Developed in the 1830s and 1840s by Samuel Morse (1791-1872) and other inventors, the telegraph revolutionized long-distance communication. It worked by transmitting electrical signals over a wire laid between stations. Before the development of the electric telegraph in the 19th century revolutionized how information was transmitted across long distances, ancient civilizations such as those in China, Egypt and Greece used drumbeats or smoke signals to exchange information between far-flung points. A different method of transmitting information was needed to make regular and reliable long-distance communication workable. The Electric Telegraph. All the system needed was a key, a battery, wire and a line of poles between stations for the wire and a receiver.
Morse Code. To transmit messages across telegraph wires, in the 1830s Morse and Vail created what came to be known as Morse code. Telegraph systems spread across the world, as well.
Although the telegraph has since been replaced by the even more convenient telephone, fax machine and Internet, its invention stands as a turning point in world history.
The second category consists of armature systems in which the current activates a telegraph sounder which makes a click. At the sending station, an operator would tap on a switch called a telegraph key, spelling out text messages in Morse code. Originally, the armature was intended to make marks on paper tape, but operators learned to interpret the clicks and it was more efficient to write down the message directly.
In 1865, the Morse system became the standard for international communication with a modified code developed for German railways. Electrical telegraph networks permitted people and commerce to transmit messages across both continents and oceans almost instantly, with widespread social and economic impacts.
 Telegraphs employing electrostatic attraction were the basis of early experiments in electrical telegraphy in Europe, but were abandoned as being impractical and were never developed into a useful communication system. In 1800, Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic pile, allowing for a continuous current of electricity for experimentation.
Another very early experiment in electrical telegraphy was an "electrochemical telegraph" created by the German physician, anatomist and inventor Samuel Thomas von Sömmering in 1809, based on an earlier, less robust design of 1804 by Spanish polymath and scientist Francisco Salva Campillo. 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.
Hans Christian Ørsted discovered in 1820 that an electric current produces a magnetic field that will deflect a compass needle. In the same year Johann Schweigger invented the galvanometer, with a coil of wire around a compass, that could be used as a sensitive indicator for an electric current.
In 1830 William Ritchie improved on Ampère's design by placing the magnetic needles inside a coil of wire connected to each pair of conductors. In 1825, William Sturgeon invented the electromagnet, with a single winding of uninsulated wire on a piece of varnished iron, which increased the magnetic force produced by electric current.
 During his tenure at The Albany Academy from 1826 to 1832, Henry first demonstrated the theory of the 'magnetic telegraph' by ringing a bell through one-mile (1.6 km) of wire strung around the room in 1831. The lines were connected at both ends to revolving dials marked with the letters of the alphabet and electrical impulses sent along the wire were used to transmit messages. In 1836, the British government attempted to buy the design but Schilling instead accepted overtures from Nicholas I of Russia.
His work was taken over and developed by Moritz von Jacobi who invented telegraph equipment that was used by Tsar Alexander III to connect the Imperial palace at Tsarskoye Selo and Kronstadt Naval Base. In 1833, Carl Friedrich Gauss, together with the physics professor Wilhelm Weber in Göttingen installed a 1,200-metre-long (3,900 ft) wire above the town's roofs.
As a result, he was able to make the distant needle move in the direction set by the commutator on the other end of the line. At first, Gauss and Weber used the telegraph to coordinate time, but soon they developed other signals and finally, their own alphabet.
The page of Gauss' laboratory notebook containing both his code and the first message transmitted, as well as a replica of the telegraph made in the 1850s under the instructions of Weber are kept in the faculty of physics at the University of Göttingen, in Germany. Later in the same year, instead of a Voltaic pile, Gauss used an induction pulse, enabling him to transmit seven letters a minute instead of two. By 1837, William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone had co-developed a telegraph system which used a number of needles on a board that could be moved to point to letters of the alphabet.
Morse's assistant Alfred Vail developed an instrument that was called the register for recording the received messages. A demonstration four-needle system was installed on the Euston to Camden Town section of Robert Stephenson's London and Birmingham Railway in 1837 for signalling rope-hauling of locomotives.  Cooke and Wheatstone had their first commercial success with a system installed on the Great Western Railway over the 13 miles (21 km) from Paddington station to West Drayton in 1838. The one-needle telegraph proved highly successful on British railways, and 15,000 sets were still in use at the end of the nineteenth century.
The communicator consisted of a circular dial with a pointer and the 26 letters of the alphabet (and four punctuation marks) around its circumference. Thus the alternating line voltage moved the indicator's pointer on to the position of the depressed key on the communicator.
