The Central Union Telephone Co. v. Bradbury

Decision Date23 March 1886
Docket Number12,701
Citation5 N.E. 721,106 Ind. 1
PartiesThe Central Union Telephone Company v. Bradbury
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

From the Marion Superior Court.

The judgment is affirmed, with costs.

J. E McDonald, J. M. Butler, A. L. Mason, T. A. Hendricks, C Baker, O. B. Hord, A. W. Hendricks, A. Baker, E. Daniels, N Williams, J. L. Thompson and C. S. Holt, for appellant.

A. C Harris, W. H. Calkins, C. Byfield, L. Howland and D. M. Bradbury, for appellee.


Niblack, C. J.

An act, imposing certain duties upon telegraph and telephone companies, was passed by the General Assembly of this State, which was approved and went into effect on the 8th day of April, 1885. The second section of that act is as follows:

"Every telephone company with wires wholly or partly within this State, and engaged in a general telephone business, shall within the local limits of such telephone company's business supply all applicants for telephone connections and facilities with such connections and facilities without discrimination or partiality, provided such applicants comply or offer to comply with the reasonable regulations of the company; and no such company shall impose any conditions or restrictions upon any such applicant that are not imposed impartially upon all persons or companies in like situation, nor shall such company discriminate against any individual or company engaged in any lawful business, or between individuals or companies engaged in the same business, by requiring as a condition for furnishing such facilities that they shall not be used in the business of the applicant, or otherwise for any lawful purpose." Acts 1885, 151.

On the 13th day of April, 1885, the General Assembly passed another act, entitled "An act to regulate the rental allowed for the use of telephones, and fixing a penalty for its violation," the first section of which is in the following words: "That no individual, company or corporation, now or hereafter owning, controlling or operating any telephone line in operation in this State shall be allowed to charge, collect or receive as rental for the use of such telephones, a sum exceeding three dollars per month where one telephone only is rented by one individual, company or corporation. Where two or more telephones are rented by the same individual, company or corporation, the rental per month for each telephone so rented shall not exceed two dollars and fifty cents per month." Acts 1885, 227.

At the time of the enactment of these statutes, the Central Union Telephone Company, a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Illinois, was, as it still is, the owner and operator of a telephonic exchange and a system of telephone lines within and in the immediate vicinity of the city of Indianapolis, in this State, being then and still the only company engaged in the telephone business within that city.

On the 31st day of August, 1885, Daniel M. Bradbury, a resident citizen of Indianapolis, addressed to this telephone company the following letter:

"Indianapolis, Ind., August 31st, 1885.

"The Central Union Telephone Company:

"I have a law-office in room No. 12, in Talbott & New's Block, at No. 29 1/2 on North Pennsylvania street, in this city. I desire to be placed in telephonic communication, by means of your telephone, with the patrons in this city, and courts. I therefore demand the use of a telephone in my said office, and I agree to pay as rental for the use thereof the sum of three dollars per month, and to comply with all reasonable rules and regulations in force or hereafter made by said company, not inconsistent with the laws of this State. I further agree to take good care of the telephone and to use it for my business and convenience only.

D. M. Bradbury."

To this, John E. Hockett, the district superintendent in charge of the company's business at Indianapolis, responded as follows:

"Indianapolis Ind., September 4th, 1885.

"D. M. Bradbury, Esq., Attorney at Law, 29 1/2 North Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, Ind.:

"Dear Sir: As agent of the Central Union Telephone Company in this city, I have just received your letter of August 31st, 1885. It is the desire of the company to comply with your wishes if, upon ascertaining them, it is practicable to do so. But, as your letter does not indicate with sufficient clearness what it is you request the company to do for the price indicated by you, I request, upon behalf of the company, that you indicate your wishes with more exactness. Do you desire the company to place in your office one hand telephone and cord, one magneto bell with backboard and battery box, one Blake transmitter and one cell battery, and to connect these by wire for your exclusive use with the company's exchange in this city, and also to furnish with exchange service with the Indianapolis exchange subscribers, and with inspection and maintenance of lines and apparatus? Or do you desire the company to furnish you with some other and lower grade of equipment and service? Perhaps you may not be aware that the company has several grades or classes of equipment and service, and that the price depends on the character of equipment and service furnished. The hand telephone and cord, the magneto bell with backboard and battery box, and, if desired, the Blake transmitter and the cell battery, are placed in the office or place of business of the patron of the company. These are connected by wire, of which the patron has, if desired, the exclusive use, with the company's exchange in this city, and the service of connecting this wire with the wires of the subscribers of the company's said exchange is performed by the company at its exchange in this city. For the use of these instruments so placed in the office of the patron, and for the use of the wire connecting them with the company's exchange in this city, and for such exchange service, and for construction and maintenance and inspection of lines and apparatus, the company's charges are as follows: For the rental of the hand telephone, $ 10 per year; for rental of the Blake transmitter, $ 10 per annum, and for the additional service, material and facilities furnished by the company, the charge to you will be ($ 40) forty dollars additional per annum, the same being based upon the distance from your office to the company's exchange in this city. The hand telephone and the Blake transmitter are patented inventions, secured to the patentees by letters patent of the United States, and for the use of which the company pays royalties as licensee to the patentees or their assigns. The hand telephone and Blake transmitter, two telephones, are constructed by, belong to and are the property of the American Bell Telephone Company, which is the owner of the patents covering them. The magneto bell is also covered by letters patent of the United States, and our company purchase them of the patentee or of his licensees, but they can only be...

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3 cases
  • Richmond Natural Gas Co. v. Clawson
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • December 21, 1900
    ...N. E. 17, 36 L. R. A. 535;City of Rushville v. Rushville Natural Gas Co., 132 Ind. 575, 28 N. E. 853, 15 L. R. A. 321;Telephone Co. v. Bradbury, 106 Ind. 1, 5 N. E. 721;Telephone Co. v. Falley, 118 Ind. 194, 19 N. E. 604;State v. Portland Natural Gas Co., 153 Ind. 483, 53 N. E. 1089. In the......
  • The Richmond Natural Gas Company v. Clawson
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • December 21, 1900
    ... ... Ind. 575, 15 L. R. A. 321, 28 N.E. 853; Central Union ... Tel. Co. v. Bradbury, 106 Ind. 1, 5 N.E. 721; ... Central ... ...
  • Cent. Union Tel. Co. v. State ex rel. Bradbury
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • March 23, 1886
    ...106 Ind. 15 N.E. 721Central Union Telephone Co.v.State ex rel.Bradbury.Supreme Court of Indiana.Filed March 23, 1886 ... Appeal from Marion superior court.Baker, Hord & Hendricks and ... Acts 1885, 227.[5 N.E. 722]At the time of the enactment of these statutes the Central Union Telephone Company, a corporation organized under the laws of the state of Illinois, was, as it still is, the owner and operator of a telephonic ... ...

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