Moses Greeley Parker's signature on the back
1879 - - (February 17th) National Bell Telephone Company formed. The purpose of this organization was to combine the first New England Telephone Company and the Bell Telephone Company into a nationwide licensing company in order to speed the establishment of telephone service to cities throughout the country. (Dissolved by decree of court, December 8, 1903).-- Telephone Numbers. The latter part of 1879 and the early part of 1880 saw the first use of telephone numbers at Lowell, Massachusetts. This story is that during an epidemic of measles, Dr. Moses Greeley Parker feared that Lowell's four operators might succumb and bring about a paralysis of telephone service. He recommended the use of numbers for calling Lowell's more than 200 subscribers so that substitute operators might be more easily trained in the event of such an emergency. The telephone management at Lowell feared that the public would take the assignment of numbers as an indignity but the telephone users saw the practical value of the change immediately and it went into effect with no stir whatsoever. (Although attempts had been made, the implementation of dial telephone systems had yet to occur.) In 1879 in Lowell, Massachusetts a measles epidemic broke out and physician Moses Parker suggested that each of Lowell's 200 subscribers were assigned a number just in case all four of the operators became sick and they had to quickly train new operators. As a result the first telephone numbers were issued and used in Lowell, Massachusetts in late 1879 and early 1880.
American Biography By William Richard Cutter, American Historical Company Published under the direction of THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc. New York 1918 Dr. Moses Greeley Parker Moses Greeley Parker, M. D.--In an extended search it would be very difficult indeed to find one who, better than the late Moses Greeley Parker, gave substantial proof of the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, when he said, "There is something better than making a living, and that is making a life." With a realization of this truth, Dr. Moses Greeley Parker persistently and energetically labored, not only to win success, but to make his life a continual source of benefit to his fellow-men. While many men owe their success to intense concentration upon one line of effort, and while this quality is of decided value, there are a few exceptions in American enterprise, where leaders of business matters have been so variously endowed by nature that they have been able to organize and manage successfully a number and variety of exceedingly important undertakings. Of these exceptional men. Dr. Moses Greeley Parker is an example par excel- lence. A man of great sagacity, quick perceptions, sound judgment, noble impulses, and remarkable force and determination of character, he commanded the respect and confidence of all who knew him. It is unnecessary to add that as a physician he was held in the highest estimation, the record of his daily life being filled with evidence of this fact. In all professions, but more especially the medical, there are exalted heights to which genius itself dares scarcely soar, and which can only be gained after long years of patient, arduous, and unremitting toil, and inflexible and unfaltering courage. To this proud eminence we may safely state that Dr. Parker rose. The influence of a human life can never be properly and fully estimated, but such men as Dr. Parker create and maintain the honor of the medical profession. Dr. Moses Greeley Parker was born in Dracut, Massachusetts, October 12th, 1842, son of Theodore and Hannah (Greeley) Parker, and united in his person the blood of two of the oldest and most renowned of New England families. On his father's side he was descended from Deacon Thomas Parker, and was related to the great abolitionist, Theodore Parker. On his mother's side he was descended from Andrew Greeley, who settled in this country in 1640. On his maternal side he was also related to the celebrated statesman and editor, Horace Greeley. Dr. Parker's great-grandfathers, Kendall Parker and Joseph Greeley, were among the minute-men who rallied to Lexington, on April 19th, 1775, and his grandfather, Peter Parker, served valiantly in the Continental army during the Revolutionary War. Dr. Parker was educated in the district schools of his native town of Dracut, Massachusetts, then later in the Howe School at Billerica, Massachusetts, and prepared for college at Phillips Academy, Andover. After teaching in the district schools of New Hampshire for three years, Dr. Parker took up the study of medicine at Long Island College Hospital Medical School in Brooklyn, New York. He later studied at the Harvard Medical School, from which he received his degree of M. D. in 1864, and this honor was followed by others from Europe, where he studied at the University of Vienna during 1873 and 1874, and