Knights of the Key.


"Old Bogy," the Friend of Every Operator in the Country,
and the Greatest Traveler in the Profession.

HENRY A. BOGARDUS- or "Old Bogy," as he was known to practically every telegraph operator in America - who died in Chicago a few years ago, had a nomadic career that has never been equaled by any other member of his profession. He had crossed the American continent twenty-eight times, twice walking the entire distance from Omaha to San Francisco. He had visited every city of any importance in the United States, and had paid short visits to Mexico, Canada, and Cuba. It was said of him that he had not accepted a regular position since the death of his wife and two children at Rochester, New York, in 1869. At that time, being left alone in the world, he began the wanderings which gave him the reputation of the greatest American telegraph tramp. "Old Bogy" was an expert telegrapher, and was at one time superintendent of the Dominion Telegraph Company at Toronto. He had also, before the death of his family, held various telegraph managerships, and during the Civil War was an operator in General Fremont's headquarters and later With General Halleck. He was transferred to General McClellan's command in time to take part in the seven days' retreat. He had been in railroad accidents without number, always managing to escape without injury. In the Ashtabula railroad disaster he was pulled through a car-window after it had fallen from the bridge over one hundred feet into the creek, covered with ice and snow. He had accompanied aeronauts in over one hundred voyages to the clouds, and had many times gone down in diving armor, exploring the depths of the sea.

Without Money and Without Price.

"Old Bogy" scorned railroad transportation as he scorned a regular job. He knew trainmen on every railroad in the United States, and he generally traveled in a passenger coach Should the passenger conductor not prove accommo- dating, and "Old Bogy" be reduced to the necessity of riding on a freight train, lie generally succeeded in getting over a division without trouble and then resuming his journey as a first-class passenger. When hunger drove him, lie stopped at the nearest telegraph office, and, calling the operator aside, informed him ever so confidentially that "Old Bogy" was financially embarrassed and would appreciate a short-time loan with which to purchase a hot meal or a bed. Nine times out of ten he would get the necessary amount. After he had been "staked" to the price he had requested he would talk ably on any subject but one - his family. Being a great traveler, he had met with varied experiences and many people, and he would regale the interested telegrapher with anecdotes until that gentleman felt that he had been well repaid for the expenditure of fifty cents or a dollar that he had given the aged globe-trotter. But when it came to his wife and babies, who were buried in the same year, his attitude would change. He became instantly uncommunicative. It was the one memory that was sacred to the old fellow.

When "Old Bogy" began a tour of the continent, say at Jersey City, he would first call on one of the operators there for a chat and a small loan. During this operation he. would inform the operator as to his intended route. The operator would flash the news to Washington, Baltimore,. Pittsburgh, Chicago, and other places en route that "Old Bogy" was to be expected. Although he might always be expected to call for a little "margin," telegraphers welcomed his appearance for the stories he could tell, and no budding youth entered the profession who did not feel that an acquaintance or a sight of "Old Bogy" was a part of the experience that would make him a first-class man. When he died the news was flashed to every telegraph office in the country, and there was mourning among telegraphers who knew him for his better qualities and were content to remember him for the good there was in him.


Or Robert J. Wynne's Rules for Frequent Resigning
as an Aid to Success in Life.

ROBERT J. WYNNE, office-boy at five dollars per week for a Philadelphia telegraph company, paid three dollars of his stipend for board, one dollar for laundering necessary linen, twenty-five cents for candy, twenty-five cents for the peanut-gallery every Saturday night, and fifty cents for odds and ends; studied in his spare moments and learned telegraphy, finally became Postmaster-General of the United States, and is now United States consul at London.

Mr. Wynne was born in New York City, and received a public-school education. He was thrown into the battle for existence suddenly and with no preparation, by the death of his mother and consequent breaking up of his family, in 1865. Necessity begat thoughtfulness on the part of the lad, and he began to study and practise telegraphy soon after his coming into the position of office-boy. His first position as an operator paid thirty dollars per month, but he fell among good companions, who placed him in the way of books on travel and biography and the works of classic authors. Excepting that Saturday night in the peanut-gallery, young Wynne studied assiduously.

Finding employment with opposition companies at gradually rising salaries, he moved about until he became chief operator of the Pacific & Atlantic Telegraph Company in Philadelphia at the age of nineteen. Eight years of this tired Wynne of Philadelphia, and he moved over to Washington, where he thought to find a broader field, and he did. His skill and speed as an operator were acknowledged, and when General Henry B. Boynton, the well-known newspaper correspondent, wanted a man for his Cincinnati leased wire, Wynne was selected. The assignment brought heavy work, for he frequently transmitted a night's press report and then put in the following day doing routine newspaper details. General Boynton kept the boy under his eye, however, and lost no opportunity to assist him. Soon Wynne was given newspaper work exclusively, and became an expert whose services were sought by many papers.

