Francis Ronalds, telegraphy pioneer

Francis Ronalds, telegraphy pioneer

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Caption: Francis Ronalds (1788-1873), British telegraphy pioneer, working at his desk. His clockwork electrostatic telegraph, developed in the period 1814 to 1816, was offered to the Admiralty with no success. Ronalds then travelled in Europe, with his notes and books forming what became the Ronalds Library. He carried out meteorological work in the 1840s as Honorary Director and Superintendent of the Observatory at Kew. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1844, he was knighted in 1870. In retirement, he catalogued his library of 1500 books and 5000 pamphlets. Artwork from 'History of the Institution of Electrical Engineers 1871-1931' (Appleyard, 1939).

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