Telegraphy

Telegraphy

Overview

Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of message
Message
A message in its most general meaning is an object of communication. It is a vessel which provides information. Yet, it can also be this information. Therefore, its meaning is dependent upon the context in which it is used; the term may apply to both the information and its form...

s via some form of signalling technology. Telegraphy requires messages to be converted to a code
Code
A code is a rule for converting a piece of information into another form or representation , not necessarily of the same type....

 (sometimes called a "language
Formal language
A formal language is a set of words—that is, finite strings of letters, symbols, or tokens that are defined in the language. The set from which these letters are taken is the alphabet over which the language is defined. A formal language is often defined by means of a formal grammar...

") which is known to both sender and receiver. Such codes are designed according to limits of a given signalling medium
Medium
- Communication :* Medium , storage and/or transmission tools used to store and deliver information or data* Transmission medium, in physics and telecommunications, any material substance which can propagate waves or energy...

.

The use of smoke signals, beacon
Beacon
A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location.Beacons can also be combined with semaphoric or other indicators to provide important information, such as the status of an airport, by the colour and rotational pattern of its airport beacon, or of...

s and reflected light
Heliograph
A heliograph is a wireless solar telegraph that signals by flashes of sunlight reflected by a mirror. The flashes are produced by momentarily pivoting the mirror, or by interrupting the beam with a shutter...

 signals are early examples. In the 1800s, the advent of electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 brought about the means to transmit signals via electrical telegraph
Electrical telegraph
An electrical telegraph is a telegraph that uses electrical signals, usually conveyed via telecommunication lines or radio. The electromagnetic telegraph is a device for human-to-human transmission of coded text messages....

.
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Encyclopedia

Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of message
Message
A message in its most general meaning is an object of communication. It is a vessel which provides information. Yet, it can also be this information. Therefore, its meaning is dependent upon the context in which it is used; the term may apply to both the information and its form...

s via some form of signalling technology. Telegraphy requires messages to be converted to a code
Code
A code is a rule for converting a piece of information into another form or representation , not necessarily of the same type....

 (sometimes called a "language
Formal language
A formal language is a set of words—that is, finite strings of letters, symbols, or tokens that are defined in the language. The set from which these letters are taken is the alphabet over which the language is defined. A formal language is often defined by means of a formal grammar...

") which is known to both sender and receiver. Such codes are designed according to limits of a given signalling medium
Medium
- Communication :* Medium , storage and/or transmission tools used to store and deliver information or data* Transmission medium, in physics and telecommunications, any material substance which can propagate waves or energy...

.

The use of smoke signals, beacon
Beacon
A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location.Beacons can also be combined with semaphoric or other indicators to provide important information, such as the status of an airport, by the colour and rotational pattern of its airport beacon, or of...

s and reflected light
Heliograph
A heliograph is a wireless solar telegraph that signals by flashes of sunlight reflected by a mirror. The flashes are produced by momentarily pivoting the mirror, or by interrupting the beam with a shutter...

 signals are early examples. In the 1800s, the advent of electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 brought about the means to transmit signals via electrical telegraph
Electrical telegraph
An electrical telegraph is a telegraph that uses electrical signals, usually conveyed via telecommunication lines or radio. The electromagnetic telegraph is a device for human-to-human transmission of coded text messages....

. The advent of radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 in the early 1900s brought about radiotelegraphy and other forms of wireless telegraphy
Wireless telegraphy
Wireless telegraphy is a historical term used today to apply to early radio telegraph communications techniques and practices, particularly those used during the first three decades of radio before the term radio came into use....

. In the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 age, telegraphic means developed greatly in sophistication and ease of use, with natural language interfaces that hide the underlying code, allowing such technologies as electronic mail and instant messaging
Instant messaging
Instant Messaging is a form of real-time direct text-based chatting communication in push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet...

.

History


Telegraphs as such have existed in Europe from as early as prior to the Battle of Waterloo, then consisting as semaphores, or optical telegraphs that sent messages to a distant observer through line-of-sight signals. In 1837, American artist-turned inventor Samuel Morse conducted the first successful experiment with an electrical recording telegraph.

Terminology


A telegraph is a device for transmitting and receiving messages over long distances, i.e., for telegraphy. The word "telegraph" alone now generally refers to an electrical telegraph
Electrical telegraph
An electrical telegraph is a telegraph that uses electrical signals, usually conveyed via telecommunication lines or radio. The electromagnetic telegraph is a device for human-to-human transmission of coded text messages....

.
Wireless telegraphy is also known as "CW", for continuous wave
Continuous wave
A continuous wave or continuous waveform is an electromagnetic wave of constant amplitude and frequency; and in mathematical analysis, of infinite duration. Continuous wave is also the name given to an early method of radio transmission, in which a carrier wave is switched on and off...

 (a carrier modulated by on-off keying
On-off keying
On-off keying the simplest form of amplitude-shift keying modulation that represents digital data as the presence or absence of a carrier wave. In its simplest form, the presence of a carrier for a specific duration represents a binary one, while its absence for the same duration represents a...

), as opposed to the earlier radio technique of using a spark gap
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...

.

A telegraph message sent by an electrical telegraph
Electrical telegraph
An electrical telegraph is a telegraph that uses electrical signals, usually conveyed via telecommunication lines or radio. The electromagnetic telegraph is a device for human-to-human transmission of coded text messages....

 operator or telegrapher using Morse code
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

 (or a printing telegraph
Printing telegraph
The Printing Telegraph was invented by Royal Earl House in 1846.The device was made by linking two 28-key piano-style keyboards by wire. Each piano key represented a letter of the alphabet and when pressed caused the corresponding letter to print at the receiving end. A "shift" key gave each main...

 operator using plain text) was known as a telegram. A cablegram (see cablegram
Cablegram
A cablegram, sometimes shortened to just cable, was a telegram, a text possibly encrypted, which was transmitted through the means of an electrical cable, underwater or aerial....

) was a message sent by a submarine telegraph cable, often shortened to a cable or a wire. Later, a Telex was a message sent by a Telex network, a switched network of teleprinter
Teleprinter
A teleprinter is a electromechanical typewriter that can be used to communicate typed messages from point to point and point to multipoint over a variety of communication channels that range from a simple electrical connection, such as a pair of wires, to the use of radio and microwave as the...

s similar to a telephone network.

Before long distance telephone services were readily available or affordable, telegram services were very popular and the only way to convey information speedily over very long distances. Telegrams were often used to confirm business dealings and were commonly used to create binding legal documents for business dealings.

A wire picture or wire photo was a newspaper picture that was sent from a remote location by a facsimile telegraph
Fax
Fax , sometimes called telecopying, is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material , normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device...

. The teleostereograph machine, a forerunner to the modern electronic fax, was developed by AT&T's Bell Labs
Bell Labs
Bell Laboratories is the research and development subsidiary of the French-owned Alcatel-Lucent and previously of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company , half-owned through its Western Electric manufacturing subsidiary.Bell Laboratories operates its...

 in the 1920s; however, the first commercial use of image facsimile telegraph devices date back to the 1800s. It was made by Samuel F. B. Morse (the coinventor of morse code
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

).

A diplomatic telegram, also known as a diplomatic cable
Diplomatic cable
A diplomatic cable, also known as a diplomatic telegram or embassy cable, is the term given to a confidential text message exchanged between a diplomatic mission, like an embassy or a consulate, and the foreign ministry of its parent country....

, is the term given to a confidential communication between a diplomatic mission
Diplomatic mission
A diplomatic mission is a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organisation present in another state to represent the sending state/organisation in the receiving state...

 and the foreign ministry
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

 of its parent country. These continue to be called telegrams or cables regardless of the method used for transmission.

Optical telegraph

Main articles: Semaphore line (visual telegraphy using signal arms or shutters), flag semaphore
Flag semaphore
Semaphore Flags is the system for conveying information at a distance by means of visual signals with hand-held flags, rods, disks, paddles, or occasionally bare or gloved hands. Information is encoded by the position of the flags; it is read when the flag is in a fixed position...

 (using hand-held flags), signal lamp
Signal lamp
A signal lamp is a visual signaling device for optical communication . Modern signal lamps are a focused lamp which can produce a pulse of light...

 (visual naval communications) and heliograph
Heliograph
A heliograph is a wireless solar telegraph that signals by flashes of sunlight reflected by a mirror. The flashes are produced by momentarily pivoting the mirror, or by interrupting the beam with a shutter...

