Boston: Stanley & Usher, Printers, 1887. 12pp. Original printed self wrappers, sewn. Minor dust-soiling and edge wear. Soft vertical crease throughout. Internally clean. Very good. [with:] Annual Report of the Mexican Telephone Company. 1890-1891. Boston: E.W.S. Jones, Stationer and Printer, . 11pp. Original printed wrappers, stapled. Wrappers somewhat toned, small chip at each corner, short vertical closed tear and some discoloration to front wrapper. Soft vertical crease throughout. Internally clean. Very good. Item #4321
An informative pair of rare and early reports from the Mexican Telephone Company, a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone Company that sought to establish a national telephone network across Mexico during the 1880s. The Mexican Telephone Company began operations in 1882 using equipment from Western Electric and other supplies harvested from local Mexican markets, specifically Mexican trees for telephone poles. At first, the company met with success, but over the course of the next two decades the company's work was eroded by a combination of increasing competition, unsound workmanship, the volatility of the Mexican financial markets, and the restructuring and merging of telephone companies around the turn of the century. By 1905, the Mexican Telephone Company was sold or transferred to the Boston Telephone Company. Renamed the Mexican Telephone and Telegraph Company, the branch continued to operate in Mexico, contributing to the construction of an underground cable network. The present pamphlets provide interesting insight into the early years of the company's operations in Mexico.
The first pamphlet opens with a letter to stockholders from J.D. Sargent, the company's president. Sargent informs the investors of recent mismanagement of funds by the company's treasurer, with which the company is dealing. He also reports on the company's takeover of the Puebla Telephone and Telegraph Company, the infringement of the company's territorial rights by rival companies, the hopeful outlook for completion of a railroad to Guadalajara which will likely result in "a decided improvement in business there for the future," and other news vital to the company's operations in Mexico. The following four pages are comprised of a detailed financial report to Sargent and the company directors by the general manager of the company, M.L. Guiraud. Rounding out the first work is a two-page Treasurer's Report by the Treasurer, pro tem., A.E. Denison.
The later report indicates some volatility in the company's ranks, as the opening letter from the president of the company is delivered by a new president, Robert Colgate. Early in his letter, Colgate mentions that he has been head of the company for two years, and was part of a new regime put in place to curtail expenses, liquidate outstanding obligations, and "settle all outstanding claims, with the view of putting the Company on a strong financial basis." Much of the remainder of Colgate's letter addresses lawsuits, claims, and other business which have now brought the health of the company to a "very satisfactory condition." The remainder of this annual report is a Treasurer's Report from yet another new treasurer, W. French Smith. OCLC reports just a single copy of the later report, at the University of Michigan. There are no holdings reported for the earlier report from 1887.