As well as the rapid expansion of the use of the telegraphs along the railways, they soon spread into the field of mass communication with the instruments being installed in post offices. This early system required the receiver to be present in real time to record the message and it reached speeds of up to 15 words a minute. The speed of the printing telegraph was 16 and a half words per minute, but messages still required translation into English by live copyists.
Chemical telegraphy came to an end in the US in 1851, when the Morse group defeated the Bain patent in the US District Court. For a brief period, starting with the New York–Boston line in 1848, some telegraph networks began to employ sound operators, who were trained to understand Morse code aurally.
Gradually, the use of sound operators eliminated the need for telegraph receivers to include register and tape. Instead, the receiving instrument was developed into a "sounder", an electromagnet that was energized by a current and attracted a small iron lever.
Royal Earl House developed and patented a letter-printing telegraph system in 1846 which employed an alphabetic keyboard for the transmitter and automatically printed the letters on paper at the receiver, and followed this up with a steam-powered version in 1852. David Edward Hughes invented the printing telegraph in 1855; it used a keyboard of 26 keys for the alphabet and a spinning type wheel that determined the letter being transmitted by the length of time that had elapsed since the previous transmission. French engineer Émile Baudot patented a printing telegraph in which the signals were translated automatically into typographic characters.
By this point, reception had been automated, but the speed and accuracy of the transmission were still limited to the skill of the human operator. The message (in Morse code) was typed onto a piece of perforated tape using a keyboard-like device called the 'Stick Punch'. The transmitter automatically ran the tape through and transmitted the message at the then exceptionally high speed of 70 words per minute. This was the origin of the Creed High Speed Automatic Printing System, which could run at an unprecedented 200 words per minute.
Large telegraphy providers began to develop systems that used telephone-like rotary dialling to connect teletypewriters. In the latter half of the 1800s, several inventors worked towards creating a method for doing just that, including Charles Bourseul, Thomas Edison, Elisha Gray, and Alexander Graham Bell. Soon after the first successful telegraph systems were operational, the possibility of transmitting messages across the sea by way of submarine communications cables was first proposed.
One of the primary technical challenges was to sufficiently insulate the submarine cable to prevent the electric current from leaking out into the water. In 1842, a Scottish surgeon William Montgomerie introduced gutta-percha, the adhesive juice of the Palaquium gutta tree, to Europe.
Michael Faraday and Wheatstone soon discovered the merits of gutta-percha as an insulator, and in 1845, the latter suggested that it should be employed to cover the wire which was proposed to be laid from Dover to Calais.  In 1849, C. V. Walker, electrician to the South Eastern Railway, submerged a 2 miles (3.2 km) wire coated with gutta-percha off the coast from Folkestone, which was tested successfully.
John Watkins Brett, an engineer from Bristol, sought and obtained permission from Louis-Philippe in 1847 to establish telegraphic communication between France and England. It was successfully completed on 18 July 1866 by the ship SS Great Eastern, captained by Sir James Anderson after many mishaps along the away.
 John Pender, one of the men on the Great Eastern, later founded several telecommunications companies primarily laying cables between Britain and Southeast Asia. The study of underwater telegraph cables accelerated interest in mathematical analysis of very long transmission lines.
The HMS Challenger expedition in 1873–1876 mapped the ocean floor for future underwater telegraph cables. Cable & Wireless was a British telecommunications company that traced its origins back to the 1860s, with Sir John Pender as the founder, although the name was only adopted in 1934. The telegraph was very important for sending time signals to determine longitude, providing greater accuracy than previously available. Before telegraphy, absolute time could be obtained from astronomical events, such as eclipses, occultations or lunar distances, or by transporting an accurate clock (a chronometer) from one location to the other.
In 1854, the government in London created a military Telegraph Detachment for the Army commanded by an officer of the Royal Engineers. Journalistic recording of the war was provided by William Howard Russell (writing for The Times newspaper) with photographs by Roger Fenton.
After the French extended the telegraph to the coast of the Black Sea in late 1854, the news reached London in two days. When the British laid an underwater cable to the Crimean peninsula in April 1855, news reached London in a few hours.
The daily news reports energised public opinion, which brought down the government and led to Lord Palmerston becoming prime minister. During the American Civil War the telegraph proved its value as a tactical, operational, and strategic communication medium and an important contributor to Union victory.