 (visual communications using reflected sunlight)

The first telegraphs came in the form of optical telegraph including the use of smoke signals, beacon
Beacon
A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location.Beacons can also be combined with semaphoric or other indicators to provide important information, such as the status of an airport, by the colour and rotational pattern of its airport beacon, or of...

s or reflected light
Heliograph
A heliograph is a wireless solar telegraph that signals by flashes of sunlight reflected by a mirror. The flashes are produced by momentarily pivoting the mirror, or by interrupting the beam with a shutter...

, which have existed since ancient times. A semaphore network invented by Claude Chappe operated in France from 1792 through 1846. It helped Napoleon enough to be widely imitated in Europe and the U.S. In the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 (1807–1814), several similar telegraphs had been used in the Lines of Torres Vedras
Lines of Torres Vedras
The Lines of Torres Vedras were lines of forts built in secrecy to defend Lisbon during the Peninsular War. Named after the nearby town of Torres Vedras, they were ordered by Arthur Wellesley, Viscount Wellington, constructed by Sir Richard Fletcher, 1st Baronet and his Portuguese workers between...

, by the Anglo-Portuguese army. The Prussian system
Prussian semaphore system
The Prussian Semaphore System was a telegraphic communications system used between Berlin and the Rhine Province from 1832 to 1849. It could transmit administrative and military messages by optical signal over a distance of nearly . The telegraph line comprised 62 stations each furnished with a...

 was put into effect in the 1830s. The last commercial semaphore link ceased operation in Sweden in 1880.

Semaphores were able to convey information more precisely than smoke signals and beacons, and consumed no fuel. Messages could be sent at much greater speed than post riders and could serve entire regions. However, like beacons, smoke and reflected light signals
Heliograph
A heliograph is a wireless solar telegraph that signals by flashes of sunlight reflected by a mirror. The flashes are produced by momentarily pivoting the mirror, or by interrupting the beam with a shutter...

 they were highly dependent on good weather and daylight to work (practical electrical lighting
Incandescent light bulb
The incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe makes light by heating a metal filament wire to a high temperature until it glows. The hot filament is protected from air by a glass bulb that is filled with inert gas or evacuated. In a halogen lamp, a chemical process...

 was not available until about 1880). They required operators and towers every 30 km (20 mi), and could only accommodate about two words per minute. This was useful to governments, but too expensive for most commercial uses other than commodity price information. Electric telegraphs
Electrical telegraph
An electrical telegraph is a telegraph that uses electrical signals, usually conveyed via telecommunication lines or radio. The electromagnetic telegraph is a device for human-to-human transmission of coded text messages....

 were to reduce the cost of sending a message thirtyfold compared to semaphores, and could be utilized non-stop, 24 hours per day, independent of the weather or daylight.

Elevated locations where optical telegraphs were placed for maximum visibility were renamed to Telegraph Hill, such as Telegraph Hill, San Francisco
Telegraph Hill, San Francisco
Telegraph Hill refers to a neighborhood in San Francisco, California. It is one of San Francisco's 44 hills, and one of its original "Seven Hills."-Location:...

, and Telegraph Hill in the PNC Bank Arts Center
PNC Bank Arts Center
The PNC Bank Arts Center is a modern amphitheatre located in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, USA. About 17,500 people can occupy the amphitheater; there are 7,000 seats and the grass area can hold about 10,500 people. Concerts are from May through September featuring 35–45 different events of...

 in New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

.

Electrical telegraphs


One very early experiment in electrical telegraphy was an electrochemical telegraph created by the German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 physician, anatomist and inventor Samuel Thomas von Sömmering
Samuel Thomas von Sömmering
Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring was a German physician, anatomist, anthropologist, paleontologist and inventor. Sömmerring discovered the macula in the retina of the human eye...

 in 1809, based on an earlier, less robust design of 1804 by Spanish-Catalan
Catalan people
The Catalans or Catalonians are the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia that form a historical nationality in Spain. The inhabitants of the adjacent portion of southern France are sometimes included in this definition...

 polymath
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

 and scientist Francisco Salvá i Campillo(es). Both their designs employed multiple wires (up to 35) in order to visually represent most Latin letters and numerals. Thus, messages could be conveyed electrically up to a few kilometers (in von Sömmering's design), with each of the telegraph receiver's wires immersed in a separate glass tube of acid. As an electric current was applied by the sender representing each digit of a message, it would at the recipient's end electrolyse the acid in its corresponding tube, releasing a stream of hydrogen bubbles next to its associated letter or numeral. The telegraph receiver's operator would visually observe the bubbles and could then record the transmitted message, albeit at a very low baud
Baud
In telecommunications and electronics, baud is synonymous to symbols per second or pulses per second. It is the unit of symbol rate, also known as baud rate or modulation rate; the number of distinct symbol changes made to the transmission medium per second in a digitally modulated signal or a...

 rate.

One of the earliest electromagnetic telegraph designs was created by Pavel Schilling
Pavel Schilling
Baron Pavel L'vovitch Schilling, also known as Paul Schilling , was a diplomat of Baltic German origin employed in the service of Russia in Germany, and who built a pioneering electrical telegraph...

 in 1832.

Carl Friedrich Gauss
Carl Friedrich Gauss
Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss was a German mathematician and scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, electrostatics, astronomy and optics.Sometimes referred to as the Princeps mathematicorum...

 and Wilhelm Weber
Wilhelm Eduard Weber
Wilhelm Eduard Weber was a German physicist and, together with Carl Friedrich Gauss, inventor of the first electromagnetic telegraph.-Early years:...

 built and first used for regular communication the electromagnetic telegraph in 1833 in Göttingen
Göttingen
Göttingen is a university town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Göttingen. The Leine river runs through the town. In 2006 the population was 129,686.-General information:...

, connecting Göttingen Observatory and the Institute of Physics, covering a distance of about 1 km. The setup consisted of a coil which could be moved up and down over the end of two magnetic steel bars. The resulting induction current was transmitted through two wires to the receiver, consisting of a galvanometer
Galvanometer
A galvanometer is a type of ammeter: an instrument for detecting and measuring electric current. It is an analog electromechanical transducer that produces a rotary deflection of some type of pointer in response to electric current flowing through its coil in a magnetic field. .Galvanometers were...

. The direction of the current could be reversed by commuting the two wires in a special switch. Therefore, Gauss and Weber chose to encode the alphabet in a binary code, using positive current and negative as the two states.

A replica commissioned by Weber for the 1873 World Fair
Weltausstellung 1873 Wien
]The Weltausstellung 1873 Wien was the large World exposition was held in 1873 in the Austria–Hungarian capital of Vienna. Its motto was Kultur und Erziehung ....

 based on his original designs is on display in the collection of historical instruments in the Department of Physics at University of Göttingen.
There are two versions of the first message sent by Gauss and Weber: the more official one is based on a note in Gauss's own handwriting stating that "Wissen vor meinen – Sein vor scheinen" ("knowing before opining, being before seeming") was the first message sent over the electromagnetic telegraph.
The more anecdotal version told in Göttingen observatory is that the first message was sent to notify Weber that the observatory's servant was on the way to the institute of physics, and just read "Michelmann kommt" ("Michelmann is on his way"), possibly as a test who would arrive first.

In 1836 an American scientist, Dr. David Alter
David Alter
David Alter was a prominent American inventor and scientist of the 19th century. He was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and graduated from the Reformed Medical School in New York City. He had German and Swiss ancestry.-Inventions:Dr...

, invented the first known American electric telegraph, in Elderton, Pennsylvania, one year before the Cooke and Wheatstone and the Morse telegraphs. Alter demonstrated it to witnesses but never developed the idea into a practical system.

The first commercial electrical telegraph
Electrical telegraph
An electrical telegraph is a telegraph that uses electrical signals, usually conveyed via telecommunication lines or radio. The electromagnetic telegraph is a device for human-to-human transmission of coded text messages....

 was co-developed by Sir William Fothergill Cooke
William Fothergill Cooke
Sir William Fothergill Cooke was, with Charles Wheatstone, the co-inventor of the Cooke-Wheatstone electrical telegraph, which was patented in May 1837...

 and Charles Wheatstone
Charles Wheatstone
Sir Charles Wheatstone FRS , was an English scientist and inventor of many scientific breakthroughs of the Victorian era, including the English concertina, the stereoscope , and the Playfair cipher...

