Quick Reference

Time Period:
Unknown

Location:
N/A

Medium:
Print

Type:
Bookplate

Category:
Bookplates & Cachet

Size:
Unknown

Exhibited:
N/A

Purchased:
N/A

Provenance:
NA

Noteworthy:

Leonard Eager Curtis was a pioneer in the early days of electrical power, serving as executive general counsel to the Westinghouse Electric Company in its patent litigation battles with General Electric Company. He would later leave law behind and form his own company Curtis & Hines to build power plants throughout Colorado and Mexico. He was also instrumental in bringing Nikola Tesla to Colorado Springs to build his Experimental Labratory.

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Featured Artwork:Curtis Eager Leonard Bookplate

Curtis, Leonard  - Bookplate

RSW's Diary Comments

Additional Notes

Curtis Edgar Leonard Bio-pic
Captured from the Yale Class of 1872
Biographical Review on Google Books

All of us here at the website always thought it was really odd for Woodward to include powerlines in this unique bookplate. It wasn't until recently (Nov. 2016) that we learned its importance. Leonard Eager Curtis (1858 - Unknown) was a pioneer in the early days of electrical power, serving as executive general counsel to the Westinghouse Electric Company in its patent litigation battles with General Electric Company. He is widely considered a pioneer in what would become a revolution in patent law. He would later leave law behind and form his own company Curtis & Hines to build power plants throughout Colorado and Mexico. He was also instrumental in bringing Nikola Tesla to Colorado Springs to build his Experimental Station.


Leonard Eager Curtis Bio-pic
Leonard Eager Curtis

For all of Curtis' prominance as an important person in the develpoment of the power industry, not one single source we found could give us a date regarding his death so we do not know what became of him. Also, each profile we found did not vary much in information suggesting a lot of it was copied from another. We do find it odd that only Colorado and Mexico are mentioned in his achievements professionally. One, because there is a lot of geography between Colorado and Mexico and that such an important man wouldn't have had his hand more into being an important player in the expansion of the west seems incredible.

We do not know how Woodward would come to have had Curtis as a client and create this bookplate for the man but we enjoy considering the possibilities. Curtis had been in Colorado nearly 15 years before Woodward ever created his first bookplate in Buckland, MA., however we have 3 theories below listed in order of the most likely...



1.Woodward's father Orion was a real estate developer and the family had lived in Utah for a brief period of time and Woodward's parents eventually settled in California sometime around 1904. Curtis was nearby in Colorado, an expert in building power plants to supply cities and towns with electricity. It is very likely a real estate developer would cross paths with a power plant developer and it is hard to believe that Curtis was exclusive to just Colorado and Mexico.


2.Curtis had many family connections to New England. His lineage goes back to some of the earliest colonies in the country, including the New Haven Colony and Shelburne Falls was home to one of the country's finest bookplate engraver John Hudson Elwell. It is possible, Curtis had heard of Elwell through family and friends, contacted Elwell and Elwell introduced Curtis to Woodward.


3.The last and least likely is that Woodward had befriended one of Curtis's four children or one of their spouses. Two of Curtis's kids did attend school in Ohio near Canton where we know Woodward was at the age of 13.


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