Shaking Up the Post-Office Department.

In 1891 he accepted the position of private secretary to Charles Foster, of Ohio, who was Secretary of the Treasury under President Harrison. Wynne's knowledge of Ohio and acquaintance with the politicians of that State gained him the position, which he filled successfully. After the Harrison administration had passed into history Wynne returned for a time to newspaper work. In 1902 he was given the post of First Assistant Postmaster-General, and his vigorous work in unearthing post-office frauds was still causing cold chills to permeate the department when Postmaster-General Henry C. Payne died. Mr. Wynne was at once promoted to the head of the Post-Office Department. He is the third telegrapher who has seen service in the Cabinet - Marshall Jewell having been Postmaster-General in President Ulysses S. Grant's administration, and Colonel Daniel Lamont Secretary of War under President Cleveland.

One of Wynne's recipes for getting up in the world is a set of rules that he used during his term as Postmaster-General.

"Going to resign, are you?" he asked an indignant person who had been pouring grief into his ear by the cubic yard. "Can't stand it another minute, eh? Put up with it as long as you could, and now you're going to throw up your job and tell your chief what you think of him? Yes, I know. Last straw, and all that sort of thing. Uh-huh! Did you ever see my set of rules for resigning? I framed them up years ago, when I was in the newspaper business, and I have used them ever since. I have resigned often since then, always in the way prescribed in these rules. Perhaps they will be of service to you. Here they are:

"Rule 1. After receiving the last straw, don't do anything for two hours. Above all, don't write anything.

"Rule 2. At the expiration of two hours, write your resignation, and make it as hot as you can. Relieve your feelings, and say everything you have been penning up in your breast. Scorch the scoundrel.

"Rule 3. Then go home.

"Rule 4. The next morning, immediately upon arising, read over your resignation and tear it up.

" Rule 5. Go to work at the usual hour.

"Take a copy of them," concluded Mr. Wynne, "and you will find that they are absolutely essential to any man who expects to resign frequently and still continue to rise in the world."


John E. Wilkie's Progress from Reporting Crime
to Discovering It for the Government.

JOHN E. WILKIE, chief of the United States Secret Service since 1898, spent his early youth around newspaper offices, and gained his present position through the "nose for news" that a newspaper training gave him. His newspaper and telegraph experience developed his executive ability and endowed him with a knowledge of the world's sharp turns that have made him the successful head of the quietest but most far-reaching department in the government service. to 1877 he became a reporter on the Chicago Times. Three years later he was sent to London on the staff of the same paper. In 1881 he returned to Chicago for the Tribune, and was put to "doing the police" on a night assignment.

During the long hours of the "dog watch" he picked up a knowledge of telegraphy from two old operators who were then in the fire-alarm service of Chicago. That knowledge permitted him to make a "scoop" during the great car-works fire at Blue Island in 1883 that made his rivals wish that they too had learned the mystery of dots and dashes. It was one o'clock in the morning when the fire started, and Wilkie broke open a fire-alarm box, called James Fitzpatrick at headquarters (one of the men who had taught him telegraphy), and flashed the news over the fire-alarm-telegraph wire. Fitzpatrick rushed the copy to the Tribune office by messenger, and it caught the first edition.

Many times since then Mr. Wilkie has found telegraphy a valuable aid in his work, especially when on assignments that take him to out-of-the-way railroad stations. A thousand-word telegram is apt to paralyze the average rural telegrapher, and it is here that Mr. Wilkie is able to take up the thread and push his story to the distributing point ahead of his competitors. Since assuming charge of the secret service he has installed a private line between his office and home, and carries on telegraphic business after hours with great facility.

Appointment a Pleasant Surprise.

Wilkie was covering special Sunday assignments in Chicago when Lyman J. Gage, then Secretary of the Treasury, without solicitation or application, selected him for chief of the secret service, where he has since remained. There are branches of the secret service connected with other departments of the government. The Post-Office Department has its own, so has the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior; but none of them compare in numbers, magnitude of work, or extensive ramifications with the Secret Service of the Treasury, which is considered the main body. In this department there is no room for stage-thunder, spectacular plays, or newspaper notoriety. The work is done silently and well.

While the secret service of the government sometimes strikes quickly and sharply, the case of a Pennsylvania cigar manufacturer, who attempted to defraud the government through bogus internal revenue stamps and was finally landed behind the bars, shows that it is also patient and can go slowly when necessary. Chief Wilkie and his men were pitted against a citizen of high business standing at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who possessed brains and money. He commenced his career of crime by floating great quantities of internal revenue stamps, the plates for which were made for him by two exceedingly skilful engravers in Philadelphia. So skilfully was their work performed that for a time the counterfeit was not detected.

