The Telettrofono Company" was the first company in the history that was set up with the aim of exploiting the telephone, as invented by Antonio Meucci. It was set up by an agreement stipulated between:
The agreement was fostered and notarized by Angelo Bertolino, a Notary Public of New York, and friend of Antonio Meucci, on 12 December 1871, a few weeks before the filing of Meucci's caveat "Sound Telegraph".
Though the company lived shortly -- two of the partners, Grandi and Tremeschin, having left the United States and the third, Breguglia, having died in the summer of the following year (1872) -- the content of the agreement reported below is enlightening as to how farsighted was Meucci's vision of the telephone.
It may be interesting to compare this agreement with the like one signed over three years later between Alexander Graham Bell and his two backers, Thomas Sanders and Gardiner G. Hubbard, that we reproduce below.
Made this twelfth day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one (1871), between Antonio Meucci, of Clifton, New York, Angelo Antonio Tremeschin, of Vicenza, Italy, Angelo Zilio Grandi, of New York, N. Y., and Sereno G. P. Breguglia, of Brooklyn, N. Y., as follows:&emdash;
The said parties above named, have agreed and by these presents do agree to become copartners together under the firm of Telettrofono Company (Speaking Telegraph), in the business of making and trying all the necessary experiments for the accomplishment of the Telettrofono, i. e. of the transmission of the word (human voice), through electric wires, invented by the aforesaid Antonio Meucci.
The said Antonio Meucci, having just filed, at the Patent Office of the United States of America the Caveat for the application, in order to secure Letters Patent from the U. S. Government of the said his invention, he, the said A. Meucci, hereby binds himself, when such Letters Patent will be granted to him, to leave them as an integral part of this co-partnership, which co-partnership is to commence on this date and to continue for all the duration of said Letters Patent; he, the said Antonio Meucci, by these presents, in consideration of the sum of one dollar legal money, to him in hand paid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, renouncing to all his rights of selling, of assigning, or otherwise disposing of such Letters Patent, if granted.
And to that end and purpose the said parties hereby covenant and agree that the said copartners, A. A. Tremeschin, A. Zilio Grandi and S. G. P. Breguglia, shall be fully impowered, and they promise and bind themselves to do their best endeavors to secure patent for the same invention in any State of Europe, or other part of the world, to form copartnerships, to raise companies, to sell or assign, in part, the rights of such invention, and to do all what can result to the benefit and good success of this enterprise; and it is agreed, also, that the said parties, Tremeschin, Zilio Grandi and Breguglia, shall bear, at their own charge at equal share, at the rate of one third each, all the expenses of any kind and nature, for whatever experiment which shall be deemed useful and necessary to the aforesaid purpose. And it is agreed, also, that the said Antonio Meucci shall be exempt of any charge for such expenditures in consideration of his invention.
And it is further mutually agreed that all net gains and profits that shall grow and arise from the said business or enterprise shall be divided between the said parties; for three sixths to Antonio Meucci, one sixth to Antonio Tremeschin, one sixth to A. Zilio Grandi and one sixth to S. G. P. Breguglia.
And it is also agreed that if any of the above-named copartners should at any time like to withdraw from this copartnership, said party can only be entitled to sell his share to a responsible and agreeable extra party, if any other partner or partners of this copartnership should not prefer to buy it.
In witness whereof the above-named parties have hereunto set their hands and seals in the city of New York the day and year aforementioned.
(Signed) ANTONIO MEUCCI. [SEAL]
" AUG. ANTONIO TREMESCHIN. [SEAL]
" A. ZILIO GRANDI [SEAL]
" SERENO G. P. BREGUGLIA. [SEAL]
In presence of
CITY OF NEW YORK,
STATE OF NEW YORK.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
On this twelfth day of December, eighteen hundred and seventy-one, before me, a notary public for said city and county, personally came Antonio Meucci, Angelo Antonio Tremeschin, Angelo Zilio Grandi and Sereno G. P. Breguglia, to me personally known to be the persons described in and who executed the foregoing article of agreement, and they severally acknowledged that they executed and signed the same for the purpose therein mentioned, and requested me to keep the same in my records.
In witness thereof I have set hereunto my hand and seal the day and year above written.
(Signed) ANGELO BERTOLINO,
[NOTAR. OFFICIAL SEAL] Notary Public, N. Y. County
Delivered under my hand and seal in the City of New York, this 14th day of December, 1871.
(SEAL) Notary Public, N. Y. Co.
Memorandum of Agreement made and concluded this twenty-seventh day of February A.D. 1875 by and between A. Graham Bell of Salem, Massachusetts; Thomas Sanders of Haverill, Massachusetts; Gardiner G. Hubbard of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Whereas the said Bell has invented certain new and useful methods of and apparatus for Telegraphing, for which he has applied for Letters Patent of the U.S. and is about to apply for other patents in the U.S., and has assigned all his rights, title and interest in and to said inventions or improvements to the said Bell, Sanders and Hubbard, parties to this Agreement, and has agreed to assign to said parties all his right, title, and interest in and to any further improvements he may make in perfecting said inventions or improvements. Now therefore the said Sanders and Hubbard do hereby severally agree that they will each contribute one half part of all expenses incurred in taking out the Patents for said inventions or improvements and of any interference or interferences that may be had as well as the necessary expenses that may be incurred in perfecting said inventions.
And it is further agreed between the parties hereto, that if said inventions should prove to be of value, that the said parties shall transfer all their rights to a company to be organized for the purpose of more easily managing and controlling said patents.
The stock that shall be issued for said patents to belong to said several parties, according to their respective interest therein, namely one third each.
This agreement shall be binding to our heirs and legal representatives.
(signed) A. Graham Bell
Gardiner G. Hubbard
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