, and entered use on the Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament in 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838...

 in Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

. It ran for 13 miles (20.9 km) from Paddington station
Paddington station
Paddington railway station, also known as London Paddington, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex.The site is a historic one, having served as the London terminus of the Great Western Railway and its successors since 1838. Much of the current mainline station dates...

 to West Drayton
West Drayton
West Drayton is a suburban area in the London Borough of Hillingdon in the far west of London, England. Formerly part of the Yiewsley and West Drayton Urban District of Middlesex, the district became part of Greater London in 1965....

 and came into operation on 9 July 1839. It was patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

ed in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 1837, and was first successfully demonstrated by Cooke and Wheatstone on 25 July 1837 between Euston
Euston railway station
Euston railway station, also known as London Euston, is a central London railway terminus in the London Borough of Camden. It is the sixth busiest rail terminal in London . It is one of 18 railway stations managed by Network Rail, and is the southern terminus of the West Coast Main Line...

 and Camden Town
Camden Town
-Economy:In recent years, entertainment-related businesses and a Holiday Inn have moved into the area. A number of retail and food chain outlets have replaced independent shops driven out by high rents and redevelopment. Restaurants have thrived, with the variety of culinary traditions found in...

 in London. In 1843 Scottish inventor Alexander Bain
Alexander Bain (inventor)
Alexander Bain was a Scottish inventor and engineer who was first to invent and patent the electric clock. Bain installed the railway telegraph lines between Edinburgh and Glasgow.-Early life:...

 invented a device that could be considered the first facsimile machine. He called his invention a "recording telegraph". Bain's telegraph was able to transmit images by electrical wires. In 1855 an Italian abbot, Giovanni Caselli
Giovanni Caselli
Giovanni Caselli was an Italian physicist. He is the inventor of the pantelegraph , the predecessor of the modern fax machine...

, also created an electric telegraph that could transmit images. Caselli called his invention "Pantelegraph
Pantelegraph
The pantelegraph was an early form of facsimile machine transmitting over normal telegraph lines developed by Giovanni Caselli, used commercially in the 1860s, that was the first such device to enter practical service, It could transmit handwriting, signatures, or drawings within an area of up to...

". Pantelegraph was successfully tested and approved for a telegraph line between Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

.

Morse telegraph


An electrical telegraph was independently developed and patented in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1837 by Samuel Morse. His assistant, Alfred Vail, developed the Morse code
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

 signalling alphabet
Alphabet
An alphabet is a standard set of letters—basic written symbols or graphemes—each of which represents a phoneme in a spoken language, either as it exists now or as it was in the past. There are other systems, such as logographies, in which each character represents a word, morpheme, or semantic...

 with Morse. The first telegram in the United States was sent by Morse on 6 January 1838, across two miles (3 km) of wire at Speedwell Ironworks
Speedwell Ironworks
Speedwell Ironworks was an ironworks in Speedwell, New Jersey, USA, just north of Morristown, New Jersey. It is on Speedwell Avenue, part of U.S. Route 202...

 near Morristown, New Jersey
Morristown, New Jersey
Morristown is a town in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town population was 18,411. It is the county seat of Morris County. Morristown became characterized as "the military capital of the American Revolution" because of its strategic role in the...

. The message read "A patient waiter is no loser."

On 24 May 1844, he sent the message "WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT
What hath God wrought
"What hath God wrought" is a phrase from the Book of Numbers and may refer to:*"What hath God wrought", a message in American Morse code sent by Samuel F. B...

" from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 in Washington to the old Mt. Clare Depot
B&O Railroad Museum
The B&O Railroad Museum is a museum exhibiting historic railroad equipment in Baltimore, Maryland, originally named the Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum when it opened on July 4, 1953. It has been called one of the most significant collections of railroad treasures in the world and has the...

 in Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

. This message (quoting Numbers
Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch....

 23:23) was chosen by Annie Ellsworth of Lafayette, Indiana, the daughter of Patent Commissioner Henry Leavitt Ellsworth
Henry Leavitt Ellsworth
Henry Leavitt Ellsworth was a Yale-educated attorney who became the first Commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office, where he encouraged innovation by inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Samuel Colt...

. The message was all capital letters because the original Morse code alphabet had no question mark or lower case.

The Morse/Vail telegraph was quickly deployed in the following two decades; the overland telegraph connected the west coast of the continent to the east coast by 24 October 1861, bringing an end to the Pony Express
Pony Express
The Pony Express was a fast mail service crossing the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the High Sierra from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, from April 3, 1860 to October 1861...

.


Oceanic telegraph cables


The first commercially successful transatlantic telegraph cable
Transatlantic telegraph cable
The transatlantic telegraph cable was the first cable used for telegraph communications laid across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. It crossed from , Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island, in western Ireland to Heart's Content in eastern Newfoundland. The transatlantic cable connected North America...

 was successfully completed on 18 July 1866. The lasting connections were achieved by the ship SS Great Eastern
SS Great Eastern
SS Great Eastern was an iron sailing steam ship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and built by J. Scott Russell & Co. at Millwall on the River Thames, London. She was by far the largest ship ever built at the time of her 1858 launch, and had the capacity to carry 4,000 passengers around the...

, captained by Sir James Anderson
Sir James Anderson
Sir James Anderson captained the SS Great Eastern on the laying of the Transatlantic telegraph cable in 1865 and 1866.Anderson was born in Dumfries in south west Scotland and educated at the academy there....

. Earlier transatlantic submarine cable
Submarine cable
Submarine cable may refer to:*Submarine communications cable*Submarine power cable...

s installations were attempted in 1857, 1858 and 1865. The 1857 cable only operated intermittently for a few days or weeks before it failed. The study of underwater telegraph cables accelerated interest in mathematical analysis of very long transmission line
Transmission line
In communications and electronic engineering, a transmission line is a specialized cable designed to carry alternating current of radio frequency, that is, currents with a frequency high enough that its wave nature must be taken into account...

s. The telegraph lines from Britain to India were connected in 1870 (those several companies combined to form the Eastern Telegraph Company in 1872).

Australia was first linked to the rest of the world in October 1872 by a submarine telegraph cable at Darwin. This brought news reportage from the rest of the world.

Further advancements in telegraph technology occurred in the early 1870s, when Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

 devised a full duplex two-way telegraph and then doubled its capacity with the invention of quadruplex telegraph
Quadruplex telegraph
The Quadruplex telegraph is a type of electrical telegraph which allows a total of four separate signals to be transmitted and received on a single wire at the same time Quadruplex telegraphy thus implements a form of multiplexing.The technology was invented by American inventor Thomas Edison, who...

y in 1874. Edison filed for a U.S. patent on the duplex telegraph on 1 September 1874 and received on 9 August 1892.

The telegraph across the Pacific was completed in 1902, finally encircling the world.

Wireless telegraphy


Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer...

 and other scientists and inventors showed the usefulness of wireless telegraphy
Wireless telegraphy
Wireless telegraphy is a historical term used today to apply to early radio telegraph communications techniques and practices, particularly those used during the first three decades of radio before the term radio came into use....

, radiotelegraphy, or radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

, beginning in the 1890s. Alexander Stepanovich Popov
Alexander Stepanovich Popov
Alexander Stepanovich Popov was a Russian physicist who was the first person to demonstrate the practical application of electromagnetic waves....

 demonstrated to the public his wireless radio receiver
Receiver (radio)
A radio receiver converts signals from a radio antenna to a usable form. It uses electronic filters to separate a wanted radio frequency signal from all other signals, the electronic amplifier increases the level suitable for further processing, and finally recovers the desired information through...

, which was also used as a lightning detector, on May 7, 1895. He proudly demonstrated his wireless receiver before a group of reporters on a stormy August evening in 1895. It was attached to a long 30 foot pole that he held aloft to maximize the signal. When asked by one of the reporters if it was a good idea to hold this metal rod in the middle of a storm he replied that all was well. After being struck (and nearly killed) by a bolt of lightning he proudly announced to the world that his invention also served as a "lightning detector".

Albert Turpain sent and received his first radio signal, using Morse code, in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, up to 25 meters in 1895.

Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand...

 sent and received his first radio signal in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 up to 6 kilometres in 1896. On 13 May 1897, Marconi, assisted by George Kemp, a Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 Post Office engineer, transmitted the first wireless
Wireless
Wireless telecommunications is the transfer of information between two or more points that are not physically connected. Distances can be short, such as a few meters for television remote control, or as far as thousands or even millions of kilometers for deep-space radio communications...

 signals over water to Lavernock
Lavernock
Lavernock is a hamlet in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, lying on the coast south of Cardiff between Penarth and Sully, and overlooking the Bristol Channel.- Marconi and the first radio messages across open sea :...