Emboldened by this the conspirators began turning out notes of the denominations of one hundred dollars, fifty dollars, and twenty dollars, which did not arouse suspicion at the banks or even in the United States Treasury. Then they planned to go further. Their lines were all laid to float ten million dollars in counterfeit notes simultaneously in the leading cities of the country, when the watchfulness of the secret service nipped the scheme.

But the suspicious conspirators became alarmed before the net could be drawn in, and the plates were spirited away and buried. For fourteen months the sleuths trailed their quarry, watching them day and night, and patiently awaiting the moment when they could clap their hands down on the conspirators and evidence simultaneously. Finally, lulled to a sense of security through the apparent inactivity of the secret service, the criminals began operations again. Then the government sleuths, under Wilkie, swooped down upon them and landed the last one of them - including a former United States district attorney of Philadelphia - behind prison bars.


Triumphant Course of Walter P. Phillips the Inventor
of the Time and Labor Saving Code.

WALTER P. PHILLIPS, a Massachusetts plowboy on his father's farm, resolved, at the age of thirteen, that there were things to do out in the wide world that were more congenial and remunerative than following a plow. On one of the family's very infrequent visits to the village of Grafton young Walter had heard the click of a telegraph instrument. It mystified him, charmed him, and interested him. Then and there he resolved to become a telegrapher. He did it, and did it so thoroughly that he ranked with the best in his profession. Being of a progressive turn, he did not stop there.

Like many other telegraphers, he turned to journalism as offering greater scope for his abilities. He succeeded there as he had in telegraphy. Starting in a subordinate position and becoming managing editor of the Providence Morning Herald, he made his way up, inch by inch, until he became general manager of the greatest press organization of the day, rubbing elbows with Presidents, cabinet officers, senators, politicians, and editors from all parts of the United States and Europe, and finally bringing about a consolidation of the leading press associations under what is to-day the Associated Press of New York.

Through his wide acquaintance with newspaper people, proprietors and operatives, and his earlier training in the advertising field, he was selected, after his retirement from the management of the consolidated press companies, as the general advertising manager of a great phonograph company. This position requires a shrewd mind and a wide knowledge of advertising to properly carry out the ends of that organization and obtain the proper position for its multitude of advertisements.

To telegraphers throughout the country Mr. Phillips is known as the writer of many terse and interesting telegraph tales under the pen name of "John Oakum," and as an inventor of the first rank. In 1879 it occurred to him that the system of spelling out every word that went over a telegraph wire was absurd. He set about compiling the "Phillips Code," in which are over four thousand abbreviations and combinations of words that make the telegrapher's life easier and permit the telegraph companies to almost double the capacity of their wires. The "Phillips Code" is in use to-day exclusively, all over the United States on press circuits and in message work, in railroad offices or in brokerage establishments - in fact, wherever the telegraph reaches. It is also used successfully for court reporting, the combinations covering, in some instances, five and six words very commonly used, of which "Potus," for "President of the United States," 'Scotus," for "Supreme Court of the United States," "Sow," for "Secretary of War" are fair samples.

The "Weiny-Phillips" repeater is a product of Mr. Phillips' inventive genius, aided by that of Roderick Weiny, and that instrument is considered almost indispensable by the big telegraph companies. What is perhaps his most important invention, however, is the Phillips Automatic System of Telegraphy, which was used successfully during the existence of the United Press, and which is now being perfected for use by one of the large commercial companies. By the Phillips Automatic more than two hundred words a minute may he transmitted over a single wire, whereas at present the most expert hand-sender is incapable of maintaining an average above fifty words.

Breaking the World's Record.

During his earlier telegraph experience Mr. Phillips performed a telegraph feat which stands to this day as a marvelous record. Before the advent of typewriters or "code" in telegraphy he had the reputation of being one of the best "receivers" of Morse in New England. To test his ability, it was arranged one night to have the swiftest "sender" in Boston man the wire on which Phillips was copying the telegraph news report at Providence. The Boston swift opened up as if his life depended on getting off the copy" in large lumps. After an hour's work the "sender" was fagged out, but not a sound had been heard from Providence. Every word had been accurately recorded, and a new world's record had been established without a "break" in the proceedings. There were two thousand seven hundred and thirty-one words in the hour's work, and even with the present era of speed marvels, aided by the typewriter and codification, that figure would stand as a fair average. Professor S. F. B. Morse recognized the achievement by presenting the young expert with a beautiful gold pencil and penholder, suitably inscribed.

In the organization and development of the system of handling press telegrams Mr. Phillips was given the distinction, as assistant general manager of the Associated Press in 1878, of introducing the idea of leasing wires from telegraph companies for the handling of news, under the control of the press organization. The wisdom and value of the experiment became instantly apparent, and from a small beginning - a wire from New York to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington - the leased wire system rapidly expanded, until now the press service requires connection, day and night, with every city and almost every hamlet in the United States. Old-timers look back to the time of the United Press under Mr. Phillips' management as the "good old days of the U. P.," when many of them had their first experience with a man of their own profession who had not developed an abnormal cranium through climbing up in the world and who could be depended on as a friend in need.


