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Gilliland Electric Manufacturing Company collection

 Collection — Folder: S0515
Identifier: S0515

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of an undated advertising card for the Gilliland Electric Manufacturing Company. The card is advertising for “improvements in telephonic apparatus.”


  • undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Ezra T. Gilliland was born in 1847 in New York. He was the founder of Gilliland Electric Manufacturing Company. Growing up, Gilliland was friends with Thomas Edison and later on, became interested in the telephone and the phonograph. Gilliland invented the fundamental elements of the switchboard needed for all telephone systems to work. In the 1870s, Gilliland organized the first telephone exchange in Indianapolis. He sold the company a few years later for $20,000. Using the money he gained from the selling of his company, Gilliland opened Gilliland Electric Manufacturing Company in Indianapolis. Within three years, the company had grown so big that Gilliland moved his factory to Michigan. There at the factory, he manufactured parts for Western Union. Gilliland died on May 13, 1903 in his home in New York.


“Was Inventor of the Switchboard.” The Logansport Reporter, May 15, 1903. Accessed April 8, 2013.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains one item.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2013/04 by Erica Sgroi. EAD finding aid created 2013/04 by Erica Sgroi.
Gilliland Electric Manufacturing Company collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.