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Frederick G. Creed

Frederick G. Creed

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Frederick George Creed was a Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 inventor, who worked in the field of telecommunications, and played an early role in the development of SWATH vessels, The CCGS Frederick G. Creed
CCGS Frederick G. Creed
The CCGS Frederick G. Creed is a hydrographic survey vessel operated by the Canadian Coast Guard on behalf of the Canadian Hydrographic Service, a scientific agency of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The ship was built in 1988 by Swath Ocean Systems Incorporated of San Diego,...

, a SWATH vessel, is named after him.


Creed was born in Mill Village, Nova Scotia
Mill Village, Nova Scotia
Mill Village is a Canadian rural community in the Region of Queens Municipality, Nova Scotia.Located inland from the Atlantic coast, Mill Village was the site of Canada's first satellite earth station constructed in the 1960s...

, and at the age of 15 began his working life as a check boy for Western Union
Western Union
The Western Union Company is a financial services and communications company based in the United States. Its North American headquarters is in Englewood, Colorado. Up until 2006, Western Union was the best-known U.S...

 in Canso
Canso can refer to several different things:* Canso, Nova Scotia, a small fishing town in eastern Nova Scotia, Canada.* Canso Causeway, a rock-fill causeway connecting Cape Breton Island to mainland Nova Scotia, Canada...

, where he taught himself cable and landline telegraphy. He then worked for the Central and South American Telegraph and Cable Company in Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 and Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

. Working in the company’s office in Iquique, Chile, he became tired of using hand-operated Morse keys and Wheatstone tape punches, and came up with the idea of a typewriter-style machine that would allow the operator to punch Morse code signals on to paper tape simply by pressing the appropriate character key.

Creed quit his job and moved to Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

, Scotland, where he began work in an old shed. Using an old typewriter bought from the Sauchiehall Street
Sauchiehall Street
Sauchiehall Street is one of the main shopping/business streets in the city centre of Glasgow, Scotland. Along with Buchanan Street and Argyle Street, it forms the main shopping area of Glasgow, containing the majority of Glasgow's high street and chain stores.Although commonly associated with the...

 market, he created his first keyboard perforator, which used compressed air to punch the holes. He also created a reperforator (receiving perforator) and a printer. The reperforator punched incoming Morse signals on to paper tape and the printer decoded this tape to produce alphanumeric characters on plain paper. This was the origin of the Creed High Speed Automatic Printing System.

Although told by Lord Kelvin that "there is no future in that idea", Creed managed to secure an order for 12 machines from the British Post Office in 1902. He opened a small factory in Glasgow in 1904 and in 1909 moved along with 6 of his mechanics to South Croydon
South Croydon
South Croydon is a locality in Greater London, the area surrounding the valley south of central Croydon about 1 km in radius, centred on the Red Deer public house on the Brighton Road. It is part of the South Croydon post town and in the London Borough of Croydon...


In 1912, working with Danish telegraph engineer Harald Bille, Creed established Creed, Bille & Company Ltd., with Bille as managing director. After Bille's death in a railway accident in 1916, his name was dropped from the company's title and it became simply Creed & Company
Creed & Company
Creed & Company was a British telecommunications company founded by Frederick George Creed which was an important pioneer in the field of teleprinter machines...


Creed's system received a major boost that same year when the Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

newspaper adopted it for daily transmission of the entire contents of its newspaper from London to Manchester. In 1913, the first experiments were made in high-speed telegraphy by radio transmission between the Croydon factory and Creed's home about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) away. However, the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1914 diverted the company's activities to military equipment.

In 1915, with production continually expanding, the company found its original premises inadequate and moved to East Croydon. It spent most of World War I producing high-quality instruments, manufacturing facilities for which were very limited in the UK. Among the items produced were amplifiers, spark-gap transmitter
Spark-gap transmitter
A spark-gap transmitter is a device for generating radio frequency electromagnetic waves using a spark gap.These devices served as the transmitters for most wireless telegraphy systems for the first three decades of radio and the first demonstrations of practical radio were carried out using them...

s, aircraft compasses, high-voltage generators, bomb release apparatus, and fuses for artillery shells
Shell (projectile)
A shell is a payload-carrying projectile, which, as opposed to shot, contains an explosive or other filling, though modern usage sometimes includes large solid projectiles properly termed shot . Solid shot may contain a pyrotechnic compound if a tracer or spotting charge is used...

 and bomb
A bomb is any of a range of explosive weapons that only rely on the exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy...


Following the War, in 1920 the Press Association
Press Association
The Press Association is the national news agency of the United Kingdom and Ireland, supplying multimedia news content to almost all national and regional newspapers, television and radio news, as well as many websites with text, pictures, video and data content globally...

 set up a private news network using several hundred Creed teleprinters to serve practically every daily morning newspaper in the UK and for many years was the world's largest private teleprinter network. Other companies followed suit in Australia, Denmark, India, South Africa, and Sweden.

In 1924 Creed entered the teleprinter field with their Model 1P, which was soon superseded by the improved Model 2P. In 1925 Creed acquired the patents for Donald Murray's Murray code, a rationalised Baudot code, and it was used for their new Model 3 Tape Teleprinter of 1927. This machine printed received messages directly on to gummed paper tape at a rate of 65 words per minute and was the first combined start-stop transmitter-receiver teleprinter from Creed to enter mass production.

In July 1928 Creed & Company became part of IT&T and Creed retired in 1930, turning his attention to other less successful projects, including a mid-Atlantic "Sea Drome" and an unsinkable boat. He died at his home in Croydon in 1957 at the age of 86.


On No.20 Outram Road in Addiscombe
Addiscombe is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Croydon. It is situated south of Charing Cross.It is situated just to the northeast of central Croydon, and is home to a high proportion of people who commute to Central London, owing to its proximity to the busy...

, East Croydon, there is a blue plaque
Blue plaque
A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event, serving as a historical marker....

where he lived and died.

External links