Telephone Building and a Golden Boy

195 Broadway, 29-story building in the Financial District,  is also known as the Telephone Building, Telegraph Building, or Western Union Building.
In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. That was the foundation of the company that would become AT&T , AT&T Corporation, formerly   American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

American Telephone and Telegraph Company  built much of the United States’ long-distance and local telephone networks and become  the world’s largest corporation and a standard for the telecommunications industry. The  American Telephone and Telegraph Company   was founded in 1885 by Alexander Graham Bell, a Scottish-born  scientist  who invented  the first practical telephone.
 Bell  made the first call on March 10, 1876,  in his Boston workshop to his assistant, Thomas Watson: "Mr. Watson--come here--I want to see you".
On October 9, 1876,   Bell and   Watson talked by telephone to each other over a two-mile wire stretched between Cambridge and Boston.  A year after  Bell and two investors, Gardiner C. Hubbard and Thomas Sanders, formed the Bell Telephone Company.



His fiancée, Mabel insisted he show his new telephone at the Centennial celebration in Philadelphia. When Dom Pedro the emperor of Brazil heard Bell reciting Shakespeare over the transmitter, he was astounded. Such a crowd gathered around the exhibition the police were summoned. Later President Rutherford B. Hayes was quoted as saying, "That's an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one of them?" Later on he had one installed and called it "the greatest invention since the creation". His first call was to Alexander Graham Bell. 


Bell's first telephone call was so famous, he repeated the phrase in 1915 in the formal opening of the completed transcontinental telephone lines connecting America's East and West co

asts. Dr. Watson replied, "It will take me five days to get there now!"
 The building at 195 Broadway was constructed under the leadership of AT&T's president Theodore Newton Vail, who  was the president of American Telephone & Telegraph between 1885 and 1889, and again from 1907 to 1919. Construction started   in 1913 and completed in 1922.   It was here where in January  1915 Bell placed the first transcontinental phone call, ringing   Watson in San Francisco from New York.

195 Broadway   was the site of the world’s first   transatlantic phone call. On January 7, 1927, the first official transatlantic telephone call was  made when W. S. Gifford, president of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company, calls Sir Evelyn P. Murray, secretary of the General Post Office of Great Britain, on the new commercial circuit.

Genius of Telegraphy  ( or Golden Boy)  has been the symbol of AT&T  since 1916. The statue   was originally installed atop the Fulton Street wing of the AT&T, 195 Broadway.  At that time it was    New York City's second-largest sculpture, after the Statue of Liberty!  

The gold-leaf covered statue weighs 18,000 pounds and depicts a winged figure holding up a handful of lightning bolts.  It  stood on the roof  for more than 64 years.  Original name  of the statue was Genius of Telegraphy,  but later it was  changed to Spirit of Communication. It was moved to another Manhattan location on 550 Madison Avenue in 1983. In 1992, a ceremony was held when the statue crossed state lines to come to the company’s operational headquarters in Basking Ridge, where it stood until 2002.  And now the  Golden Boy resides inside the lobby of the company’s global headquarters on Akard Street in Dallas.