The earliest known owner of this copy is Theodore N. Vail, the inventor of “Fast Mail”, the first railway postal service between New York and Chicago. He also became the general manager of the American Bell Telephone Company where he witnessed the communications revolution that took place at the time. He initiated the phone service between New York and San Francisco and the one between America and Europe. After Vail’s death, Lord Brotherton of Wakefield purchased this copy in 1924. He was a chemist and one of University of Leeds’ benefactors. He took an interest in collecting books and manuscripts and ended up collecting 35,000 books, 400 manuscripts, 4000 deeds and 30,000 letters. When he died, Lord Brotherton’s First Folio was donated to the University of Leeds and has been there since 1936. Signs of wear and tear can be observed in this volume: in particular the title page and the last page are soiled. Repairs have been made throughout this volume, such as page creases that have been pressed out.
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