Gardiner Greene Hubbard
|President of Bell Telephone Company|
|Succeeded by||William Forbes|
|Born||August 25, 1822|
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||December 11, 1897 75) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
Gertrude Mercer McCurdy
|Children||6, including Mabel|
|Relatives|| Gardiner Greene (grandfather)|
Richard McCurdy (brother-in-law)
Alexander Graham Bell (son-in-law)
Grace Hubbard Fortescue (granddaughter)
|Alma mater|| Dartmouth College |
Harvard Law School
Gardiner Greene Hubbard (August 25, 1822 – December 11, 1897) was an American lawyer, financier, and community leader.
He was a founder and first president of the National Geographic Society; a founder and the first president of the Bell Telephone Company which later evolved into AT&T, at times the world's largest telephone company; a founder of the journal Science, and an advocate of oral speech education for the deaf.
One of his daughters, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, married Alexander Graham Bell.
Hubbard was born, raised and educated in Boston, Massachusetts to Samuel Hubbard (June 2, 1785 – December 24, 1847), a Massachusetts Supreme Court justice,and Mary Greene (April 19, 1790 – July 10, 1827). His younger brother was Charles Eustis Hubbard (1842-1928), who later became the first secretary and clerk of the Bell Telephone Company.
Hubbard was a grandson of Boston merchant Gardiner Greene.He was also a descendant of Lion Gardiner, an early English settler and soldier in the New World who founded the first English settlement in what later became the State of New York, and whose legacy includes Gardiners Island which remains in the family.
He attended Phillips Academy, Andover, and graduated from Dartmouth in 1841. He then studied law at Harvard, and was admitted to the bar in 1843.
He first settled in Cambridge and joined the Boston law firm of Benjamin Robbins Curtis.There he became active in local institutions. Hubbard helped establish a city water works in Cambridge, was a founder of the Cambridge Gas Co. and later organized a Cambridge to Boston trolley system. Hubbard also played a pivotal role in the founding of Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts. It was the first oral school for the deaf in the United States, and Hubbard remained a trustee for the rest of his life.
Hubbard entered the national stage by becoming a proponent for the nationalization of the telegraph system (then a monopoly of the Western Union Company, as he explained) under the U.S. Postal Service stating in an article: "The Proposed Changes in the Telegraphic System","It is not contended that the postal system is free from defects, but that it removes many of the grave evils of the present system, without the introduction of new ones; and that the balance of benefits greatly preponderates in favor of the cheap rates, increased facilities, limited and divided powers of the postal system." During the late 1860s, Hubbard lobbied Congress to pass the U.S. Postal Telegraph Bill known as the Hubbard Bill. The bill would have chartered the U.S. Postal Telegraph Company that would be connected to the U.S. Post Office, but the bill did not pass.
To benefit from the Hubbard Bill, Hubbard needed patents which dominated essential aspects of telegraph technology such as sending multiple messages simultaneously on a single telegraph wire. This was called the "harmonic telegraph" or acoustic telegraphy. To acquire such patents, Hubbard and his partner Thomas Sanders (whose son was deaf) financed Alexander Graham Bell's experiments and development of an acoustic telegraph, which led to his invention of the telephone.
Following Curtis's retirement, Hubbard relocated to Washington, D.C. where he continued to practice law for 5 more years. In 1876, he was appointed by President Grant to determine the proper rates for railway mail and he served as a commissioner to the Centennial Exposition.
Hubbard organized the Bell Telephone Company on July 9, 1877, with himself as president, Thomas Sanders as treasurer and Bell as 'Chief Electrician'. Two days later, he became the father-in-law of Bell when his daughter, Mabel Hubbard, married Bell on July 11, 1877. Gardiner Hubbard was intimately connected with the Bell Telephone Company,which subsequently evolved into the National Bell Telephone Company and then the American Bell Telephone Company, merging with smaller telephone companies during its growth. The American Bell Telephone Company would, at the very end of 1899, evolve into AT&T, at times the world's largest telephone company. Hubbard has been credited as the entrepreneur who distributed the telephone to the world.
Hubbard also became a principal investor in the Edison Speaking Phonograph Company. When Edison neglected development of the phonograph, which at its inception was barely functional, Hubbard helped his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell, organize a competing company in 1881 that developed wax-coated cardboard cylinders and disks for used on a graphophone. These improvements were invented by Alexander Bell's cousin Chester Bell, a chemist, and Charles Sumner Tainter, an optical instrument maker, at Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Hubbard and Chester Bell approached Edison about combining their interests, but Edison refused,resulting in the Volta Laboratory Association merging the shares of their Volta Graphophone Company with the company that later evolved into Columbia Records in 1886.
