Amontons and optical telegraphy, 1690

Amontons and optical telegraphy, 1690

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Amontons and optical telegraphy. French physicist and inventor Guillaume Amontons (1663-1705) in the Jardin de Luxembourg, Paris, demonstrating his optical telegraphy system to the Dauphin of France in 1690. The system used a series of signalling stations with a wooden arm that could be moved into different positions to represent letters of the alphabet. Successive signalmen passed the message using telescopes to view the station before them in line. Amontons' system was never put into practice. Artwork from 'Electricite' (1911) by Max de Nansouty, part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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