>Gutta Percha and telegraphs during the 1850’s Louisiana

>Somehow or another I was led to the term, “gutta percha”. What the heck is “gutta percha?”

Evidently, it is rubber!  I see now that gutta percha was used in many things including military uniforms of the Louisiana Zouave during the Civil War. Son of the South has an artists rendition of a few Louisiana Zouaves‘ in prison.
http://books.google.com/books?id=DOd4uDE06g8C&lpg=PA12&ots=XK3XQuRoLp&dq=Gutta%20Percha%20Louisiana&pg=PA12&output=embed

There are also duck calls, buttons, more button pics, watch chains, and military experiments during 1850’s (see newspaper clip below) using gutta percha. An archaeology dig found a few pieces from former Civil War prisoners of Johnson’s Island.

“Crafted hard rubber items include rings, buttons, and metal set into hard rubber as jewelry. One of the hard rubber artifacts we found recently bore “an” and “51″ marks on the rear. These indicated a marking by the “American” Rubber Company, and the requisite patent mark for Goodyear’s process (“1851″).”

I don’t believe that I would be participating in such experimentation of electricity and insulative properties….Read on toward the bottom of this article in amazement. “Another experiment was successfully tried by passing electric current through the human body.”  A certain Mr. O.J. Wolleston volunteered in this experiment. BRAVE INDEED!

To think that there were submarines during the Civil War is a bit amazing in and of itself, but to recognize that there was experimentation with a submarine telegraph in 1851!  That is shocking isn’t it?

Well, that isn’t the 1/2 of it. There is more concerning telegraph lines:


Whereas. The “People’s Line of Telegraph.” extending from Louisville, Kentucky, through the States of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, to New-Orleans, Louisiana, and including a branch line extending from Tuscumbia, Alabama, to Memphis, Tennessee, was completed and in operation from “Louisville to New-Orleans.” in the month of January, 1849:
Therefore, be it Resolved, That in conformity with the provisions of the twenty-second section of the charter incorporating the “People’s Telegraph Company,” being an act of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, entitled “An Act to incorporate the New Orleans and Ohio Telegraph Company and the People’s Telegraph Company,” and approved March 1st, 1848, the following notice be given in a newspaper published in each of the following places, viz: Louisville, Ky. Tuscumbia, Ala., Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La, if any such newspaper there be, once a week, for four weeks, and three times daily:–”  — Atlantic Cable

 Names of those who owned stock also from above link Atlantic Cable. (Louisiana extract only)

And by their proxy, Charles Doane:
John A. Amelung, of New Orleans, La., seventy-five shares, 24 votes.
Harmon Doane, of New Orleans, La., fifty shares, 22 votes.
Parmele & Brother, of New Orleans, La., fifty shares, 22 votes.
John O. Woodruff, of New Orleans, La., twenty-five shares, 20 votes.
Price & Frost. of New Orleans, La., fifty shares, 22 votes.
John R. Shaw, of New Orleans, La., twenty-five shares, 20 votes.
Joseph Landis & Co., of New Orleans, La., fifty shares, 22 votes.
Kennett & Dix. of New Orleans, La., twenty-five shares, 20 votes.
Shropshire & Savage, of New Orleans, La., twenty-five shares, 20 votes.
William Creevy, of New Orleans, La., thirty-five shares, 20 votes.
Shultz, Hadden & Leach, of New Orleans, La., fifteen shares, 15 votes
William B. Paiter, of New Orleans, La., twenty-five shares, 20 votes.
James D. Dameron. of New Orleans, La., twenty-five shares, 20 votes.
R. Yeatman & Co., of New Orleans, La., twenty-five shares, 20 votes.
R. W. Adams & Johnson, of New Orleans, La., twenty-five shares, 20 votes.
Mortimer Turner, of New Orleans, La., twenty-five shares, 20 votes.
Richard Millikin, of New Orleans, La., twenty-five shares, 20 votes
Stephen Henderson, of Baton Rouge. La., ten shares, 10 votes.
Philip Hickey. of Baton Rouge, La., five shares, 5 votes.
W. F. Tiernan, of Baton Rouge, La., five shares, 5 votes.
J. M. Brunot, of Baton Rouge, La. five shares, 5 votes.
James McCalop, of Baton Rouge, La., twenty-five shares 20 votes.
John Perkins, of Gallatin. Miss., ten shares, 10 votes.
Lewis Perkins, of Gallatin, Miss., ten shares, 10 votes.
(Whole number of votes cast, 1148.)

http://books.google.com/books?id=aOcpAAAAYAAJ&dq=Bain%20Chemical%20Telegraph%20Louisiana&pg=PA201&output=embed

See also November 10, 1849
Papers Past – another instance where a flood is described in 1849 not May of 1850 as above. The above title however, states that the telegraph lines were taken up!  Is it any  wonder that I cannot find an article in Google Newspapers concerning the NOTICE described from Atlantic Cable to be printed for four weeks?

September 14, 1852, The New York Times
– The Telegraph

About Louisiana Genealogy Admin

I manage several RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards, support Louisiana Cemetery Preservation, am a former Louisiana and Mississippi librarian, have been researching genealogy of my family since 1988, and write and promote several blogs supporting either Louisiana genealogy or Louisiana cemeteries.
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