Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in USA

Thomas Larkin was born on the 4th of July 1874 in Derrew, County Mayo. 

As a young man, Thomas migrated first to Liverpool and then onwards to the United States where he arrived in 1899 and would make a life for himself. He journeyed west and eventually secured a job with the Bell Telephone Company. He settled in the Pittsburgh region to dedicate himself fully to this job. He was tasked with carrying out the successful roll out of the telephone network in the USA, which he did with great enthusiasm. His passion was often met with derision as people were initially unsure about the practicality or need for a telephone network. As we now know, the telephone became an incredibly important invention and as a result, Thomas became a successful businessman. He was sure to pay back his good fortune through philanthropic work for the benefit of his local community. So delighted were the local people with his help that he even had a street named after him. 

On November 2nd 1911 in the Somerset Hotel, Boston, the Telephone Pioneers of America were founded as an organisation with Alexander G. Bell enrolled as member number one. The aim of this new organisation was not only to deliver an excellent telephone service, it also planned to give something back to communities, neighbourhoods and society through a spirit of volunteering, life enrichment projects and educational initiatives. Today, the Telephone Pioneers, or Pioneers as they are more frequently referred to are the largest, industry specific organisation in the world, with chapters throughout the entire continent of north America, maintaining the proud legacy of the original Telephone Pioneers from the past.  

After he retired from a lengthy and successful career in the Bell Telephone Company, Thomas returned to Ireland where he lived out his final days and was buried in his native parish. The following quote of his would prove to be eerily true, though perhaps further in the future than he then imagined,

"Believe me, the day will come when you will be able to 'see' the person who you are speaking to on the telephone"



Additional Information
Date of Birth 4th Jul 1874
Date of Death 4th Mar 1953
Townland born Derrew, Ballyheane

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