 (near Penarth
Penarth
Penarth is a town and seaside resort in the Vale of Glamorgan , Wales, 5.2 miles south west from the city centre of the Welsh capital city of Cardiff and lying on the north shore of the Severn Estuary at the southern end of Cardiff Bay...

 in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

) from Flat Holm
Flat Holm
Flat Holm is a limestone island lying in the Bristol Channel approximately from Lavernock Point in the Vale of Glamorgan, but in the City and County of Cardiff. It includes the most southerly point of Wales....

. Having failed to interest the Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 government, the 22-year-old inventor brought his telegraphy system to Britain and met William Preece, a Welshman, who was a major figure in the field and Chief Engineer of the General Post Office
General Post Office
General Post Office is the name of the British postal system from 1660 until 1969.General Post Office may also refer to:* General Post Office, Perth* General Post Office, Sydney* General Post Office, Melbourne* General Post Office, Brisbane...

. A pair of masts about 34 metres (112 ft) high were erected, at Lavernock Point and on Flat Holm. The receiving mast at Lavernock Point was a 30 metres (98 ft) high pole topped with a cylindrical cap of zinc connected to a detector with insulated copper wire. At Flat Holm the sending equipment included a Ruhmkorff coil with an eight-cell battery. The first trial on 11 and 12 May failed but on the 13th the mast at Lavernock was extended to 50 metres (164 ft) and the signals, in Morse code, were received clearly. The message sent was "ARE YOU READY"; the Morse slip signed by Marconi and Kemp is now in the National Museum of Wales.

In 1898 Popov accomplished successful experiments of wireless communication between a naval base and a battleship
Pre-dreadnought
Pre-dreadnought battleship is the general term for all of the types of sea-going battleships built between the mid-1890s and 1905. Pre-dreadnoughts replaced the ironclad warships of the 1870s and 1880s...

.

In 1900 the crew of the Russian coast defense ship General-Admiral Graf Apraksin as well as stranded Finnish fishermen were saved in the Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

 because of exchange of distress telegrams between two radiostations, located at Hogland island and inside a Russian naval base
Naval base
A naval base is a military base, where warships and naval ships are deployed when they have no mission at sea or want to restock. Usually ships may also perform some minor repairs. Some naval bases are temporary homes to aircraft that usually stay on the ships but are undergoing maintenance while...

 in Kotka
Kotka
Kotka is a town and municipality of Finland. Its former name is Rochensalm.Kotka is located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland at the mouth of Kymi River and it is part of the Kymenlaakso region in southern Finland. The municipality has a population of and covers an area of of which is water....

. Both stations of wireless telegraphy were built under Popov's instructions.

In 1901, Marconi radiotelegraphed the letter "S" across the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 from his station in Poldhu, Cornwall
Poldhu
Poldhu is a small area in south Cornwall, England, UK, situated on the Lizard Peninsula; it comprises Poldhu Point and Poldhu Cove. It lies on the coast west of Goonhilly Downs, with Mullion to the south and Porthleven to the north...

 to St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, Newfoundland and Labrador
Signal Hill is a hill which overlooks the city of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.Due to its strategic placement overlooking the harbour, fortifications have been placed on the hill since the mid 17th century.-History:...

.

Radiotelegraphy proved effective for rescue work in sea disaster
Disaster
A disaster is a natural or man-made hazard that has come to fruition, resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment...

s by enabling effective communication between ships and from ship to shore.

Telegraphic improvements



A continuing goal in telegraphy has been to reduce the cost per message by reducing hand-work, or increasing the sending rate. There were many experiments with moving pointers, and various electrical encodings. However, most systems were too complicated and unreliable. A successful expedient to increase the sending rate was the development of telegraphese.

Other research focused on the multiplexing
Multiplexing
The multiplexed signal is transmitted over a communication channel, which may be a physical transmission medium. The multiplexing divides the capacity of the low-level communication channel into several higher-level logical channels, one for each message signal or data stream to be transferred...

 of telegraph connections. By passing several simultaneous connections through an existing copper wire, capacity could be upgraded without the laying of new cable, a process which remained very costly. Several technologies were developed like Frequency-division multiplexing
Frequency-division multiplexing
Frequency-division multiplexing is a form of signal multiplexing which involves assigning non-overlapping frequency ranges to different signals or to each "user" of a medium.- Telephone :...

. Long submarine communications cable
Submarine communications cable
A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean....

s became possible in segments with vacuum tube amplifiers between them.

With the invention of the teletypewriter, telegraphic encoding became fully automated. Early teletypewriters used the ITA-1 Baudot code
Baudot code
The Baudot code, invented by Émile Baudot, is a character set predating EBCDIC and ASCII. It was the predecessor to the International Telegraph Alphabet No 2 , the teleprinter code in use until the advent of ASCII. Each character in the alphabet is represented by a series of bits, sent over a...

, a five-bit code. This yielded only thirty-two codes, so it was over-defined into two "shifts", "letters" and "figures". An explicit, unshared shift code prefaced each set of letters and figures.

The airline industry remains one of the last users of teletypewriters and in a few situations still sends messages over the SITA
SITA
SITA is a multinational information technology company specialising in providing IT and telecommunication services to the air transport industry...

 or AFTN
AFTN
The Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network is a worldwide system of aeronautical fixed circuits provided, as part of the Aeronautical Fixed Service, for the exchange of messages and/or digital data between aeronautical fixed stations having the same or compatible communications characteristics...

 networks. For example, The British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

 operations computer system (FICO) still used teletypewriters to communicate with other airline computer systems. The same goes for Programmed Airline Reservation System (PARS) and IPARS that used a similar shifted six-bit Teletype code, because it requires only eight bits per character, saving bandwidth and money. A teletypewriter message is often much smaller than the equivalent EDIFACT
EDIFACT
United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport is the international EDI standard developed under the United Nations...

 or XML
XML
Extensible Markup Language is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. It is defined in the XML 1.0 Specification produced by the W3C, and several other related specifications, all gratis open standards....

 message. In recent years as airlines have had access to improved bandwidth in remote locations, IATA standard XML
XML
Extensible Markup Language is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. It is defined in the XML 1.0 Specification produced by the W3C, and several other related specifications, all gratis open standards....

 is replacing Teletypewriter data as well as EDI
Electronic Data Interchange
Electronic data interchange is the structured transmission of data between organizations by electronic means. It is used to transfer electronic documents or business data from one computer system to another computer system, i.e...

.

The first electrical telegraph developed a standard signalling system for telecommunications. The "mark" state was defined as the powered state of the wire. In this way, it was immediately apparent when the line itself failed. The moving pointer telegraphs started the pointer's motion with a "start bit" that pulled the line to the unpowered "space" state. In early Telex machines, the start bit triggered a wheeled commutator run by a motor with a precise speed (later, digital electronics). The commutator distributed the bits from the line to a series of relays that would "capture" the bits. A "stop bit" was then sent at the powered "mark state" to assure that the commutator would have time to stop, and be ready for the next character. The stop bit triggered the printing mechanism. Stop bits initially lasted 1.42 baud times (later extended to two as signalling rates increased), in order to give the mechanism time to finish and stop vibrating. Hence an ITA-2 Murray code symbol took 1 start, 5 data, and 1.42 stop (total 7.42) baud times to transmit.

Telex




By 1935, message routing was the last great barrier to full automation. Large telegraphy providers began to develop systems that used telephone-like rotary dialling
Telephone exchange
In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange or telephone switch is a system of electronic components that connects telephone calls...

 to connect teletypewriters. These machines were called "Telex" (TELegraph EXchange). Telex machines first performed rotary-telephone-style pulse dialling for circuit switching
Circuit switching
Circuit switching is a methodology of implementing a telecommunications network in which two network nodes establish a dedicated communications channel through the network before the nodes may communicate. The circuit guarantees the full bandwidth of the channel and remains connected for the...

, and then sent data by Baudot code
Baudot code
The Baudot code, invented by Émile Baudot, is a character set predating EBCDIC and ASCII. It was the predecessor to the International Telegraph Alphabet No 2 , the teleprinter code in use until the advent of ASCII. Each character in the alphabet is represented by a series of bits, sent over a...

. This "type A" Telex routing functionally automated message routing.

The first wide-coverage Telex network was implemented in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 during the 1930s as a network used to communicate within the government.

At the rate of 45.45 (±0.5%) baud
Baud
In telecommunications and electronics, baud is synonymous to symbols per second or pulses per second. It is the unit of symbol rate, also known as baud rate or modulation rate; the number of distinct symbol changes made to the transmission medium per second in a digitally modulated signal or a...

