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Main articles: "Teleprinter and "Telex
Phelps' Electro-motor Printing Telegraph from circa 1880, the last and most advanced telegraphy mechanism designed by "George May Phelps

An early successful "teleprinter was invented by "Frederick G. Creed. In "Glasgow he created his first keyboard perforator, which used compressed air to punch the holes. He also created a reperforator (receiving perforator) and a printer. The reperforator punched incoming Morse signals on to paper tape and the printer decoded this tape to produce alphanumeric characters on plain paper. This was the origin of the Creed High Speed Automatic Printing System, which could run at an unprecedented 200 words per minute. His system was adopted by the "Daily Mail for daily transmission of the newspaper contents.

By the 1930s teleprinters were being produced by "Teletype in the US, "Creed in Britain and "Siemens in Germany.

With the invention of the "teletypewriter, telegraphic encoding became fully automated. Early teletypewriters used the ITA-1 "Baudot code, a five-bit code. This yielded only thirty-two codes, so it was over-defined into two "shifts", "letters" and "figures". An explicit, unshared shift code prefaced each set of letters and figures.

A "Siemens T100 Telex machine

By 1935, message routing was the last great barrier to full automation. Large telegraphy providers began to develop systems that used "telephone-like rotary dialling to connect teletypewriters. These machines were called "Telex" (TELegraph EXchange). Telex machines first performed rotary-telephone-style "pulse dialling for "circuit switching, and then sent data by "ITA2. This "type A" Telex routing functionally automated message routing.

The first wide-coverage Telex network was implemented in Germany during the 1930s["citation needed] as a network used to communicate within the government.

At the rate of 45.45 (±0.5%) "baud — considered speedy at the time — up to 25 telex channels could share a single long-distance telephone channel by using voice frequency telegraphy "multiplexing, making telex the least expensive method of reliable long-distance communication.

Automatic teleprinter exchange service was introduced into Canada by "CPR Telegraphs and "CN Telegraph in July 1957 and in 1958, "Western Union started to build a Telex network in the United States.[38]

Oceanic telegraph cables[edit]

Major telegraph lines in 1891.
Transatlantic telegraph cable and "Submarine communications cable

Soon after the first successful telegraph systems were operational, the possibility of transmitting messages across the sea by way of "submarine communications cables was first mooted. One of the primary technical challenges was to sufficiently insulate the submarine cable to prevent the current from leaking out into the water. In 1842, a Scottish surgeon William Montgomerie[39] introduced "gutta-percha, the adhesive juice of the "Palaquium gutta tree, to Europe. "Michael Faraday and Wheatstone soon discovered the merits of gutta-percha as an insulator, and in 1845, the latter suggested that it should be employed to cover the wire which was proposed to be laid from "Dover to "Calais. It was tried on a wire laid across the "Rhine between "Deutz and "Cologne.["citation needed] In 1849, "C.V. Walker, electrician to the "South Eastern Railway, submerged a two-mile wire coated with gutta-percha off the coast from Folkestone, which was tested successfully.[39]

"John Watkins Brett, an engineer from "Bristol, sought and obtained permission from "Louis-Philippe in 1847 to establish "telegraphic communication between France and England. The first undersea cable was laid in 1850, connecting the two countries and was followed by connections to Ireland and the Low Countries.

The "Atlantic Telegraph Company was formed in "London in 1856 to undertake to construct a commercial telegraph cable across the Atlantic Ocean. It was successfully completed on 18 July 1866 by the ship "SS Great Eastern, captained by "Sir James Anderson after many mishaps along the away.[40] Earlier transatlantic "submarine cables installations were attempted in 1857, 1858 and 1865. The 1857 cable only operated intermittently for a few days or weeks before it failed. The study of underwater telegraph cables accelerated interest in mathematical analysis of very long "transmission lines. The telegraph lines from Britain to India were connected in 1870 (those several companies combined to form the Eastern Telegraph Company in 1872).

Australia was first linked to the rest of the world in October 1872 by a submarine telegraph cable at Darwin.[41] This brought news reportage from the rest of the world.[42] The telegraph across the Pacific was completed in 1902, finally encircling the world.

From the 1850s until well into the 20th century, British submarine cable systems dominated the world system. This was set out as a formal strategic goal, which became known as the "All Red Line.[43] In 1896, there were thirty cable laying ships in the world and twenty-four of them were owned by British companies. In 1892, British companies owned and operated two-thirds of the world's cables and by 1923, their share was still 42.7 percent.[44] During World War I, Britain's telegraph communications were almost completely uninterrupted, while it was able to quickly cut Germany's cables worldwide.[43]

End of the telegraph era[edit]


In the United States, "Western Union discontinued all telegram and commercial messaging services on 27 January 2006,[45] although it still offered its electronic money transfer services.

