Le Sage pioneering telegraphy, 1774

Le Sage pioneering telegraphy, 1774

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Le Sage pioneering telegraphy. Swiss physicist Georges-Louis Le Sage (1724-1803) performing early wire telegraphy in Geneva in 1774. Le Sage used an electrostatic generator (far right) to generate the charge which was stored in a Leyden jar (not seen here). Electric pulses were sent down wires and measured with an electroscope. Le Sage used 24 wires, each representing a letter of the alphabet. Le Sage's system worked, but was unpractical and not adopted. The first practical electrical telegraphy system was invented in 1837. 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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