 — considered speedy at the time — up to 25 telex channels could share a single long-distance telephone channel by using voice frequency telegraphy multiplexing
Frequency-division multiplexing
Frequency-division multiplexing is a form of signal multiplexing which involves assigning non-overlapping frequency ranges to different signals or to each "user" of a medium.- Telephone :...

, making telex the least expensive method of reliable long-distance communication.

Canada-wide automatic teleprinter exchange service was introduced by the CPR Telegraph Company and CN Telegraph in July 1957 (the two companies, operated by rivals Canadian National Railway
Canadian National Railway
The Canadian National Railway Company is a Canadian Class I railway headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. CN's slogan is "North America's Railroad"....

 and Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
The Canadian Pacific Railway , formerly also known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996, is a historic Canadian Class I railway founded in 1881 and now operated by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, which began operations as legal owner in a corporate restructuring in 2001...

, would join to form CNCP Telecommunications
CNCP Telecommunications
CNCP Telecommunications was an electrical telegraph operator and later as a telecom company...

 in 1967). This service supplemented the existing international Telex service that was put in place in November 1956. Canadian Telex customers could connect with nineteen European countries in addition to eighteen Latin American, African, and trans-Pacific countries. The major exchanges were located in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 (01), Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

 (02), and Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

 (03).

In 1958, Western Union started to build a Telex network in the United States. This Telex network started as a satellite exchange located in New York City and expanded to a nationwide network. Western Union chose Siemens & Halske AG, now Siemens AG, and ITT to supply the exchange equipment, provisioned the exchange trunks via the Western Union national microwave system and leased the exchange to customer site facilities from the local telephone company. Teleprinter equipment was originally provided by Siemens & Halske AG and later by Teletype Corporation. Initial direct International Telex service was offered by Western Union, via W.U. International, in the summer of 1960 with limited service to London and Paris.

In 1962, the major exchanges were located in New York City (1), Chicago (2), San Francisco (3), Kansas City (4) and Atlanta (5). The Telex network expanded by adding the final parent exchanges cities of Los Angeles (6), Dallas (7), Philadelphia (8) and Boston (9) starting in 1966.

The Telex numbering plan, usually a six-digit number in the United States, was based on the major exchange where the customer's Telex machine terminated. For example, all Telex customers that terminated in the New York City exchange were assigned a Telex number that started with a first digit "1". Further, all Chicago based customers had Telex numbers that started with a first digit of "2". This numbering plan was maintained by Western Union as the Telex exchanges proliferated to smaller cities in the United States. The Western Union Telex network was built on three levels of exchanges. The highest level was made up of the nine exchange cities previously mentioned. Each of these cities had the dual capability of terminating both Telex customer lines and setting up trunk connections to multiple distant Telex exchanges. The second level of exchanges, located in large cities such as Buffalo, Cleveland, Miami, Newark, Pittsburgh and Seattle, were similar to the highest level of exchanges in capability of terminating Telex customer lines and setting up trunk connections. However, these second level exchanges had a smaller customer line capacity and only had trunk circuits to regional cities. The third level of exchanges, located in small to medium sized cities, could terminate Telex customer lines and had a single trunk group running to its parent exchange.

Loop signaling was offered in two different configurations for Western Union Telex in the United States. The first option, sometimes called local or loop service
Current loop
A current loop describes two different electrical signalling schemes.- Digital :For digital serial communications, a current loop is a communication interface that uses current instead of voltage for signaling...

, provided a 60 milliampere loop circuit from the exchange to the customer teleprinter. The second option, sometimes called long distance or polar was used when a 60 milliampere connection could not be achieved, provided a ground return polar circuit using 35 milliamperes on separate send and receive wires. By the 1970s, and under pressure from the Bell operating companies wanting to modernize their cable plant and lower the adjacent circuit noise that these Telex circuits sometimes caused, Western Union migrated customers to a third option called F1F2. This F1F2 option replaced the DC voltage of the local and long distance options with modem
Modem
A modem is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to reproduce the original digital data...

s at the exchange
Telephone exchange
In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange or telephone switch is a system of electronic components that connects telephone calls...

 and subscriber
Subscription business model
The subscription business model is a business model where a customer must pay a subscription price to have access to the product/service. The model was pioneered by magazines and newspapers, but is now used by many businesses and websites....

 ends of the Telex circuit.

Western Union offered connections from Telex to the AT&T TeletypeWriter eXchange (TWX) system in May 1966 via its New York Information Services Computer Center. These connections were limited to those TWX machines that were equipped with automatic answerback capability per CCITT standard.

In 1970, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 were still running 45.5 baud type A Telex. Telex is still widely used in some developing countries' bureaucracies, probably because of its reliability and low cost. The UN
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 asserted at one time that more political entities were reliably available by Telex than by any other single method.

Around 1960[?], some nations began to use the "figures" Baudot codes to perform "Type B" Telex routing.

Telex grew around the world very rapidly. Long before automatic telephony was available, most countries, even in central Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, had at least a few high-frequency (shortwave
Shortwave
Shortwave radio refers to the upper MF and all of the HF portion of the radio spectrum, between 1,800–30,000 kHz. Shortwave radio received its name because the wavelengths in this band are shorter than 200 m which marked the original upper limit of the medium frequency band first used...

) Telex links. Often these radio links were first established by government postal and telegraph services (PTTs). The most common radio standard, CCITT
ITU-T
The ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector is one of the three sectors of the International Telecommunication Union ; it coordinates standards for telecommunications....

 R.44 had error-corrected retransmitting time-division multiplexing
Time-division multiplexing
Time-division multiplexing is a type of digital multiplexing in which two or more bit streams or signals are transferred apparently simultaneously as sub-channels in one communication channel, but are physically taking turns on the channel. The time domain is divided into several recurrent...

 of radio channels. Most impoverished PTTs operated their Telex-on-radio (TOR) channels non-stop, to get the maximum value from them.

The cost of TOR equipment has continued to fall. Although initially specialised equipment was required, many amateur radio
Amateur radio
Amateur radio is the use of designated radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication...

 operators now operate TOR (also known as RTTY
Radioteletype
Radioteletype is a telecommunications system consisting originally of two or more electromechanical teleprinters in different locations, later superseded by personal computers running software to emulate teleprinters, connected by radio rather than a wired link.The term radioteletype is used to...

) with special software and inexpensive hardware to adapt computer sound cards to short-wave radios.

Modern "cablegrams" or "telegrams" actually operate over dedicated Telex networks, using TOR whenever required.

Operation and applications


Telex messages are routed by addressing them to a Telex address, e.g., "14910 ERIC S", where 14910 is the subscriber number, ERIC is an abbreviation for the subscriber's name (in this case Telefonaktiebolaget L.M. Ericsson in Sweden) and S is the country code. Solutions also exist for the automatic routing of messages to different Telex terminals within a subscriber organization, by using different terminal identities, e.g., "+T148".

A major advantage of Telex is that the receipt of the message by the recipient could be confirmed with a high degree of certainty by the "answerback". At the beginning of the message, the sender would transmit a WRU (Who aRe yoU) code, and the recipient machine would automatically initiate a response which was usually encoded in a rotating drum with pegs, much like a music box. The position of the pegs sent an unambiguous identifying code to the sender, so the sender could verify connection to the correct recipient. The WRU code would also be sent at the end of the message, so a correct response would confirm that the connection had remained unbroken during the message transmission. This gave Telex a major advantage over less verifiable forms of communications such as telephone and fax.

The usual method of operation was that the message would be prepared off-line, using paper tape. All common Telex machines incorporated a 5-hole paper-tape punch and reader. Once the paper tape had been prepared, the message could be transmitted in minimum time. Telex billing was always by connected duration, so minimizing the connected time saved money. However, it was also possible to connect in "real time", where the sender and the recipient could both type on the keyboard and these characters would be immediately printed on the distant machine.

Telex could also be used as a rudimentary but functional carrier of information from one IT system to another, in effect a primitive forerunner of Electronic Data Interchange
Electronic Data Interchange
Electronic data interchange is the structured transmission of data between organizations by electronic means. It is used to transfer electronic documents or business data from one computer system to another computer system, i.e...

. The sending IT system would create an output (e.g., an inventory list) on paper tape using a mutually agreed format. The tape would be sent by Telex and collected on a corresponding paper tape by the receiver and this tape could then be read into the receiving IT system.

