Actually, it not only authorized them, it specified that said Supervisors could be fined, removed from office, and sued for damages if they didn't do so! After trials of both systems, the BBC committee chose the Marconi-EMI system, which was by then virtually identical to RCA's system.
The image dissector scanned well, but had poor light sensitivity compared to the Marconi-EMI Iconoscopes, dubbed "Emitrons".After sailing to Europe in 1934, Farnsworth secured an agreement with Goerz-Bosch-Fernseh in Germany. Enthusiasm for the railroad in Plumas County cooled while indignation boiled and the Supervisors resigned en masse.
Some image dissector cameras were used to broadcast the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.In March 1932, Philco denied Farnsworth time to travel to Utah to bury his young son Kenny, placing a strain on Farnsworth's marriage, and possibly marking the beginning of his struggle with depression. A legal battle finally repealed the obnoxious statute.General Rosecrans tried to induce the Union Pacific to take over the 0. That same year, while working with University of Pennsylvania biologists, Farnsworth developed a process to sterilize milk using radio waves. He also invented a fog-penetrating beam for ships and airplanes.In 1936 he attracted the attention of Collier's Weekly, which described his work in glowing terms. Today, barely thirty years old he is setting the specialized world of science on its ears."In 1938, Farnsworth established the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with E. In September 1939, after a more than decade long legal battle, RCA finally conceded to a multi-year licensing agreement concerning Farnsworth's 1927 patent for Television totaling $1 million. RCA was then free, after showcasing electronic television at The New York World's Fair on April 20, 1939, to sell electronic television cameras to the public.Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation was purchased by International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) in 1951. He liked what he saw but the Central Pacific end-of-track was miles into the Nevada sagebrush by then and, although the Union Pacific was authorized by congress to build to the California line, it had to stop wherever it met the C.


During his time at ITT, Farnsworth worked in a basement lab known as “the cave” on Pontiac Street in Fort Wayne.
From here he introduced a number of breakthrough concepts, including: a defense early warning signal, submarine detection devices, radar calibration equipment and an infrared telescope. One of Farnsworth's most significant contributions at ITT was the PPI Projector, an enhancement on the iconic "circular sweep" radar display, which allowed safe control of air traffic from the ground. This system developed in the 1950s was the forerunner of today’s air traffic control systems.In July 1957, Farnsworth appeared on the CBS quiz show I've Got A Secret, hosted by Garry Moore. The builders of the Central Pacific were adept at "pressure" and they put plenty of it on Harpendingto ditch the scheme. Moore then spent a few minutes discussing with Farnsworth his research on such projects as high definition television, flat screen receivers, and fusion power.In addition to his electronics research, ITT management agreed to nominally fund Farnsworth's nuclear fusion research. He and staff members invented and refined a series of fusion reaction tubes called "fusors".
Huntington, laughed Keddie out of his office with the remark "no man will ever be fool enough to build a railroad through the Feather River Canyon." Arthur Keddie had to put his dream in mothballs but he did not forget it. For scientific reasons unknown to Farnsworth and his staff, the necessary reactions lasted no longer than thirty seconds.
In December 1965, ITT came under pressure from its board of directors to terminate the expensive project and sell the Farnsworth subsidiary.
The close of the latter decade found the Union Pacific, less than entirely happy with its western connection, again considering its own line to San Francisco.
It was only due to the urging of President Harold Geneen that the 1966 budget was accepted, extending ITT's fusion research for an additional year.
The stress associated with this managerial ultimatum, however, caused Farnsworth to suffer a relapse. A year later he was terminated and eventually allowed medical retirementIn the spring of 1967, Farnsworth and his family moved back to Utah to continue his fusion research at Brigham Young University, which presented him with an honorary doctorate. The university also offered him office space and an underground concrete bunker for the project. Realizing the fusion lab was to be dismantled at ITT, Farnsworth invited staff members to accompany him to Salt Lake City, as team members in Philo T.
One was down the Pit River, one through Susanville and along Deer Creek, several through Beckwourth Pass and down the Feather. Bogue rather favored the Deer Creek route despite some 80 miles of 4 per cent grade, but Jay Gould gained control of the Union Pacific about that time, and the plans for a San Francisco extension were abandoned.THE SAN FRANCISCO & GREAT SALT LAKE This was bad news to California shippers and merchants who had hoped for some relief from the Central Pacific monopoly which skillfully adjusted rates to the maximum figures which would allow its customers to remain in business. By late 1968, the associates began holding regular business meetings and PTFA was underway. A group of them got together and determined to build the Union Pacific connection themselves.
