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Semaphore telegraph

semaphore lineoptical telegraphsemaphore
The electrical telegraph, or more commonly just telegraph, superseded optical semaphore telegraph systems, thus becoming the first form of electrical telecommunications.
Semaphore lines were a precursor of the electrical telegraph, which would replace them half a century later, and would also be cheaper, faster, and more private.

Telegraphy

telegraphtelegramcable
An electrical telegraph is a telegraph that uses electrical signals, usually conveyed via dedicated telecommunication circuit or radio. In 1774, Georges-Louis Le Sage realised an early electric telegraph.
In the 19th century, the harnessing of electricity led to the invention of electrical telegraphy.

Telecommunication

telecommunicationscommunicationstelecom
The electrical telegraph, or more commonly just telegraph, superseded optical semaphore telegraph systems, thus becoming the first form of electrical telecommunications.
20th- and 21st-century technologies for long-distance communication usually involve electrical and electromagnetic technologies, such as telegraph, telephone, and teleprinter, networks, radio, microwave transmission, fiber optics, and communications satellites.

Georges-Louis Le Sage

Georges Lesage
In 1774, Georges-Louis Le Sage realised an early electric telegraph.
Georges-Louis Le Sage (13 June 1724 – 9 November 1803) was a Genevan physicist and is most known for his theory of gravitation, for his invention of an electric telegraph and his anticipation of the kinetic theory of gases.

Relay

relayslatching relayelectric relay
In 1835, Joseph Henry and Edward Davy invented the critical electrical relay.
The first relays were used in long distance telegraph circuits as amplifiers: they repeated the signal coming in from one circuit and re-transmitted it on another circuit.

Francis Ronalds

Sir Francis RonaldsRonalds
The first working telegraph was built by the English inventor Francis Ronalds in 1816 and used static electricity.
He was knighted for creating the first working electric telegraph.

Joseph Henry

Henry, JosephHenryJoseph Henry Papers Project
In 1835, Joseph Henry and Edward Davy invented the critical electrical relay. Joseph Henry improved it in 1828 by placing several windings of insulated wire around the bar, creating a much more powerful electromagnet which could operate a telegraph through the high resistance of long telegraph wires.
Henry's work on the electromagnetic relay was the basis of the practical electrical telegraph, invented by Samuel F. B. Morse and Sir Charles Wheatstone, separately.

Samuel Morse

Samuel F. B. MorseMorseSamuel F.B. Morse
Samuel Morse independently developed and patented a recording electric telegraph in 1837.
After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs.

Baltimore–Washington telegraph line

What hath God wroughtBaltimore to Washingtonfirst elegraph line of substance
The first telegram in the United States was sent by Morse on 11 January 1838, across 2 mi of wire at Speedwell Ironworks near Morristown, New Jersey, although it was only later, in 1844, that he sent the message "WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT" over the 44 mi from the Capitol in Washington to the old Mt. Clare Depot in Baltimore.
The Baltimore–Washington telegraph line was the first long-distance telegraph system set up to run overland in the United States.

Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph

Cooke and WheatstoneCooke & Wheatstone five-needle telegraphCooke-Wheatstone electrical telegraph
The first commercial electrical telegraph, was the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph.
The Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph was an early electrical telegraph system dating from the 1830s invented by English inventor William Fothergill Cooke and English scientist Charles Wheatstone.

Electrostatic generator

electrostatic machineinfluence machinefriction machine
This became a source of a low-voltage current that could be used to produce more distinct effects, and which was far less limited than the momentary discharge of an electrostatic machine, which with Leyden jars were the only previously known man-made sources of electricity.
Francis Ronalds automated the generation process in 1816 by adapting a pendulum bob as one of the plates, driven by clockwork or a steam engine – he created the device to power his electric telegraph.

Morse code

MorseCWMorse-code
Morse and Vail developed the Morse code signalling alphabet.
Beginning in 1836, the American artist Samuel F. B. Morse, the American physicist Joseph Henry, and Alfred Vail developed an electrical telegraph system.

Pavel Schilling

SchillingBaron Pavel L'vovitch SchillingBaron Schilling
The telegraph invented by Baron Schilling von Canstatt in 1832 had a transmitting device which consisted of a keyboard with 16 black-and-white keys.
Baron Pavel L'vovitch Schilling, also known as Paul Schilling (5 April 1786, Reval (now, Tallinn), Russian empire – St. Petersburg, Russia, 25 July 1837 ), was a diplomat of Baltic German origin employed in the service of Russia in Germany, and who built a pioneering electrical telegraph.

