Early telegraph message, 1794

Early telegraph message, 1794

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Early telegraph message. Coloured artwork of the 1794 use of a semaphore telegraph system to send a war message. This was the first efficient use of a telegraph system. On 30 August 1794, a message was sent from this telegraph station at Conde, France, to Paris, some 200 kilometres, taking 30 minutes to arrive. The message announced the victory of French Republican armies at Conde-sur-Escaut. The semaphore system (on top of tower) was developed by the brothers Chappe. This demonstration of the usefulness of this technology ensured government support and further innovation. By 1814, telegraph networks extended to major European cities. From La Telegraphie Historique (Alexis Belloc, 1888).

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