Although a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was promptly secured, and more possibilities were within reach, financing stalled for the $24,000 in monthly expenses required to cover salaries and equipment rental.By Christmas 1970, PTFA had failed to secure the necessary financing, and the Farnsworths had sold all their own ITT stock and cashed in Philo's life insurance policy to maintain organizational stability.
They incorporated the San Francisco and Great Salt Lake Railroad Company and hired Bogue's assistant, W. The underwriter had failed to provide the financial backing that was to have supported the organization during its critical first year. The banks called in all outstanding loans, repossession notices were placed on anything not previously sold, and the Internal Revenue Service put a lock on the laboratory door until delinquent taxes were paid. If he could locate a practicable route, one which was not too expensive, they felt it should be possible to find Eastern capitalists who would finance the undertaking.Kennedy was, of course, familiar with the surveys made by Union Pacific but believed he might find an even better line.
Farnsworth had begun abusing alcohol in his later years, and as a consequence he became seriously ill with pneumonia, and died on 11 March 1971.Farnsworth's wife Elma Gardner "Pem" Farnsworth fought for decades after his death to assure his place in history.
In Quincy he called at the County Surveyor's office for a map of Plumas Country; the County Surveyor was Arthur Keddie, and the two men found a lot to talk about. Farnsworth always gave her equal credit for creating television, saying, "my wife and I started this TV." She died on April 27, 2006, at age 98. Keddie told the engineer of the low pass he had found near Spring Garden Ranch between the Middle Fork of the Feather and Spanish Creek, a tributary of the North Fork.
As the Middle Fork Canyon became impossibly steep below this point and the North Fork was almost as bad above it, this low divide offered a means of utilizing the best parts of both canyons.Crossing the Sierra summit at Beckwourth Pass, thence descending the upper reaches of the Middle Fork and cutting over to the North Fork at Spring Garden, as Keddie had suggested, to reach the Sacramento Valley at Oroville, Kennedy completed his survey late in 1892. Why spend $35 million to compete with him, the wily old man had asked each likely angel, he'd be gladto let them have the Central Pacific, monopoly and all, for a good deal less and be glad to get it off his hands. Zworykin’s iconoscope, is a means of dividing an image into particles whose light values, when transmitted, are capable of being restored to form a replica of the original image. No one called his bluff and the San Francisco and Great Salt Lake Railroad Company joined the other punctured bubbles.HARRIMAN VS. GOULD When Jay Gould had acquired control of the Denver and Rio Grande properties, he had seriously considered extending them to the Pacific Coast.
Both systems interchanged their westbound traffic with the Central Pacific at Ogden and in return the latter divided its eastbound loads equitably between them.But when E. Harriman and his supporters, after acquiring the Union Pacific, picked up control of the Southern Pacific System after C. It was his ambition to have his own rails from coast to coast.They already stretched from Buffalo to Ogden, he had definite plans to reach Baltimore, and he had hoped to acquire the Central Pacific himself. Now, bottled up in Utah by Harriman, he decided to build a new road to San Francisco.Virgil Bogue had become George Gould's consulting engineer and recall-ing his surveys for the Union Pacific in the '80's, recommended Beckwourth Pass and the Feather River route. Remembering also an unhappy experience he had once had in locating any other road, only to find the whole route plastered with mining claims of dubious mineral value but through which rights of way must be negotiated, he advised Gould to form a "mining company" first. Accordingly the North California Mining Company was organized and soon nearly 6OO placer claims were staked out, blanketing the entire proposed route across the mountains.Gould turned the job over to the Denver and Rio Grande and its president, E. The transit men and stake artists were forbidden even to let their wives know where they were. Two California corporations, the Butte and Plumas Railway and the Indian Valley Railway, were set up to be the figureheads.It was, however, more than a bit difficult to keep anything concerned with a railroad through the Feather River Canyon secret from Arthur Keddie.
