1901 - Viaduct Manufacturing Company
No. 14 Desk Set
This is a remarkable and beautiful telephone. Only a handful are known to exist, making this Viaduct Manufacturing Company potbelly exceedingly rare. Several years ago I came across an original Viaduct ad in the January 4th, 1902 Electrical World and Engineering magazine. At the time I had never seen this potbelly before and I saved the ad hoping that one day I would come across this special telephone, and to my surprise, I did.
Viaduct Manufacturing Company of Baltimore, Maryland, was founded in 1883 when it took over and continued the business of Davis & Watts, an Electrical Goods manufacturer. Viaduct made "Everything Electrical, but its specialties were Telephones, Magneto Bells, District Messenger Call Boxes, Student's Telegraph Outfits, Electric Lights and American District Supplies of all kinds."
The manufacturing plant sat very near the relay station of the B & O Railroad. The Railroad had built a brick viaduct over a deep ravine to support the railroad tracks and that's how the Viaduct Manufacturing Company got its name.
This potbelly is in outstanding original condition even though it has lost some of its original nickel plating. It even has its original coil and wiring inside the base. It will always be one of my favorite candlestick telephones.