Military semaphore, 19th century

Military semaphore, 19th century

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Military semaphore. Historical artwork of a mobile semaphore system in use in the Crimean War (1853- 1856). The first efficient semaphore telegraphy system (sending messages by semaphore signals) was started in 1794, when the French army reported a victory at Conde-sur-Escaut. By 1814, semaphore telegraph networks had spread across Europe. The Crimean War, on the shores of the Black Sea, was fought between France, Russia, Turkey and Britain. By this time, the electric telegraph was in use, and some cables were laid in the area during the war, but the earlier technology was still in use. From La Telegraphie Historique (Alexis Belloc, 1888).

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