Bartnett who, with his associates, had built a short line, the Alameda and San Joaquin Railroad only a few years before from Stockton southwest to the Tesla coal mines. The mines had not come up to expectations and Bartnett, who was an exceedingly high powered promoter, had conceived the ambitious plan of extending his 36-mile railroad east to Salt Lake City and west to San Francisco and then selling it to the Goulds.Bartnett and Keddie incorporated the Stockton and Beckwith (sic) Pass Railroad on December 1, 1902. For Keddie merely put some stooge "survey parties" out in the canyon and as they haphazardly staked out each ten miles of "line," he made a copy of the corresponding map Kennedy had filed in 1892 and, by registeri ng these in the county seats, won an incontestable five-year franchise.Walter Bartnett then journeyed to New York with Keddie's franchise in his pocket, convinced George Gould that it could not be ignored. Bartnett and Gould signed an agreement on February 6, 1903, which provided for the formation of a new company to take over the various corporations which each had previously organized and to build and equip the railroad.
Less than a month later and pursuant to this pact, the meeting in the Safe Deposit Building was called to order.THE WESTERN PACIFIC IS BORN The Western Pacific Railway Company was thus organized on March 3, 1903. But when Bartnett's clerk appeared next day at the Secretary of State's office in Sacramento, the first of many roadblocks thrown up by the Southern Pacific became apparent. The Western Pacific Railway Company was thereupon incorporated, on March 6, 1903.George Gould still remained completely out of the picture and denied all connection with the project. Although he financed the new surveying parties that were immediately sent out to make the final location, he was forced, in the interests of this secrecy, to keep the Rio Grande engineers in the field as well.
The absurd result was two hostile groups struggling to outwit each other and often on the point of exchanging pot shots, though both were actually on the same payroll.Virgil Bogue was finally dispatched by Gould to choose the best of the routes surveyed.
This suggested to him the idea of a uniform one percent grade.Rapid investigation proved this feasible, and without climbing too high above the river. Jeffery and with equal enthusiasm the D&RG president answered that if a one per cent grade railroad between San Francisco and Utah could belocated, money to build it was available regardless of the cost.Shortly thereafter General G. Dodge wrote to one of Bogue's associates as follows:"I am glad to see that you are out there on the Western Pacific. That line is almost exactly the line I run (sic) south of Salt Lake, thence down the Humboldt, across the Beckwourth Pass, and down the Feather, but you have a better grade than I got.
That is the line the Union Pacific would have built if it had not been for the progress of the Central Pacific east."Rumors were still thick as to who was behind the Western Pacific. There was a story current that Harriman and Ripley (of the Santa Fe) had together offered him two million plus all he had spent so far to give up the project. It was not until the spring of 1905 that Gould publicly announced his paternity of the Western Pacific and appointed President Jeffery of the Rio Grande to head the new road as well. Bartnett, who had been president, became vice-president.Contracts for construction were signed late the same year, although the line was not completely located nor the rights of way all secured. The Southern Pacific naturally interposed every possible legal and physical obstacle, but although it possessed immense political power and a formidable bag of tricks, the Western Pacific promoters usually managed to come out on top.WAR ON THE WATERFRONT The biggest row was that involving the WP ferry terminal on San Francisco Bay.
Oakland was an unnamed part of the Peralta rancho in 1851, when lawyer Horace Carpentier and two associates made themselves at home on the oak-studded meadows around what is now lower Broadway and started selling lots.
Don Vicente Peralta rode around with the sheriff when his cattle began to disappear, but Carpentier glibly talked him into a lease of the land on which he had squatted and then proceeded to incorporate it as the City of Oakland.
His hand-picked trustees gladly "sold" him the entire 10,000 acre waterfront between high tide and the ship channel for five dollars plus two per cent of any wharfage fees he might collect. Carpentier then took office as mayor.In 1868 when Central Pacific interests sought a terminal on the Bay at Oakland, Carpentier made a nice deal with its management.
Carpentier became its President and conveyed "all the waterfront of the City of Oakland" to the new corporation. The Santa Fe, only a few years before, had built its ferry slip way up at Point Richmond rather than attempt to crack the S.P. Bartnett, after a hard struggle against the older railroad's influence, did secure a small site on the mudflats of the Oakland Estuary. It would have made a miserably cramped ferry terminal but, from all appearances, the WP promoters had concluded it was the best they could do. Every move was carefully rehearsed and logistics figured to the last detail.As the Oakland tidelands had gradually been filled in, the Government had extended the banks of San Antonio Estuary with rock quays called "training walls" in order to prevent silt from washing into the Oakland inner harbor channel. A dredger was often necessary to prevent the formation of a bar at the entrance of the channel.