One use of Telex circuits, in use until the wide-scale adoption of x.400
X.400
X.400 is a suite of ITU-T Recommendations that define standards for Data Communication Networks for Message Handling Systems — more commonly known as "email"....

 and Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 email, was to facilitate a message handling system, allowing local email systems to exchange messages with other email and Telex systems via a central routing operation, or switch. One of the largest such switches was operated by Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell plc , commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the fifth-largest company in the world according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine and one of the six...

 as recently as 1994, permitting the exchange of messages between a number of IBM Officevision, Digital Equipment Corporation
Digital Equipment Corporation
Digital Equipment Corporation was a major American company in the computer industry and a leading vendor of computer systems, software and peripherals from the 1960s to the 1990s...

 All-In-One
All-in-One
All-in-One , also known as #-in-1, CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs contain more than one application on the disc. Typically, this would simply be different editions of the same version. AIOs are normally created by warez groups in order to save time to download and upload software, while giving a large...

 and Microsoft Mail
Microsoft Mail
Microsoft Mail was the name given to several early Microsoft e-mail products.-Mac Networks:The first Microsoft Mail product was introduced in 1988 for AppleTalk Networks. It was based on InterMail, a product that Microsoft purchased and updated. An MS-DOS client was added for PCs on AppleTalk...

 systems. In addition to permitting email to be sent to Telex addresses, formal coding conventions adopted in the composition of Telex messages enabled automatic routing of Telexes to email recipients.

TeletypeWriter eXchange




The TeletypeWriter eXchange (TWX) was developed by the Bell System
Bell System
The Bell System was the American Bell Telephone Company and then, subsequently, AT&T led system which provided telephone services to much of the United States and Canada from 1877 to 1984, at various times as a monopoly. In 1984, the company was broken up into separate companies, by a U.S...

 in the United States and originally ran at 45.45 baud or 60 words per minute, using five level Baudot code
Baudot code
The Baudot code, invented by Émile Baudot, is a character set predating EBCDIC and ASCII. It was the predecessor to the International Telegraph Alphabet No 2 , the teleprinter code in use until the advent of ASCII. Each character in the alphabet is represented by a series of bits, sent over a...

. Bell later developed a second generation of TWX called "four row" that ran at 110 baud, using eight level ASCII
ASCII
The American Standard Code for Information Interchange is a character-encoding scheme based on the ordering of the English alphabet. ASCII codes represent text in computers, communications equipment, and other devices that use text...

 code. The Bell System offered both "3-row" Baudot and "4-row" ASCII TWX service up to the late 1970s.

TWX used the public switched telephone network. In addition to having separate Area Codes (510, 610, 710, 810, and 910) for the TWX service, the TWX lines were also set up with a special Class of Service to prevent connections to and from POTS
Plain old telephone service
Plain old telephone service is the voice-grade telephone service that remains the basic form of residential and small business service connection to the telephone network in many parts of the world....

 to TWX and vice versa.

The code/speed conversion between "3-row" Baudot and "4-row" ASCII TWX service was accomplished using a special Bell "10A/B board" via a live operator. A TWX customer would place a call to the 10A/B board operator for Baudot – ASCII calls, ASCII – Baudot calls and also TWX Conference calls. The code / speed conversion was done by a Western Electric unit that provided this capability. There were multiple code / speed conversion units at each operator position.

Western Union purchased the TWX system from AT&T in January 1969. The TWX system and the special area codes (510, 610, 710, 810, and 910) continued right up to 1981 when Western Union completed the conversion to the Western Union Telex II system. Any remaining "3-row" Baudot customers were converted to Western Union Telex service during the period 1979 to 1981.

The modem for this service was the Bell 101 dataset, which is the direct ancestor of the Bell 103 modem
Modem
A modem is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to reproduce the original digital data...

 that launched computer time-sharing
Time-sharing
Time-sharing is the sharing of a computing resource among many users by means of multiprogramming and multi-tasking. Its introduction in the 1960s, and emergence as the prominent model of computing in the 1970s, represents a major technological shift in the history of computing.By allowing a large...

. The 101 was revolutionary, because it ran on ordinary unconditioned telephone subscriber lines, allowing the Bell System to run TWX along with POTS on a single public switched telephone network.

International Record Carriers


Bell's original consent agreement limited it to international dial telephony. The 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...

 Telegraph Company had given up its international telegraphic operation in a 1939 bid to monopolize U.S. telegraphy by taking over ITT's PTT business. The result was a de-emphasis on Telex in the U.S. and a "cat's cradle" of international Telex and telegraphy companies. The Federal Communications Commission referred to these companies as "International Record Carriers" (IRCs).
  • Western Union Telegraph Company
    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...

     developed a subsidiary named Western Union Cable System. This company later was renamed as Western Union International (WUI) when it was spun off by Western Union as an independent company. WUI was purchased by MCI Communications (MCI)
    MCI Communications
    MCI Communications Corp. was an American telecommunications company that was instrumental in legal and regulatory changes that led to the breakup of the AT&T monopoly of American telephony and ushered in the competitive long-distance telephone industry. It was headquartered in Washington,...

     in 1983 and operated as a subsidiary of MCI International.
  • ITT's "World Communications" division (later known as ITT World Communications) was amalgamated from many smaller companies, several of which were organized under the American Cable and Radio Corporation
    American Cable and Radio Corporation
    American Cable and Radio Corporation was a communications holding company in the middle 20th century. Created in February 1940, it was a part of ITT World Communications, and operated what was known as the American Cable and Radio System, comprising All America Cables and Radio, the Commercial...

    : Federal Telegraph
    Federal Telegraph Company
    The Federal Telegraph Company was a United States communications company that played a pivotal role in the 20th century in the development of radio communications. Founded in Palo Alto, California in 1909, it would eventually merge in August 1927 with the Mackay Companies...

    , "All American Cables and Radio", "Globe Wireless", and the common carrier division of Mackay Marine. ITT World Communications was purchased by Western Union in 1987.
  • RCA Communications (later known as RCA Global Communications) had specialized in global radiotelegraphic connections. In 1986 it was purchased by MCI International.
  • Before World War I, the Tropical Radiotelegraph Company (later known as Tropical Radio Telecommunications, or TRT) put radio telegraphs on ships for its owner, the United Fruit Company (UFC)
    United Fruit Company
    It had a deep and long-lasting impact on the economic and political development of several Latin American countries. Critics often accused it of exploitative neocolonialism and described it as the archetypal example of the influence of a multinational corporation on the internal politics of the...

    , to enable them to deliver bananas to the best-paying markets. Communications expanded to UFC's plantations, and were eventually provided to local governments. TRT eventually became the national carrier for many small Central American nations.
  • The French Telegraph Cable Company (later known as FTC Communications, or just FTCC), which was owned by French investors, had always been in the U.S. It laid undersea cable from the U.S. to France. It was formed by Monsieur Puyer-Quartier. International telegrams routed via FTCC were routed using the telegraphic routing ID "PQ", which are the initials of the founder of the company.
  • Firestone Rubber
    Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
    The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900 to supply pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. Firestone soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles. The company...

     developed its own IRC, the "Trans-Liberia Radiotelegraph Company". It operated shortwave from Akron, Ohio
    Akron, Ohio
    Akron , is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Summit County. It is located in the Great Lakes region approximately south of Lake Erie along the Little Cuyahoga River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 199,110. The Akron Metropolitan...

     to the rubber plantations in Liberia
    Liberia
    Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

    . TL is still based in Akron.


Bell Telex users had to select which IRC to use, and then append the necessary routing digits. The IRCs converted between TWX and 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...

 Telegraph Co. standards.

Arrival of the Internet

Main article: History of the Internet
History of the Internet
The history of the Internet starts in the 1950s and 1960s with the development of computers. This began with point-to-point communication between mainframe computers and terminals, expanded to point-to-point connections between computers and then early research into packet switching...

. See also: E-mail
E-mail
Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

 and ARPANET
ARPANET
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network , was the world's first operational packet switching network and the core network of a set that came to compose the global Internet...



Around 1965, DARPA
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military...

 commissioned a study of decentralized switching systems. Some of the ideas developed in this study provided inspiration for the development of the ARPANET
ARPANET
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network , was the world's first operational packet switching network and the core network of a set that came to compose the global Internet...

 packet switching
Packet switching
Packet switching is a digital networking communications method that groups all transmitted data – regardless of content, type, or structure – into suitably sized blocks, called packets. Packet switching features delivery of variable-bit-rate data streams over a shared network...

 research network, which later grew to become the public Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

.

As the PSTN
Public switched telephone network
The public switched telephone network is the network of the world's public circuit-switched telephone networks. It consists of telephone lines, fiber optic cables, microwave transmission links, cellular networks, communications satellites, and undersea telephone cables, all inter-connected by...

 became a digital network, T-carrier
T-carrier
In telecommunications, T-carrier, sometimes abbreviated as T-CXR, is the generic designator for any of several digitally multiplexed telecommunications carrier systems originally developed by Bell Labs and used in North America, Japan, and South Korea....

