John R. Porter Papers, 1915-1959

Manuscript Collection #635

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: John R. Porter Papers
    Creator: Porter, John R., 1880-1959
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers (1915-1959) including correspondence, clippings, photographs, statistics, biographical sketches, reports, financial statements, meeting minutes, and miscellaneous.
    Extent: 0.43 Cubic feet, 274 items , consisting of correspondence, clippings, photographs, statistics, biographical sketches, reports, one published volume, and miscellaneous.
  • Description

    Early personal correspondence discusses the possibilities of starting a hunting club that would rival Camp Bryan in Craven County, NC, in availability of bird, duck, and wild turkey (Aug. 26 and Oct. 9, 1929); membership lists of golf clubs and the arrangements of golf tournaments (1929 and 1934); agricultural conditions on Porter's Hyde County, NC, farm, Riverside (Sept. 24, 1947); the development of the Camp Carolina recreational area for Carolina Telephone employees on Porter's property in Hyde County (1930s); and letters from a U.S. military officer stationed in Sri Lanka in World War II concerning native fishing and cultural practices and attempts to keep his bored men busy (Feb. 3 and Mar. 30, 1945). Correspondents include George A. Holderness (founder and third president of Carolina Telephone and also a state senator), Walter Gifford (American Telephone and Telegraph president), Benjamin S. Read (Southern Bell president), LelandHume (Southern Bell vice president), and Wesley M. Angle (U.S. Independent Telephone Association director).

    Business-related correspondence discusses stock prices, dividends, and service expansion strategies for Carolina Telephone and other independent telephone companies (1929-1947). Particularly interesting letters describe an attempted takeover of Carolina Telephone (May 10, 1929); the implementation of dial "cut over" technology and Southern Bell's involvement with this project (Oct. 4, 1929); Depression-era pieces of business legislation such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Walsh-Healey Act, and the National Labor Relations Act that were likely to place financial pressure on the telephone industry (1939-1940); the supply of American aircraft to the British Royal Air Force (Aug. 20, 1940); and the company's wiring of telephone systems for military installations such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina (Sept. 25, 1940). Other letters contain a financial statement and meeting minutes (Nov. 18, 1929) of the October 29, 1929, meeting of the J. Epps Brown Chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America; U.S. Independent Telephone Association lists (1934-1937, 1940) of purchases, sales, and current assets of independent telephone companies; and an address (1934) by Andrew W. Robertson (Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company chairman of the board).

    Miscellaneous items include newspaper clippings of Porter's achievements in the telephone industry and Camp Carolina; photographs of the Porter family, of Carolina Telephone executives, of Carolina Telephone social events at which Porter received awards, and of the installation of a Fort Bragg, NC, telephone cable; and publications including official history of the company entitled Carolina Telephone: The First One Hundred Years by James R. Nichols. Oversized materials include the chart, "A Century of Business Progress" and a Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Company map that depicts existing telephone exchanges and the controlling companies of these exchanges (1926).

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    John Rucker Porter (1880-1959) was born near Lillard's Mill, TN, worked as a clerk with Cumberland Telephone Company in Nashville, TN (1900-1908), and became the General Manager of Home Telephone and Telegraph Company in Henderson, NC (1918). When Home Telephone merged with Carolina Telephone (1926), Porter became the executive vice president of the new company, Carolina Telephone and Telegraph, and served as the company's fourth president until his retirement (1938-1947). Porter remained on the company's Board of Directors until his death (1959).

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    May 19, 1992, 273 items; Papers (1915-1959), of president of Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Company, including correspondence, clippings, photographs, statistics, biographical sketches, reports, and miscellany. Gift of Mrs. Ruth Dancy, Tarboro, NC.

    February 7, 1996 (addition), 1 volume; Copy of Carolina Telephone: The First Hundred Years by James R. Nichols. Gift of Mr. William E. Elmore, Greenville, NC.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mrs. Ruth Dancy
    Gift of Mr. William E. Elmore

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

    Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

    Preferred Citation

    John R. Porter Papers (#635), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Processed by K. Rouse, June 1997

    Encoded by Apex Data Services

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Sensitive Materials Statement

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection, without the consent of those individuals, may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which East Carolina University assumes no responsibility.

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