Timeline of North American telegraphy

explosive growth in the 1840squickly deployed in the two decades following the first demonstrationrapid expansion of the telegraph in North America
In the United States, the Morse/Vail telegraph was quickly deployed in the two decades following the first demonstration.
The timeline of North American telegraphy is a chronology of notable events in the history of electric telegraphy in the United States and Canada, including the rapid spread of telegraphic communications starting from 1844 and completion of the first transcontinental telegraph line in 1861.

Telegram style

telegraphesetelegraphic stylea very compressed style
A successful expedient to reduce the cost per message was the development of telegraphese.
It originated in the telegraph age when telecommunication consisted only of short messages transmitted by hand over the telegraph wire.

Speedwell Ironworks

Historic Speedwell
The first telegram in the United States was sent by Morse on 11 January 1838, across 2 mi of wire at Speedwell Ironworks near Morristown, New Jersey, although it was only later, in 1844, that he sent the message "WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT" over the 44 mi from the Capitol in Washington to the old Mt. Clare Depot in Baltimore.
At this site Alfred Vail and Samuel Morse first demonstrated the electric telegraph.

Charles Wheatstone

WheatstoneSir Charles Wheatstonepolar clock
The Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph, was co-developed by William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone.
Francis Ronalds had observed signal retardation in his buried electric telegraph cable (but not his airborne line) in 1816 and outlined its cause to be induction.

Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring

Samuel Thomas von Soemmerringvon SömmeringSamuel Soemmering
Another very early experiment in electrical telegraphy was an 'electrochemical telegraph' created by the German physician, anatomist and inventor Samuel Thomas von Sömmering in 1809, based on an earlier, less robust design of 1804 by Spanish polymath and scientist Francisco Salva Campillo.
In addition, Sömmerring was a very creative inventor, having designed a telescope for astronomical observations and an electrical telegraph in 1809.

Electricity

electricalelectricelectrically
In 1800, Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic pile, allowing for a continuous current of electricity for experimentation.
Electricity is used within telecommunications, and indeed the electrical telegraph, demonstrated commercially in 1837 by Cooke and Wheatstone, was one of its earliest applications.

Kelmscott House

Hammersmith MallKelmscott House MuseumKelmscott House Trust
At the family home on Hammersmith Mall, he set up a complete subterranean system in a 175 yard long trench as well as an eight mile long overhead telegraph.
In 1816, he built the first electric telegraph in its garden.

Quadruplex telegraph

quadruplexquadruplex systemQuadruplex Telegraphy
Early devices included the duplex and the quadruplex which allowed, respectively, one or two telegraph transmissions in each direction.
The Quadruplex telegraph is a type of electrical telegraph which allows a total of four separate signals to be transmitted and received on a single wire at the same time (two signals in each direction).

Alexander Bain (inventor)

Alexander BainBain
In 1846, Alexander Bain patented a chemical telegraph in Edinburgh.
The most significant idea incorporated in the patent was his plan for inverting the needle telegraph earlier developed by Ampere, Wheatstone and others: instead of making signals by a pivoted magnetic needle under the influence of an electromagnet, he made them by suspending a movable coil between the poles of a fixed magnet.

Carl Friedrich Gauss

GaussGauss, Carl FriedrichC.F. Gauss
In 1833, Carl Friedrich Gauss, together with the physics professor Wilhelm Weber in Göttingen installed a 1200 m wire above the town's roofs.
They constructed the first electromechanical telegraph in 1833, which connected the observatory with the institute for physics in Göttingen.

All Red Line

Pacific Cable BoardDominia - cable laying shipPacific cable
This was set out as a formal strategic goal, which became known as the All Red Line.
The All Red Line was an informal name for the system of electrical telegraphs that linked much of the British Empire.

Robert Stephenson

RobertStephensonR. Stephenson & Co
A demonstration four-needle system was installed on the Euston to Camden Town section of Robert Stephenson's London and Birmingham Railway in 1837 for signalling rope-hauling of locomotives.
Charles Wheatstone, Robert's friend, installed the first electric telegraph between Euston square and Camden Town stations in autumn 1837.