India's state-owned telecom company, "BSNL, ended its telegraph service on 14 July 2013. It was reportedly the world's last existing true electric telegraph system.[46][47]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ E. A. Marland, Early Electrical Communication, Abelard-Schuman Ltd, London 1964, no ISBN, Library of Congress 64-20875, pages 17-19;
  2. ^ Prevost, 1805, pp. 176-178
  3. ^ a b Jones, R. Victor Samuel Thomas von Sömmering's "Space Multiplexed" Electrochemical Telegraph (1808-10), Harvard University website. Attributed to "Semaphore to Satellite" , International Telecommunication Union, Geneva 1965. Retrieved 2009-05-01
  4. ^ Henry Pitt Phelps (1884). The Albany Hand-book: A Strangers' Guide and Residents' Manual. Albany: Brandow & Barton. p. 6. 
  5. ^ Gibberd, William (1966). "Edward Davy". "Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Joseph Henry: Inventor of the Telegraph? Smithsonian Institution". Archived from the original on 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2006-06-29. 
  7. ^ Thomas Coulson (1950). Joseph Henry: His Life and Work. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 
  8. ^ "Edward Davy". Australian Science Archives Project. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Appleyard, R. (1930). Pioneers of Electrical Communication. Macmillan. 
  10. ^ Norman, Jeremy. "Francis Ronalds Builds the First Working Electric Telegraph (1816)". HistoryofInformation.com. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  11. ^ Ronalds, B.F. (2016). "Sir Francis Ronalds and the Electric Telegraph". Int. J. for the History of Engineering & Technology. "doi:10.1080/17581206.2015.1119481. 
  12. ^ Ronalds, Francis (1823). Descriptions of an Electrical Telegraph and of some other Electrical Apparatus. London: Hunter. 
  13. ^ Ronalds, B.F. (Feb 2016). "The Bicentennial of Francis Ronalds's Electric Telegraph". Physics Today. "doi:10.1063/PT.3.3079. 
  14. ^ Ronalds, B.F. (2016). Sir Francis Ronalds: Father of the Electric Telegraph. London: Imperial College Press. "ISBN "978-1-78326-917-4. 
  15. ^ Huurdeman, A.A., The worldwide history of telecommunications, p.54, Wiley-IEEE, 2003 "ISBN 0-471-20505-2
  16. ^ Popular Science, February 1882, vol.20, no.28, p.568, Bonnier Corporation, ISSN 0161-7370.
  17. ^ Calvert 2008.
  18. ^ Howe, p. 7
  19. ^ History.com Staff (2009), Morse Code & the Telegraph, A+E Networks 
  20. ^ The telegraphic age dawns BT Group Connected Earth Online Museum. Accessed December 2010, archived 10 Feb 2013
  21. ^ a b Bowers, page 129
  22. ^ Huurdeman, page 67
  23. ^ Huurdeman, pages 67–68
    Beauchamp, page 35
  24. ^ Mercer, page 7
  25. ^ Huurdeman, page 69
  26. ^ Beauchamp, page 35
  27. ^ Huurdeman, pages 67–69
  28. ^ Nichols, John (1967). The Gentleman's magazine, Volumes 282–283. p. 545. University of California
  29. ^ Paul Atterbury. "Victorian Technology". BBC. 
  30. ^ Today in History - October 24, The Transcontinental Telegraph and the End of the Pony Express, Library of Congress, retrieved 3 February 2017.
  31. ^ Oslin, George P. The Story of Telecommunications, Mercer University Press, 1992. 69.
  32. ^ Oslin, George P. The Story of Telecommunications. Mercer University Press, 1992. 67
  33. ^ "Royal Earl House Printing-Telegraph Patent #4464, 1846". Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  34. ^ "Royal Earl House Steam-Powered Printing-Telegraph Patent #9505, 1852". Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  35. ^ Oslin, George, P. The Story of Telecommunications, 1992. 71
  36. ^ "David Edward Hughes". Clarkson University. April 14, 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  37. ^ Beauchamp, K.G. (2001). History of Telegraphy: Its Technology and Application. "IET. pp. 394–395. "ISBN "0-85296-792-6. 
  38. ^ Phillip R. Easterlin, "Telex in New York", Western Union Technical Review, April 1959: 45
  39. ^ a b Haigh, K R (1968). Cable Ships and Submarine Cables. London: Adlard Coles Ltd. pp. 26–27. 
  40. ^ Wilson, Arthur (1994). The Living Rock: The Story of Metals Since Earliest Times and Their Impact on Civilization. p. 203. Woodhead Publishing. "ISBN 978-1-85573-301-5.
  41. ^ Briggs, Asa and Burke, Peter: "A Social History of the Media: From Gutenberg to the Internet", p110. Polity, Cambridge, 2005.
  42. ^ Conley, David and Lamble, Stephen (2006) The Daily Miracle: An introduction to Journalism,(Third Edition) Oxford University Press, Australia pp. 305-307
  43. ^ a b Kennedy, P. M. (October 1971). "Imperial Cable Communications and Strategy, 1870-1914". The English Historical Review. 86 (341): 728–752. "doi:10.1093/ehr/lxxxvi.cccxli.728. "JSTOR 563928. 
  44. ^ Headrick, D.R., & Griset, P. (2001). Submarine telegraph cables: business and politics, 1838-1939. The Business History Review, 75(3), 543-578.
  45. ^ Wheen, Andrew. DOT-DASH TO DOT.COM: How Modern Telecommunications Evolved from the Telegraph to the Internet (Springer, 2011), p259
  46. ^ "No farewell to telegram in Goa as BSNL takes day off". The Times of India. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  47. ^ "World's last telegram to be sent next month". USA Today. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 


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