Title and statement of responsibility area
Bennett Pell fonds
General material designation
- Multiple media
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Pell, Bennett
Physical description area
1 album (36 photographs : b&w ; 25 x 18 cm or smaller)
1 cm of textual records
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Bennett Pell was a worker for early telegraph companies. He oversaw the installation of telephone lines in Europe and Asia, and is credited with the invention of the Brockie-Pell arc lamp.
Pell was born in 1842 in Faversham, Kent, to James and Selnia Pell. He was trained as a telegraph clerk with the Submarine Telegraph Company in London, were he began working in 1857. Pell joined the United Kingdom Telegraph Company in 1860 and was appointed to be in charge of the Birmingham Station. In 1863 Pell became involved with the Indo-European Telegraph Department, and in 1874 he became manager of the Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company in Singapore. He established the first telephone exchange in Singapore and in 1874 returned to England. Working with Messrs. Johns and Phillips, Pell created the Brockie-Pell arc lamp, which he formed his own company to acquire the rights to. He retired in 1898, and passed away in Exmouth on the 20th of September 1912.
Bennett Pell married Mary Pell in 1872, and together they had 5 children, Frederick Bennett Pell, William Pell, Edith Pell, Gertrude Pell, and Amy Pell.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of a copy of Pell's last will and testament, as well as one album containing photographs, prints, and crests collected by Pell documenting his travels in the 1870s. Many of the photographs are labelled by location, and place names include Aden, Alexandria, Batavia, Isle of Wight, Cairo, Hong Kong, Java, Marseilles, Naples, Rangoon, Singapore, and Suez. Also included in the collection is a page of crests of nobility, and two print portraits, one of Christine Nilsson and the other of Adelina Patti.
Album binding has deteriorated, individual leaves should be handled with care.
Immediate source of acquisition
Records were donated by Wendy Harlock, great-grandaughter of Bennett Pell in 2018.
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Script of material
Location of originals
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Restrictions on access
No access restrictions have been applied.
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Generated finding aid
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Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Description created by Claire Williams in December 2018.
Language of description
Script of description
Records in the fonds.