Conservation of the telephone patent
This week is the anniversary of the patent for the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell. On March 7, 1876, the US Patent Office approved patent 174,465 for the first apparatus capable of transmitting the human voice through sound vibration. One hundred and thirty plus years later, it’s not difficult to wonder what Bell would think of all the modes of communication that evolved from his design.
Recently, the patent drawings for the telephone came to the conservation lab. Conservation treatment included surface cleaning to remove dirt and grime, then overall flattening to eliminate planar distortions. Tears and losses along the edges were mended and filled with Japanese paper toned with acrylic paint. The patent drawings had been damaged by heavy use and handling. Treatment stabilized the drawings and removed old repairs. But they retain the evidence of handling and poor quality adhesives and old agency markings.
Pictured above are before and after shots of sheets one and two of the patent. ARC identifier 302052