Beautifully engraved certificate from the Collins Wireless Telephone Company
in 1909. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of a wireless telephone and a ferry. This item is hand signed by the Company’s President and Assistant Treasurer and is over 106 years old.
In May, 1903, A. Frederick Collins, formed the Collins Marine Wireless Telephone Co, and soon after changed the name of the company to Collins Wireless Telephone Co.
Collins traveled across the United States demonstrating his technology while selling stock in the Collins Wireless Telephone Co. The company had a small shop in Newark. N.J. where demonstration equipment was built but very little product was ever sold. In December, 1909 Collins Wireless Telephone Company became a part of the Continental Wireless Tel. & Tel. Company, and A. Frederick Collins was appointed Technical Director.
In December, 1911 four officers of the Continental Co. were indicted for using the mails to defraud in selling worthless stock. A. Frederick Collins was charged with giving a fraudulent demonstration of his wireless telephone on Oct. 14, 1909 at the Electrical Show in Madison Square Garden, New York, for the purpose of selling stock in the Collins Wireless Telephone Co.
Four officers were convicted with three of them fined and sentenced on January 10. 1913. to prison terms of up to four years. This was the end of the Continental Wireless Tel. & Tel. Co.
A. Frederick Collins was sentenced to three years in jail in Atlanta. After serving one year he was released on parole. Before his conviction he had been a respected engineer, considered an authority on wireless in general and a specialist in wireless telephony.
Does all of this sound like 1909 or 2002?
History is from the Spark Museum.