Orrin S. Wood, a Pupil of Samuel F. B. Morse
and the Oldest Living Telegrapher.

ORRIN S. WOOD, the world's oldest telegrapher, whose entrance into the profession antedates by almost a year that of any other living operator, is still a hearty citizen of New York. Mr. Wood began his telegraph career at Washington, District of Columbia, in July, 1844. He was the first student of telegraphy on the first telegraph line ever erected. He remained with Professor Morse in the Washington office until March, 1845, when he came with the telegraph exhibit to New York. The next year he spent in building and operating telegraph lines in New York, opening the first telegraph offices at Syracuse, Auburn, Rochester, Buffalo, and Utica. The New York section of the New York, Albany and Buffalo Telegraph Company was not completed until the fall of 1846, when he went to New York and opened the first office there. This office was located in the Post Building, which was then on Exchange Place. He was identified with the telegraph throughout the century until 1866, when he settled at, Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island. Mr. Wood was a stockholder in Cyrus W. Field's first Atlantic Telegraph-Cable Company.

Professor Morse, in writing from Poughkeepsie, New York, to a brother of Mr. Wood, said:

"Your brother, Orrin S. Wood, was my first telegraph pupil after the first (the experimental) line was established between Washington and Baltimore. He will undoubtedly recollect my predictions at that time for him that, having accepted the enterprise at its very commencement and made himself thus early master of all that pertained to it, he would have an experience possessed by no other, which would enable him to command any position he might choose."


Early Beginning of De Lancey H. Louderback,
Builder of the London Tube for Yerkes.

DE LANCEY H. LOUDERBACK, son of a New York State Episcopal clergyman, ran errands and saved his pennies, nickels, and dimes until he had a capital of five dollars with which to go forth into a strange world. At odd times he had learned telegraphy at the little railroad office of the village where he was born, and at the age of fourteen made application to the superintendent of the New York Central Railroad for a position as operator. He was so diminutive that the old superintendent looked at him disapprovingly over his spectacles, and remarked severely: "Young boy, you should be at home with your mother."

"But I want to get out into the world and be a man, "replied the youthful applicant, and his earnest persistence won the heart of the gruff old superintendent, who gave him his first position as a telegraph operator at Batavia, New York, with the admonition: "And now remember, you must not sleep on duty; if you do, two trains will surely crash together, and you will be hung."

The emphasis on the "hung" gave young Louderback a chilling sensation along the backbone, but it impressed him with the necessity of being wide awake, and with thirty dollars a month as a stipend he bought books on electricity and whiled away the long hours of the night studying electrical problems the solving of which were to make him one of the most famous of railroad builders in later years.

Getting Into the Game.

Soon he had attained such proficiency that he was promoted to the place of train despatcher at Buffalo, and there he began laying plans for a wider field. Shortly afterward an opportunity was presented for the opening of independent telegraph offices in Philadelphia and Chicago on a commission basis. The enterprise was a pronounced success, and Louderback became a factor on the telegraphic checkerboard, which was just then being played to the limit. His ability to unerringly judge enterprises, and his unusually good memory and persistence, won the admiration of General Anson Stager, then general superintendent of the Western Union Telegraph Company. He was placed at the head of the Western Electric Company's sales department in 1876, and thence promoted to control of the Western Union factory in New York, where he met H. McK. Twombly (a son-in-law of Mr. Vanderbilt), who was the leading spirit of the Western Union Telegraph Company and the telephone business in opposition to the Bell Company of Boston.

Through Louderback's diplomacy the warring officials of the two companies were brought together and their differences settled. As a reward, Louderback was presented with stock and franchises in various telephone enterprises, which netted him several hundred thousand dollars. Later he became identified with Charles T. Yerkes, after having built or reorganized several Western railroad lines. The Chicago Union Elevated loop was a feat of engineering which no one cared to attempt. It had, in addition to being a difficult hit of engineering, the opposition of many of Chicago's leading citizens. Yerkes and Louderback looked over the ground and decided they could build the loop, and they did. It was considered one of the best pieces of railroad work ever accomplished. During the building of the loop a watchman who had been discharged for inattention to duty and drunkenness approached Louderback's office with the avowed intention of killing him. The railroad builder's private secretary headed off the irate watchman and was expostulating with him when Louderback, who is a small man, appeared and asked the cause of the disturbance. Being informed as to the object of the watchman, who was a burly fellow, Louderback invited him into his private office and calmed him into perfect submission with a few words.

Mr. Louderback's latest enterprise was the building of the London tube, in conjunction with Charles T. Yerkes.

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