Laborers snatched their sleep in shelter tents on the wave-washed rocks and the WP commissary department fed them.
Soon there was a mile of track on top of the rock wall.Of course the Southern Pacific did not quietly accept this outrageous trespassing on domains it had held undisputed for more than half a century.
Its legal department, fairly in convulsions, was whipping out the necessary papers for immediate appeal to the law. This was exactly what Bartnett had told Gould would happen and exactly what they both desired.
For the courts, as Bartnett had felt sure they would, held that the Southern Pacific title to the waterfronts had not progressed westward with the shoreline as the tidelands and marshes had been filled in, but was valid only to the low tide line of 1852. It is of peculiar interest to Oakland, for this system's coming made it possible for Oakland to recover control and possession of its magnificent waterfront.


This may well be placed first in the order of benefits which will accrue to the city, as well as to the Bay region and the entire state."CONSTRUCTION WAS NOT EASY Construction camps had been established by the contractors at points all along the line undersupervision of Company division engineers. But, for much of the distance through the rugged Feather River Canyon, not even a foot path was handy to the route. Indeed the surveyors had often hung suspended by cables over cliffs in order to set their line stakes. So it was necessary first to blaze a trail and set up small camps supplied by pack mules,then use these as bases for building a wagon road over which supplies and equipment for building the railroad could be hauled.
It was slow, and often dangerous.At Cromberg it was necessary to cross the swirling river on a jittery rope bridge and here eleven men were lost working on the cliffs or trying to cross the stream.
Where Grizzly Creek drops into the Feather, the field parties were forced to resort to rafts in order to by-pass the sheer granite cliffs.
Over at the Utah end crossing the salt beds was a nightmare due to excessive temperature extremes and the killing glare which often blinded men aftera few hours work.It was difficult to hold men under such conditions while more pleasant work was plentiful and turnover was terrific. Bogue actually had detectives infiltrated through some of the gangs under the suspicion that some outside agency must be stirring up trouble and inducing the men to quit, but no evidence of this was ever found. Wyche, the WP engineer, replied that all his assistants had positive instructions on this point and wouldn't think of taking S.P. A few days later a Greek labor agent reported that the next batch of track men he would deliver would have to wait until they could get their time checks from the S.P.! Drunkenness was a problem too, one which Bogue finally solved by buying up all the saloon licenses handy to the job.After the depression of 1907 set in, there were plenty of men available-and at lower wages.
Had it not been for this unexpected break all of the contractors would probably have gone bankrupt, since the work proved considerably more costly than they had figured.In particular, the long tunnels at Spring Garden between the canyons of the North and Middle Forks, Chilcoot at Beckwourth Pass, and at Niles Canyon not far east of Oakland, ran into unexpected delays and costs. Original plans had called for Western Pacific to be ready for business by September 1, 1908, and when it became more and more evident that this date could not be met, President Jeffery felt mounting concern."It is really a very serious situation to contemplate," he wrote Bogue in January 1907, "and the key is the completion of the long tunnels. The rest of the road we can build and get in running order, and we can have our terminal facilities at San Francisco and Oakland and our floating plant in San Francisco Bay all ready by or before September 1 (1908),"It was in March, 1907, when one of the worst storms in the history of California struck and the resulting floods completely tied up construction.
With these and other delays it was not surprising for Jeffery to write, "I long for the day when we can have the railroad in operation and I can see the fruition of my hopes and plans since 1892.
On November 1, 1909, the track gangs from east and west met on the steel bridge across Spanish Creek near Keddie and foreman Leonardo di Tomasso drove the final spike. In contrast to the gold spike ceremonies on the first overland railway just forty years before, no decorated engines met head to head before a cheering crowd; no magnums of champagne were broached. The only spectators were a pair of local women and their little girls.ENGINES AND TERMINALS Surprisingly enough, President Jeffery had first favored equipping the Western Pacific with small locomotives of the vintage of 1888. These had given good service on the Rio Grande and were more economical than the heavier engines it had since acquired. The engines Jeffery favored were the D&RG class 106, a ten-wheel passenger locomotive with a tractive effort of 18,000 pounds, and Class 113 for freight, a consolidation with 25,000 pounds tractive effort.Bogue at first appeared to fall in with Jeffery's ideas, but raised one doubt after another as to the wisdom of ordering these little old-fashioned engines.