 "synchronous" networks became commonplace in the U.S. A T1 line has a "frame" of 193 bits that repeats 8000 times per second. The first bit, called the "sync" bit, alternates between 1 and 0 to identify the start of the frames. The rest of the frame provides 8 bits for each of 24 separate voice or data channels. Customarily, a T-1 link is sent over a balanced twisted pair, isolated with transformers to prevent current flow. Europeans adopted a similar system (E-1
E-carrier
In digital telecommunications, where a single physical wire pair can be used to carry many simultaneous voice conversations by time-division multiplexing, worldwide standards have been created and deployed...

) of 32 channels (with one channel for frame synchronisation).

Later, SONET and SDH
Synchronous optical networking
Synchronous Optical Networking and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy are standardized multiplexing protocols that transfer multiple digital bit streams over optical fiber using lasers or highly coherent light from light-emitting diodes . At low transmission rates data can also be transferred via an...

 were adapted to combine carrier channels into groups that could be sent over optic fiber. The capacity of an optic fiber is often extended with wavelength division multiplexing, rather than rerigging new fibre. Rigging several fibres in the same structures as the first fibre is usually easy and inexpensive, and many fibre installations include unused spare "dark fibre
Dark fiber
A dark fiber or unlit fiber is an unused Optical fiber, available for use in fiber-optic communication.The term dark fiber was originally used when referring to the potential network capacity of telecommunication infrastructure, but now also refers to the increasingly common practice of leasing...

", "dark wavelengths", and unused parts of the SONET frame, so-called "virtual channels".

In 2002, the Internet was used by Kevin Warwick
Kevin Warwick
Kevin Warwick is a British scientist and professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom...

 at the University of Reading
University of Reading
The University of Reading is a university in the English town of Reading, Berkshire. The University was established in 1892 as University College, Reading and received its Royal Charter in 1926. It is based on several campuses in, and around, the town of Reading.The University has a long tradition...

 to communicate neural signals, in purely electronic form, telegraphically between the nervous systems of two humans, potentially opening up a new form of communication combining the Internet and telegraphy.

In 2006, a well-defined communication channel used for telegraphy was established by the SONET
Sonet
Sonet may refer to:* Sonet Records, European record label* Synchronous optical networking * Saab Sonett...

 standard OC-768, which sent about 40 gigabits per second.

The theoretical maximum capacity of an optic fiber is more than 1012 bits (one terabit
Terabit
The terabit is a multiple of the unit bit for digital information or computer storage. The prefix tera is defined in the International System of Units as a multiplier of 1012 , and therefore...

 or one trillion bits) per second. In 2006, no existing encoding system approached this theoretical limit, even with wavelength division multiplexing.

Since the Internet operates over any digital transmission medium, further evolution of telegraphic technology will be effectively concealed from users.

E-mail displaces telegraphy


E-mail
E-mail
Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

 was first invented for CTSS and similar time sharing systems of the era in the mid-1960s. At first, e-mail was possible only between different accounts on the same computer (typically a mainframe
Mainframe computer
Mainframes are powerful computers used primarily by corporate and governmental organizations for critical applications, bulk data processing such as census, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning, and financial transaction processing.The term originally referred to the...

). ARPANET
ARPANET
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network , was the world's first operational packet switching network and the core network of a set that came to compose the global Internet...

 allowed different computers to be connected to allow e-mails to be relayed from computer to computer, with the first ARPANET e-mail being sent in 1971. Multics
Multics
Multics was an influential early time-sharing operating system. The project was started in 1964 in Cambridge, Massachusetts...

 also pioneered instant messaging between computer users in the mid-1970s. With the growth of the Internet, e-mail began to be possible between any two computers with access to the Internet. This led to the development of a form of communication that is a hybrid between a telegram and an email, namely the Edigram. Such communications could be sent on a round-the-clock basis, and were characterized as being short, concise and lacking any superfluous terms.

Various private networks like UUNET
UUNET
UUNET founded in 1987, was one of the largest Internet service providers and one of the nine Tier 1 networks. It was based in Northern Virginia and was the first commercial Internet service provider...

 (founded 1987), the Well (1985), and GEnie
GEnie
GEnie was an online service created by a General Electric business - GEIS that ran from 1985 through the end of 1999. In 1994, GEnie claimed around 350,000 users. Peak simultaneous usage was around 10,000 users...

 (1985) had e-mail from the 1970s, but subscriptions were quite expensive for an individual, US$25 to US$50 per month, just for e-mail. Internet use was then largely limited to government, academia and other government contractors until the net was opened to commercial use in the 1980s.

By the early 1990s, modem
Modem
A modem is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to reproduce the original digital data...

s made e-mail a viable alternative to Telex systems in a business environment. But individual e-mail accounts were not widely available until local Internet service providers were in place, although demand grew rapidly, as e-mail was seen as the Internet's killer app. It allowed anyone to email anyone, whereas previously, different system had been walled off from each other, such that America Online
AOL
AOL Inc. is an American global Internet services and media company. AOL is headquartered at 770 Broadway in New York. Founded in 1983 as Control Video Corporation, it has franchised its services to companies in several nations around the world or set up international versions of its services...

 subscribers could only email other America Online subscribers, Compuserve
CompuServe
CompuServe was the first major commercial online service in the United States. It dominated the field during the 1980s and remained a major player through the mid-1990s, when it was sidelined by the rise of services such as AOL with monthly subscriptions rather than hourly rates...

 subscribers could only email other Compuserve subscribers, etc. The broad user base created by the demand for e-mail smoothed the way for the rapid acceptance of the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

 in the mid-1990s. Fax
Fax
Fax , sometimes called telecopying, is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material , normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device...

 machines were another technology that helped displace the telegram.

On Monday, 12 July 1999, a final telegram was sent from the National Liberty Ship Memorial, the SS Jeremiah O'Brien
SS Jeremiah O'Brien
-See also:*Liberty ship*Victory ship - other surviving Liberty ship*Nash - last surviving Army ship at D-Day...

, in San Francisco Bay to President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 in the White House. Officials of Globe Wireless reported that "The message was 95 words, and it took six or eight minutes to copy it." They then transmitted the message to the White House via e-mail. That event was also used to mark the final commercial U.S. ship-to-shore telegraph message transmitted from North America by Globe Wireless, a company founded in 1911. Sent from its wireless station at Half Moon Bay, California
Half Moon Bay, California
Half Moon Bay is a coastal city in San Mateo County, California, USA. Its population was 11,324 as of the 2010 census. Immediately at the north of Half Moon Bay is the Pillar Point Harbor and the unincorporated community of Princeton-by-the-Sea....

, the sign-off message was a repeat of Samuel F. B. Morse's message 155 years earlier, "What hath God wrought?"

Worldwide status of telegram services


In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Australia Post
Australia Post
Australia Post is the trading name of the Australian Government-owned Australian Postal Corporation .-History:...

 closed its telegram service on 7 March 2011. In the Victorian town of Beechworth
Beechworth, Victoria
Beechworth is a well-preserved historical town located in the north-east of Victoria, Australia, famous for its major growth during the gold rush days of the mid-1850s...

, visitors can send telegrams to family members or friends from the Beechworth Telegraph Station.

In Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, Batelco
Batelco
Bahrain Telecommunications Company - - is the principal telecommunications company of Bahrain. The company is headquartered in Bahrain and is listed on the Bahrain Stock Exchange.-Ownership:...

 still offers telegram services. They are thought to be more formal than an email or a fax, but less so than a letter. So should a death or anything of importance occur, telegrams would be sent.

In Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, traditional telex operations ceased 28 February 2007. The Belgacom
Belgacom
The Belgacom Group is the largest telecommunications company in Belgium, headquartered in Brussels. Belgacom Group is primarily state owned, with the Belgian state holding 53.3% + 1 share...

 Telex services were replaced by RealTelex, an internet based Telex alternative.

In Canada
Canada
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...

, Telegrams Canada still offers telegram services. AT&T Canada
AT&T Canada
AT&T Canada was a Canadian long-distance telephone service provider, the Canadian subsidiary of American telecommunications company AT&T Communications between the early 1990s and 2003. It was then renamed Allstream, as a result of AT&T's declining participation in the company. AT&T sold its...

 had discontinued its telegram service in 2001 and later became MTS Allstream.

In Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Deutsche Post
Deutsche Post
Deutsche Post AG, operating under the trade name Deutsche Post DHL, is the world's largest logistics group. With its headquarters in Bonn, the corporation has 467,088 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide and generated revenue of € 51.48 billion in 2010...

 delivers telegrams the next day with ordinary mail. Deutsche Post discontinued service to foreign countries on 31 December 2000. A private, online-based service named TelegrammDirekt.de, offers same-day delivery in Germany, and service to a number of foreign countries.

In Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Eircom
Eircom
Eircom Group LTD is a telecommunications company in the Republic of Ireland, and a former state-owned incumbent. It is currently the largest telecommunications operator in the Republic of Ireland and operates primarily on the island of Ireland, with a point of presence in Great Britain.As Bord...

 – the country's largest telecommunication company and former PTT – formally discontinued Telex services on 30 July 2002.

In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, NTT
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone
, commonly known as NTT, is a Japanese telecommunications company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Ranked the 31st in Fortune Global 500, NTT is the largest telecommunications company in Asia, and the second-largest in the world in terms of revenue....

 provides a telegram (denpou) service that is today used mainly for special occasions such as weddings, funerals, graduations, etc. Local offices offer telegrams printed on special decorated paper and envelopes.

In Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, the service was closed by the only provider Teo LT
Teo LT
Teo LT is a telecommunications company in Lithuania, owned in part by the TeliaSonera group. Teo LT is the largest landline phone operator in Lithuania...

 on 15 October 2007 because of the lack of demand and high costs.

In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, the telegram is still used as a low-cost communication service for people who cannot afford or do not have access to e-mail
E-mail
Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

.

In Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, the Telex service was discontinued on 1 January 2009. Nepal Telecom
Nepal Telecom
Nepal Telecom or Nepal Telecommunications Corporation is the leading and the largest government owned telecommunication company of Nepal. It is also known as Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited . A former government monopoly, it was converted into a Public Limited Company on April 14, 2004...

 states the reason for its decision as due to "availability of advanced technology in data communication."

In the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, the telegram service was sold by KPN
KPN
KPN is a Dutch landline and mobile telecommunications company, including both 2G and 3G mobile operations...

 to the Swiss-based company Unitel Telegram Services in 2001. On 9 February 2007, according to the online edition of the Telegraaf newspaper, the Netherlands national telecommunications company KPN pulled the plug on the last Telex machine in the Netherlands after having operated a Telex network since 1933. As their Telex service had only 200 remaining customers, it was decided that it was no longer worthwhile to continue to offer Telex within the Netherlands. It is, however, still possible to send Telex messages to foreign customers through the Internet.

In Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, TeliaSonera
TeliaSonera
TeliaSonera AB is the dominant telephone company and mobile network operator in Sweden and Finland. The company has operations in other countries in Northern, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Spain, with a total of 150 million mobile customers...

, still delivers telegrams as nostalgic novelty items, rather than a primary means of communication.

In Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Unitel Telegram Services took over telegram services from the national PTTs. Telegrams can still be sent to and from most countries.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the international telegram service formerly provided by British Telecom was spun off in 2003 to an independent company, Telegrams Online, which promotes the use of telegrams as a retro greeting card or invitation.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, 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...

 announced the discontinuation of all of its telegram services effective from 31 January 2006. Only 20,000 telegrams were sent in 2005, compared with 20 million in 1929. According to Western Union, which still offers money transfer services, its last telegram was sent Friday, 27 January 2006. The company stated that this was its "final transition from a communications company to a financial services company." Western Union's telegram service was acquired by iTelegram
ITelegram
International Telegram or iTelegram provides telegram service through its international telex/cablegram network. Service began in 1974 after Bahrain Post's exit from the electronic messaging industry. iTelegram is owned by Bahrain Telecom and has head offices in Bahrain and Mexico.-External links:* *...

, an independent company. Telegrams, flowergrams, and candygrams are also offered by independent companies such as American Telegram.

Social implications


Prior to the electrical telegraph
Electrical telegraph
An electrical telegraph is a telegraph that uses electrical signals, usually conveyed via telecommunication lines or radio. The electromagnetic telegraph is a device for human-to-human transmission of coded text messages....

, nearly all information was limited to traveling at the speed of a human or animal. The telegraph freed communication from the constraints of space and time and truly affected how Americans lived their lives. In 1870, 9,158,000 messages were handled by the telegraph network in the United States but by 1900 the number had risen to 63,168,000. These numbers indicate the increased frequency of use and the degree of which Americans were quickly accepting the telegraph. The telegraph isolated the message (information) from the physical movement of objects or the process.

Telegraphy facilitated the growth of organizations "in the railroads, consolidated financial and commodity markets, and reduced information costs within and between firms." This immense growth in the business sectors influenced society to embrace the use of telegrams.

Worldwide telegraphy changed the gathering of information for news reporting. Messages and information would now travel far and wide, and the telegraph demanded a language "stripped of the local, the regional; and colloquial," to better facilitate a worldwide media language. Media language had to be standardized, which led to the gradual disappearance of different forms of speech and styles of journalism
Journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

 and storytelling.

Names of periodicals


The word telegraph still appears in the names of numerous periodicals in various countries, a legacy of the long period when Telegraphy was a major means for newspapers to obtain news information (see Telegraph (disambiguation)
Telegraph (disambiguation)
- Telegraphy, for long-distance communication :* Electrical telegraph, a form of telegraph that uses electric signals* Printing telegraph, a form of electrical telegraph that uses plain text instead of Morse Code* Optical telegraph, another name for semaphore line...

).

See also

  • Entores Ltd v Miles Far East Corporation
    Entores Ltd v Miles Far East Corporation
    Entores Ltd v Miles Far East Corporation [1955] is a landmark English Court of Appeal decision in contract law on the moment of acceptance of a contract over telex. Denning LJ found that the regular postal rule did not apply for instantaneous means of communications such as a telex...

     is a landmark English Court of Appeal decision in contract law on the moment of acceptance of a contract over telex.
  • Familygram
    Familygram
    A familygram is a personal message sent to a sailor of the United States Navy on a submarine by their families.Because submarines normally maintain radio silence to avoid detection, personal messages from the 'outside world' are severely restricted. Familygrams were originally limited to 15 words,...

  • David E. Hughes
    David E. Hughes
    David Edward Hughes , was a British scientist and musician. Hughes was co-inventor of the microphone, a harpist and a professor of music.-Biography:...

    , designer of a telegraph that used an alphabetic keyboard and printer wheel
  • Globotype
    Globotype
    thumb|300px|right|The Globotype is a color display for telecommunications. It was invented and patented by David McCallum of Stonehouse, Devon, England. The device features very low cost and does not use consumable supplies. It is Royal Letters Patent No. 2924 issued December 29, 1855...

  • Information-action ratio
    Information-action ratio
    The information–action ratio was a concept coined by cultural critic Neil Postman in his work Amusing Ourselves to Death. In short, Postman meant to indicate the relationship between a piece of information and what action, if any, a consumer of that information might reasonably be expected to...

  • Telecommunications
  • Telegram messenger
    Telegram messenger
    In the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States and other countries around the world, a telegram messenger, more often known as a telegram delivery boy or simply a telegram boy was a young male employed to deliver telegrams, usually on bicycle. In the United Kingdom and Ireland telegram boys were...

  • Telegram style
    Telegram style
    Telegram style, telegraph style, or telegraphic style describes a clipped way of writing that attempts to abbreviate words and pack as much information into the shortest possible number of words and or characters....

  • Victorian Internet
    Victorian Internet
    The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-Line Pioneers is a 1998 book by Tom Standage. It is about the development and uses of the electric telegraph during the second half of the 19th Century and some of the similarities the telegraph shared...



Further reading


  • Dargan, J., The Railway Telegraph, Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin
    Australian Railway History
    Australian Railway History , is the premier magazine covering railway history in Australia...

    , March, 1985 pp. 49–71
  • John, Richard R
    Richard R. John
    Richard R. John is a historian of communications who specializes in the political economy of communications in the United States. He currently teaches courses in the history of communications at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism....

    . Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications (Harvard University Press; 2010) 520 pages; traces the evolution of the country's telegraph and telephone networks.
  • Kieve, Jeffrey L.  — The Electric Telegraph: a Social and Economic History David and Charles (1973) ISBN 0-7153-5883-9
  • Standage, Tom — The Victorian Internet Berkley Trade, (1998) ISBN 0-425-17169-8
  • Wilson, Geoffrey, The Old Telegraphs, Phillimore & Co Ltd 1976 ISBN 0900592796


External links