in Paris, France, the following year. One week after his graduation from the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Parker enlisted for the remainder of the Civil War, being commissioned assistant surgeon in the Fifty-seventh Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Shortly after, at the request of General Benjamin F. Butler, he was transferred to the Second United States Cavalry Regiment, then at Fortress Monroe, and with this unit served at Suffolk, Williamsburg, Drury's Bluff, Point of Rocks, and the siege of Petersburg, at which latter place he was in the trenches at the time of the explosion of the great mine, on July 3Oth, 1864. From this service, Dr. Parker was transferred to the base hospital of the Eighteenth Army Corps, where he had charge of the First Division, and received the wounded from Petersburg, Deep Bottom, Cold Harbor, Dutch Gap, and Fort Harrison. He later superintended the building of an additional winter hospital with four thousand beds. He was serving as officer of the day just before the fall of Richmond, and as such had the honor of receiving personally President Lincoln, General Grant, and the latter's staff. He also was a member of the council of administration on the effects of the twenty-one hundred soldiers who died in the hospitals. Upon the close of the Civil War, Dr. Parker returned to Lowell, Massachusetts, and took up the practice of his profession, in which he developed a remarkable skill, and revealed a talent for special research and for progressive methods in medicine. In 1866 he became a specialist in diseases of the eye and ear. Nothing' has contributed so much to the advance of medical and surgical science as the creation of specialists devoted to the study and treatment of diseases of the various organs of the human body. It must be evident to every one that it is utterly impossible for any one mind to cultivate the whole field of medicine thoroughly, and that the tendency to special work has increased. In 1873, desiring to specialize in certain branches of the profession, Dr. Parker closed his office, and spent two years in study abroad. Returning to Lowell, he opened a free dispensary, and gave freely of his expert services to the poor of that city, his private practice meantime assuming very large proportions. In 1876 Dr. Parker became president of the Lowell Medical Journal Society, and was a member of the International Congress of Opthalmology at New York. For thirty years he was physician at St. John's Hospital in Lowell, his home city, and was a trustee of the Lowell General Hospital from 1898 to the time of his death. He was a trustee of the Howe School at Bil- Icrica, Massachusetts. He had been a delegate- to the National Arbitration and Peace Congress in New York in 1907. Dr. Parker had been greatly interested in the telephone industry from the days of the parent company, the American Telephone Company, and was a personal friend of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor. When Professor Bell first exhibited his crude telephonic apparatus in 1878, Dr. Parker was an interested observer, and was quick to see the marvelous commercial utility of the invention. As a result of one of the lectures given by Professor Bell, Dr. Parker built a telephone line from his house to his office, a distance of about half a mile, and was delighted at the advantage it gave him. In 1879 the Lowell District Telephone Exchange was established, and Dr. Parker was quick to see its vast possibilities, and so great was his confidence in the future of the telephone, that he was the first man to walk into the exchange and ask to be permitted to buy a block of stock. He associated himself with various small licensed telephone concerns, which, largely through his instrumentality, were later merged into the New England Telephone Company. From that day to his death, Dr. Parker served constantly as a director in the company, and as a member of its executive board. His activities in this great and growing business led to his retirement from the practice of medicine, in which, however, he retained a vivid scientific interest. He became one of the largest individual shareholders in the enterprises of both the American Telephone Company and the New England Telephone Company, and was regarded as one of the most far- seeing men connected with those mammoth concerns. Dr. Parker had been a director and member of the executive committee of the New England Company since its organization in 1883. He also was interested in the Bell Telephone Company, and was a director in the Aroo- stook Telephone Company and the Knox Telephone Company. Another evidence of Dr. Parker's foresight as applied to telephoning is the method of calling by number that prevails today. In the early days subscribers were called for by name. and, as the size of the exchanges increased, it became a matter of some difficulty to train operators to remember the switchboard locations of