The first twenty freight engines were built by Baldwin, the rest by the American Locomotive Company. They were a lot bigger than the 1888 models although they would appear tiny in comparison with those which would follow while they were still in service.
The work horses of the Western Pacific for several decades, they were excellent machines.Yards and terminals for the new railroad had been most carefully designed. Shafter, 40 miles further east, had plenty of water, better living conditions and was an interchange point with the Nevada Northern.
However, Wendover sat at the foot of 33 miles of 1 per cent grade and the selection of Shafter as a subdivision point would have sacrificed tonnage for speed in order to avoid overtime, as well as failure to utilize the 100 miles of nearly level track east of Wendover for maximum tonnage.
Bogue estimated annual savings of $100,000 by picking Wendover against Shafter.Each division point had been made the subject of a similar careful study as to location and design. At Oroville, the old gold workings governed the layout and at Portola mountains and river were important factors. Bogue and his assistants had done their work well.Rates of pay at the opening shed light on the passage of time. From San Francisco to Salt Lake City it stretched 927 miles, 150 miles longer than the competitive route to Ogden; but against the latter's steep grades, sharp curves, and heavy snows at a 7,017-foot elevation, the new railroad had maintained Bogue's one per cent compensated grade with a maximum curvature of 10°, and crossed the Sierra at 5,002-foot elevation.
On the basis of "adjusted mileage" in terms of operating costs, it was rated shorter than the other road. Everything had been designed and built according to the best contemporary standards but there was much need for further ballasting and other finishing touches.Furthermore, the Western Pacific was an integral part of a 13,708-mile nationwide railway system that now reached from San Francisco to Baltimore, with the exception of a short gap between Wheeling, West Virginia, and Connellsville, Pennsylvania.
It looked as if George Gould would be successful with his dream of owning coast to coast rails, for work on a missing link, the Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal, was being rushed.A DISCOURAGING START Through freight service on the WP was inaugurated on December 1, 1909. Prior to that there had been local freight service, largely between Salt Lake City and Shafter for the Nevada Northern connection to the flourishing mines of Ely. During three days in December, for example, 28,140 pounds of merchandise and one car of lumber for Oakland was the total business received at San Francisco, nothing whatever at Oakland, and similar results at other points.
Then came a small windfall, a solid fifty-car trainload of wire and nails from the American Steel and Wire Company at Joliet, Illinois, reached Salt Lake City on December 25 and brought Christmas cheer to all connected with the new railway as it rolled west on WP rails.The cheerful mood did not last long. Except for the Southern Pacific route through Arizona the entire Pacific Slope was isolated from communication with the East by landslides, snow banks and floods.
Night and day extra gangs wrestled with slides in the Feather River Canyon and at Altamont Pass; there were four big washouts in the desert between Gerlach and Winnemucca, and serious damage through Palisade Canyon. And to make matters desperate along the whole railroad, the waters of Great Salt Lake began to rise, ate away at the earth fill, and seriously threatened eight miles of line carried on fill and trestles. Consideration was even given to abandoning this track, obtaining trackage rights over the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake route farther south, and building a ten-mile connection west of the Lake. It was not until the latter part of May that operation was returned to normal.AN ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME Passenger service was not begun until August.
On the 22nd of that month, the fine new Oakland station, impressively corniced with eight immense concrete eagles, saw an immense throng gather to greet the first through train, a press special. Crowds had turned out all along the line, towns were decorated, salutes fired, parades and brass bands were everywhere. A parade of welcome four miles long escorted the passengers and railroad officers to a banquet at the Claremont Country Club.
But soon thereafter his cushy business car Atalanta (white tie and tails customary at dinner) came West on the rear end of the Overland Express.
