Edwin Seneca Greeley was born on May 20, 1834 in Nashua, New Hampshire where he attended common schools. When he was twelve, he had to work on a farm and in a cotton mill to help support his parents. His father, Seneca, was a cousin of the famous New York Tribune publisher, Horace Greeley. His grandfather, Joseph Greeley, advanced from the rank of private to Colonel in the New Hampshire Militia during the American Revolution.
The E.S. Greeley & Co. Era
Luther Tillotson passed away on January 31, 1885 at age 50. General Greeley took over the business with the initial plan to keep the Tillotson name for the firm but the name soon changed to E.S. Greeley & Co. Some ads though still showed L.G. Tillotson & Co. for several months after Luther's passing. Many of the Greeley instruments manufactured during this period were marked "E.S. Greeley & Co. successors to L.G. Tillotson & Co." Greeley later made a subtle change to the name by formerly adding "The" making it "The E.S. Greeley & Co."
Two years after Luther Tillotson passed away, shop superintendent, Edward Pierson retired due to ill health. His son, Henry G. Pierson, who had been working with his father since 1882, took over the manufacturing responsibilities for General Greeley. All during this time, General Greeley was on the board of directors for several companies, many of them located in New Haven. He was the president of the New Haven Car-trimming Co. in New Haven. They made coach lamps, signal lanterns and railroad car accessories. Many of these items were included in the E.S. Greeley & Co. product line.
They expanded their product line to the point that the 23rd edition of the E.S Greeley & Co. catalog was now over 550 pages. In addition to railway supplies, it included telegraph, telephone, electric light and power equipment, and fire and burglar alarms.
General Greeley also purchased The Electric Manufacturing Company of Troy, N.Y. and its factory in Greenbush, N.Y. This firm, established in 1884, gave Greeley a line of high quality electrical test instruments including a variety of expensive galvanometers. This firm was known as the "Greeley Electrical Laboratory."
After nearly 32 years first as L.G. Tillotson & Co. then as E.S. Greeley & Co., the firm officially ended operations on May 1, 1897. General Greeley was appointed to sell the uncollected claims of the insolvent concern at a public auction.
From: E. S. Greeley & Co. Catalog, Twenty-Third Edition, ca. 1894 and the Journal of the Telegraph
The key lever is marked "THE E.S. GREELEY & CO. NEW YORK" , "PATD DEC 26th 1882",
The Victor Keys uses a knife-edge pivot and a solid brass lever.