the different persons called for. Dr. Parker saw that, in the event of an epidemic, the telephone system might be rendered useless. He suggested, therefore, that subscribers, instead of being called for by name, be called for by number, which practice was adopted and still prevails. In many other ways Dr. Parker continued to contribute to the development of the telephone. During his busy life, Dr. Parker found time to devote to the study of electricity, and was the first to photograph the electric current and show that it takes the form of spirals. His scientific bent led him to experiment in photography as well as in electricity, and he was the first to photograph the tubercular bacillus from Cushing's microscopical specimens. He^ also invented a thermo-cautery, and not long after, devised and patented an improvement in the process of producing and maintaining a very high degree of heat by hydrocarbonization. He received a diploma from the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association for an incandescent cautery. He was made president of the Middlesex North District Medical Society in 1898 and 1899. He was a member of the American Medical Association and the Massachusetts Medical Society; and was a contributor to medical and scientific journals. In politics, Dr. Parker was a stalwart Republican, but never sought political preferment. He was named a special member of the commission on tuberculosis by Governor Douglas, and had acted with similar boards in the State of New Hampshire and elsewhere at various times. In his later years of life, Dr. Parker turned his attention to various patriotic, philanthropic and charitable enterprises. He was long an active worker in the Sons of the American Revolution, serving first as president of the State society and later in 1911 and 1912, as national president-general, a distinction which he regarded as by far the most notable in his career. He was chosen by his intimate friend, Frederick Fanning Ayer, to work out the details of the Ayer Home in Lowell, Massachussets, and had always served that institution as the head of its governing board as president. He was also the leading spirit of the Lowell Day Nursery Association, and was deeply engrossed at the time of his death in plans for a new building, greatly extending the work. Dr. Parker was also a member of the Loyal Legion, the Bostonian Society, Bunker Hill Monument Association, the Massachusetts Society of Colonial Wars, of which he had been one of the board of managers; the Order of Colonial Governors, and the Grand Army of the Republic. He was president of the Parker Historical and Genealogical Association, and was affiliated with the Masonic order. Dr. Parker was sent by the United States government as a delegate to the International Medical Congress held at London, England, in 1913. The city of Lowell, Massachusetts, was profoundly shocked and grieved by the announcement of Dr. Parker's death, which occurred October 1st, 1917, in his seventy-sixth year. He was a man whose death at any time, under any circumstances, would have cast a gloom over the community, and the sorrow of the many who knew and loved him was greatly intensified by the suddenness with which the blow fell upon them. His judgment was excellent, his opinions were honest, and he was always loyal, faithful and patient. He was friendly, amiable and helpful, and his good nature was never known to fail. He was the possessor of fine natural abilities, and such a man is always stronger than he appears to be in any live, growing community. Being a descendant from two of the oldest New England families, Dr. Moses Greeley Parker lived up to the standard set by his illustrious ancestors, and dur Dr. Parker never married, and is survived by his sister, Mrs. Mary Greeley Morrison, and one nephew, Theodore E. Parker, who is division commercial superintendent of the Eastern Massachusetts Division of the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. (The Greeley Line). Arms--Argent, on a cross sable five escallops or. The Greeley family is one of the oldest and most illustrious in the New England 4 States, having maintained a high place in the regard of the community from the very earliest Colonial period to the present time. Andrew Greeley, the emigrant ancestor, was born about the year 1617, and died in Salisbury, Massachusetts, June 30, 1697. His wife, Mary Moyse, died there December 24, 1703. Andrew Greeley was an early settler in Salisbury, Massachusetts. The exact date of his arrival there, or in what vessel, is unknown. He settled on a part which is now included in Seabrook, New Hampshire, and thereupon built a tide mill for the grinding of corn, on Kane's river. In 1650, in addition to this mill, he built a large saw mill. All of the children of the three successive generations of Andrew Greeley were born on the old Greeley homestead. History from Wikipedia and OldCompany.com (old stock certificate research service).