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Thomson telegraph recorder, 19th century

Thomson telegraph recorder, 19th century

C024/6464

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Thomson telegraph recorder. Historical illustration of the telegraph siphon (or syphon) recorder invented in 1858 by British physicist William Thomson (1824-1907). Better known as Lord Kelvin, he was knighted in 1866 for his work on Atlantic telegraph cable signals and galvanometers. The siphon recorder automatically recorded a telegraph message as a trace of ink on a strip of paper. The ink siphon worked on the reverse of the principle of a mirror galvanometer, with electrostatics resulting in a spray of ink. 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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