The multi-millionaire railroad magnate made a hit with the "rails" when he took part in an impromptu baseball game at Portola.THE COST ESTIMATES WERE MUCH TOO LOW Gould had not divided the financial responsibility for the Western Pacific among his other railroads, but had placed it all squarely upon the Denver and Rio Grande. By the terms of a mortgage arranged with the Bowling Green Trust Company of New York in 1905, the Rio Grande had underwritten $50 million in WP bonds, and in addition, had agreed to advance any additional funds necessary to complete the line.But building and equipping the Western Pacific had cost almost twice the $39 million estimate and the D&RG had been called on to advance $16 million in cash.
Jeffery, president of both companies, shows he was greatly worried at these mounting figures and well he might have been for they were to pull both railways into bankruptcy within a few years.WESTERN PACIFIC GOES TO WORK Gould and Jeffery had, however, enabled the Western Pacific to embark on its career with a top-flight staff of officers. Schlacks, first vice-president, had 30 years of successful railroad experience behind him; he had been general manager of the Colorado Midland and later operating vice-president of the D&RG. Levey, second vice-president and general manager had been general superintendent of the Burlington, general manager of its Missouri lines, and third vice-president of the Northern Pacific.
Schumacher, vice-president in charge of traffic of both WP and D&RG, had been general traffic manager of the El Paso and Southwestern, while Edward L. Lomax and Harry M.Adams, passenger and freight traffic managers respectively, were also capable men of wide experience. Two of them, Levey and Adams, were destined to become its presidents.But not even supermen could have put the road immediately in the black. This and the terms of the mortgage which forbade any moneys to be spent on branches until the main line had been completed, had prevented the construction of the numerous feeder lines which had originally been contemplated. In San Francisco the road opened with only one industry spur, that of Dunham, Carrigan and Hayden. Most of the plants and warehouses in Northern California were already served by Southern Pacific and Santa Fe.However, they did their best.
Almost at once, they succeeded in signing advantageous traffic agreements with the Santa Fe and the Pacific Coast Steamship Company.
A secret agreement, made March 26,1906, by Jeffery with Toyo Kisen Kaisha, now became operative and public knowledge. By its terms this Japanese steamship company which had previously interchanged with the Harriman lines would form a through route with the Gould System. The first sailing direct from the Western Pacific Mole took place February 8,1911, when the Nippon Maru pulled away with a load of cotton for the mills of Japan.
Eastbound the steamers brought in Oriental fabrics that rolled as million-dollar silk specials on faster than passenger schedules. On - toes solicitation garnered special movements for organizations ranging from the Bartenders Union to the International Purity Congress. A Votes-for-Women Special paused at all stations for observation platform speeches by the Suffragettes in the manner later adopted by presidential candidates.But as the earnest efforts of both traffic branches fell far short of profitable operation the Rio Grande became increasingly concerned at the growing deficits.
In 1911 it was forced to suspend dividends on its preferred stock in order to meet the interest coupons on the WP first mortgage bonds. By 1914 it was trying to get the terms of the mortgage altered so as to eliminate this crushing burden.
Meeting with no success, its directors decided to default on the coupons due March 1, 1915.
As a result Western Pacific was forced into receivership.It was a tragic decision for the Rio Grande and made in the belief that under the contract it was liable only for the interest and not the principal of the WP bonds. The Rio Grande could, at some sacrifice, have met the interest for years, but its directors felt that by precipitating foreclosure and the sale of Western Pacific at auction, their liability would be ended.
In the East the Wabash Pittsburgh Terminal project had bankrupted the Wabash in similar fashion to the Rio Grande's downfall. And, whatever the future of the Western Pacific, it would now be on its own.With the San Francisco Exposition in 1915, slides closing the Panama Canal, growing involvement of the United States in the European War and, particularly, the results of its own development program, WP traffic zoomed. But the property was sold at auction on the steps of the Oakland station on June 28,1916, by a Special Master in Chancery. Levey, who had been second vice-president of the old Company, became president of The Western Pacific Railroad Company. By the terms of its mortgage bonds no branches had been built by the old Company, though Bogue had hopefully kept alive many interesting projects that had been offered. Another was a network of interurban lines to cover Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley, which the present WP management can be thankful was never built.As a result of Kendrick's studies a 75 percent interest in theTidewater Southern Railway between Stockton and Turlock was acquired in March, 1917, the Nevada-California-Oregon narrow-gauge line between Reno and the WP main line purchased the following May and standard gauged, and construction of a San Jose branch begun.
Several other existing short lines and projects for branches were looked on with favor, but it was not possible to do everything at once.



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