Hubbard was also interested in the public side of science. After his move to Washington, he was one of the founders and the first president of the National Geographic Society,serving in that capacity from 1888-1897. Today, the Hubbard Medal is given for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research. In 1897, he also helped to rescue the A.A.A.S, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which was founded in 1848, from financial peril and extinction by enabling its purchase of the (then privately owned) "Science" magazine, which he also founded, in 1883.
He served as a trustee of Columbian University from 1883 until his death. He was a regent of the Smithsonian Institution. He created a large collection of etchings and engravings, which were given by his widow to the Library of Congress with a fund for additions.In 1894, Hubbard was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society
In 1846, Hubbard married Gertrude Mercer McCurdy (1827–1909), the daughter of Robert Henry McCurdy, a prominent New York City businessman,and Gertrude Mercer Lee, who was the niece of Theodore Frelinghuysen, a United States Senator and former vice presidential candidate. Her brother, Richard Aldrich McCurdy, served as president of Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York. Together, they had six children:
Gardiner Hubbard's daughter Mabel became deaf at the age of five from scarlet fever.She later became a student of Alexander Graham Bell, who taught deaf children, and they eventually married.
Hubbard's house on Brattle Street in Cambridge (on whose lawn, in 1877, Hubbard's daughter Mabel married Alexander Graham Bell) no longer stands. But a large beech tree from its garden still (in 2011) remains. To service his then-modern Cambridge house, Hubbard wanted gas lights, the then-new form of illumination. So he founded the Cambridge Gas Company, now part of NSTAR. After he moved to Washington, D.C. from Cambridge in 1873, Hubbard subdivided his large Cambridge estate. On Hubbard Park Road and Mercer Circle (Mercer was his wife's maiden name), he built large houses designed for Harvard faculty. On nearby Foster Street, he built smaller houses, still with modern amenities, for "the better class of mechanic." This neighborhood west of Harvard Square in Cambridge is now both popular and expensive.
He died on December 11, 1897 at Twin Oaks, his suburban residence.His funeral was held at the Church of the Covenant in Washington, where he was president of the board of trustees. His widow died during a car accident on October 20, 1909 in Washington, D.C.
Through his daughter Gertrude, he was the grandfather of Gertrude Hubbard Grossmann (1882–1919), who married Peter Stuyvesant Pillot (1870–1935),at Hubbard's home, Twin Oaks, in 1903. Their daughter, Rosalie Pillot (1907–1959) was married to Lewis Rutherfurd Stuyvesant (1903–1944), the son of Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, in 1925. After giving birth to a son, they divorced in 1935.
Through his daughter Mabel, he was the grandfather of Elsie May Bell (1878–1964), who married Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor of National Geographic fame,Marian Hubbard "Daisy" Bell (1880–1962), who was married to David Fairchild. and two boys who died in infancy (Edward in 1881 and Robert in 1883).
Through his daughter Roberta, he was the grandfather of Grace Hubbard Bell (1884–1979), who was married to Granville Roland Fortescue (1875–1952), an American soldier and Rough Rider who was the cousin of Theodore Roosevelt and son of Robert Roosevelt (born while his biological father was married to his first wife but adopted by him following her death and his marriage to his mother).Grace was the mother of three girls, Marion Fortescue, who married Daulton Gillespie Viskniskki in 1934, Thalia Fortescue Massie (1911–1963), and Kenyon Fortescue Reynolds (1914–1990), better known as actress Helene Whitney.
Gardiner Hubbard's life is detailed in the book One Thousand Years of Hubbard History, by Edward Warren Day.He was portrayed by a suitably bewhiskered Charles Coburn in the popular biopic The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939).
In 1890, Mount Hubbard on the Alaska-Yukon border was named in his honor by an expedition co-sponsored by the National Geographic Society while he was president. The Hubbard Glacier (Greenland) was named after him by Robert Peary.
The main school building at the Clarke School for the Deaf, Hubbard Hall, is named after him in his honor.
In 1899, a new school on Kenyon Street in Washington, DC was named the Hubbard School in his honor as one of the "most public-spirited men of the District, never neglecting an opportunity to advance its interests, but was also a man of great learning and earnestly interested in all educational movements. Mr. Hubbard was the president of the National Geographic Society, a man prominent in science and a man of the highest character."The school has since been closed and demolished.
Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. He also co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1885.
Baddeck is a village in Victoria County, Nova Scotia, Canada. This village is seventy-eight kilometres west of Sydney. It is Victoria County's shire town and is situated on the northern shore of Bras d'Or Lake on Cape Breton Island.
Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, father of photojournalism, was the first full-time editor of National Geographic (1899–1954). Grosvenor is credited with having built the magazine into the iconic publication that it is today.
Grace Hubbard Fortescue, néeGrace Hubbard Bell, was a New York City socialite who murdered a man, later proven innocent, who was accused of raping her daughter. After being convicted of manslaughter at a sensational trial, her ten-year sentence was commuted to a single hour by Hawaii's Territorial Governor Lawrence Judd.
Alexander Melville Bell was a teacher and researcher of physiological phonetics and was the author of numerous works on orthoepy and elocution.
The Bell Telephone Company, a common law joint stock company, was organized in Boston, Massachusetts on July 9, 1877, by Alexander Graham Bell's father-in-law Gardiner Greene Hubbard, who also helped organize a sister company — the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. The Bell Telephone Company was started on the basis of holding "potentially valuable patents", principally Bell's master telephone patent #174465.
Lion Gardiner (1599–1663) was an English engineer and colonist who founded the first English settlement in New York, acquiring land on eastern Long Island. He had been working in the Netherlands and was hired to construct fortifications on the Connecticut River, for the Connecticut Colony. His legacy includes Gardiners Island, which is held by his descendants.
Melville Bell Grosvenor was the president of the National Geographic Society and editor of The National Geographic Magazine from 1957 to 1967. He was the grandson of telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell.
Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, was an American businesswoman, and the daughter of Boston lawyer Gardiner Green Hubbard. As the wife of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the first practical telephone, she took the married name Mabel Bell.
Alexander Graham Bell honors and tributes include honors bestowed upon him and awards named for him.
The Volta Laboratory and the Volta Bureau were created in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. by Alexander Graham Bell.
Edwin S. Grosvenor is a writer, photographer, and President and Editor-in-Chief of American Heritage. He has published nine books and is best known for writing on his great-grandfather, Alexander Graham Bell, including two books and several magazine articles. Early in his career, Grosvenor worked as a freelance photographer for National Geographic, completing 23 assignments. He has been interviewed on History Channel, CBS News Sunday Morning, AARP Radio, AP Radio, CBC, NBC Radio Network, NPR, and Voice of America, and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, Boston Museum of Science, and other venues.
The Story of Alexander Graham Bell is a somewhat fictionalized 1939 biographical film of the famous inventor. It was filmed in black-and-white and released by Twentieth Century-Fox. The film stars Don Ameche as Bell and Loretta Young as Mabel, his wife, who contracted scarlet fever at an early age and became deaf.
Beinn Bhreagh is the name of the former estate of Alexander Graham Bell, in Victoria County, Nova Scotia. It refers to a peninsula jutting into Cape Breton Island's scenic Bras d'Or Lake approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) southeast of the village of Baddeck, forming the southeastern shore of Baddeck Bay.
Hubbard Bell Grossman Pillot Memorial is a public artwork by Lee Lawrie, located at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C., United States. "Hubbard Bell Grossman Pillot Memorial" was originally surveyed as part of the Smithsonian's Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture survey in 1967-1969.
Mabel Harlakenden Grosvenor was a Canadian-born American pediatrician, and a granddaughter and secretary to the scientist and telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell. She lived in both Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia and Washington, D.C.
Charles James Bell was an Irish-born Canadian and American businessman, first cousin of Alexander Graham Bell, son-in-law of Gardiner Greene Hubbard, nephew of Alexander Melville Bell. He was a co-founder of the National Geographic Society.
Richard Aldrich McCurdy was an American attorney, business executive and banker during the Gilded Age. He served as the President of the Mutual Life Insurance Company from 1885 to 1906, when he retired in the wake of a corporate scandal.
Robert Henry McCurdy was an American businessman and political candidate. He amassed great wealth with partner Herman D. Aldrich as the co-founder of McCurdy and Aldrich, a commission firm which traded Southern cotton and other dry goods prior to the Panic of 1857. He lost his bid for Congress as a Whig in the late 1850s, and served as Commissary-General for the State of New York during the American Civil War.
The Stuyvesant family is a family of American politicians and landowners in New York City. The family is of Dutch origin and is descended from Peter Stuyvesant (1610–1672), who was born in Peperga, Friesland, Netherlands and served as the last Dutch Director-General of New Netherland.
Dr. Gilbert H. Grosvenor ... died on the Cape Breton Island estate once owned by his father-in-law, the inventor Alexander Graham Bell.
|Non-profit organization positions|
founding of the Society
| President of the National Geographic Society |
Alexander Graham Bell