Vail, took his seat as General Manager in a tiny office in Reade Street, New York, and the building of the business began.
This arrival of Vail at the critical moment emphasized the fact that Bell was one of the most fortunate of inventors.
He was a member of the historic Vail family of Morristown, New Jersey, which had operated the Speedwell Iron Works for four or five generations.
Thus it happened that young Theodore Vail learned the dramatic story of Morse at his mother's knee.
Vail found himself painting brain-pictures of the future of the telephone, and by the time that he was asked to become its General Manager, he had become so confident that, as he said afterwards, he "was willing to leave a Government job with a small salary for a telephone job with no salary."
Vail left the post office service to establish the telephone business.
Vail's first step, naturally, was to stiffen up the backbone of this little company, and to prevent the Western Union from frightening it into a surrender.
Next, having encouraged his thoroughly alarmed agents, Vail proceeded to build up a definite business policy.
These various measures were part of Vail's plan to create a national telephone system.
Vail arrived very much as Blucher did at the battle of Waterloo--a trifle late, but in time to prevent the telephone forces from being routed by the Old Guard of the Western Union.
The next place the guide took us to in the holy church was an altar dedicated to the Roman soldier who was of the military guard that attended at the Crucifixion to keep order, and who--when the vail of the Temple was rent in the awful darkness that followed; when the rock of Golgotha was split asunder by an earthquake; when the artillery of heaven thundered, and in the baleful glare of the lightnings the shrouded dead flitted about the streets of Jerusalem--shook with fear and said, "Surely this was the Son of God!" Where this altar stands now, that Roman soldier stood then, in full view of the crucified Saviour--in full sight and hearing of all the marvels that were transpiring far and wide about the circumference of the Hill of Calvary.
To publicly execute such a personage was sufficient in itself to make the locality of the execution a memorable place for ages; added to this, the storm, the darkness, the earthquake, the rending of the vail of the Temple, and the untimely waking of the dead, were events calculated to fix the execution and the scene of it in the memory of even the most thoughtless witness.