Soon after the shelling of Fort Sumter, the South cut telegraph lines running into D.C., which put the city in a state of panic because they feared an immediate Southern invasion. Within 6 months of the start of the war, the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps (USMT) had laid approximately 300 miles (480 km) of line.
The telegraph was not only important for communication within the armed forces, but also in the civilian sector, helping political leaders to maintain control over their districts. Even before the war, the American Telegraph Company censored suspect messages informally to block aid to the secession movement.
Usually they performed without hesitation, but they were not required to, so Albert Myer created a U.S. Army Signal Corps in February 1863. During World War I, Britain's telegraph communications were almost completely uninterrupted, while it was able to quickly cut Germany's cables worldwide. The British government censored telegraph cable companies in an effort to root out espionage and restrict financial transactions with Central Powers nations.  British access to transatlantic cables and its codebreaking expertise led to the Zimmermann Telegram incident that contributed to the US joining the war. Resistance movements in occupied Europe sabotaged communications facilities such as telegraph lines, forcing the Germans to use wireless telegraphy, which could then be intercepted by Britain. Britain intercepted these signals, diagnosed how the encrypting machine worked, and decrypted a large amount of teleprinter traffic.
Western Union was the leading telegraph provider for America and was seen as the best competition for the National Bell Telephone Company. However, due to the underestimates of telegraph's future[further explanation needed] and poor contracts, Western Union found itself declining. Although commercial "telegraph" services are still available in many countries, transmission is usually done via a computer network rather than a dedicated wired connection.
Science Museum Group Collection Reconstruction of a ship's radio room from around 1910, showing telegraph equipment. At this time, wireless operators worked for the Marconi company and as well as communicating with other ships, they also relayed passenger messages—the new technology was something of a fashionable novelty, and first-class passengers would have enjoyed being able to send messages ashore.
The first transmitters and receivers. Application of the battery to telegraphy was made possible by several further developments in the new science of electromagnetism. Morse’s original transmitter incorporated a device called a portarule, which employed molded type with built-in dots and dashes. The type could be moved through a mechanism in such a manner that the dots and dashes would make and break the contact between the battery and the wire to the receiver. The first demonstration of the system by Morse was conducted for his friends at his workplace in 1837.
As the sender taps out a message, the contacting of the key contact with the base contact closes the circuit causing a surge of electrical current into the wires. When the pulse of the current goes through the electromagnet, it causes the armature to move and make contact which results in a noise (Figure 1).
Albert Einstein? You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. The earliest cite QI has located for this text was within a 1985 source code listing of a computer program called “fortune”. The quote may have been present in the program for several years before this date. QI has not yet found any connection between Einstein and the anecdote predating the “fortune” program version. “I have an idea now what a telegraph must be.”.
This variant joke discussed telegraphy with and without a wire. The punch line in heavy dialect stated that the operation of the wireless device was “prezactly de same” except that “de dawg am ‘maginary”, i.e., exactly the same except that the dog is imaginary.
The version given above was published in Providence. Two months later the peasant anecdote was featured in The Telegrapher periodical of the National Telegraphic Union based in New York.
He said when the Shah of Persia was in London it was quite impossible to make him understand how the telegraph worked, until some one had the presence of mind to say, ‘If your Majesty will imagine an immense dog, so big that his tail is in London while his head is in Teheran, your Majesty will see that if some one treads upon his tail in London, he will bark in Teheran.’. If I pinch dat dog’s tail in Brooklyn, what he do?” “Dunno.” “Why, if I pinch that dog’s tail in Brooklyn, he go bark in Hoboken. Well, when I tread on dat dog’s tail in Pennsylvania, he would bark in New York, wouldn’t he? In 1894 a variant of the anecdote that once again featured the “shah of Persia” was published in “The Engineering Magazine”.
He could understand very well that, when a dog’s tail was trodden on, the dog barked, and so he was told that the telegraph was like a very long dog with his head in Teheran and his tail in Constantinople. When the Shah of Persia was told that in sending a message the speed was as rapid as if a dog, whose head was in London and whose tail was in Teheran, barked with one end when the other was pinched, he begged to be shown the barking operation of the telegraph apparatus. Is you understand, Rastus?” “Yessah!
The absurdist humor of this line was comparable to the line later attributed to Einstein: “The only difference is that there is no cat.” However, the animal involved in 1917 was still a dog instead of a cat. The original joke based on telegraphy with wires continued in circulation.
When the tail is pinched in York the dog barks in London. That’s telegraphy; and wireless is precisely the same thing without the cat.”. Skipping forward to 1925, the propagation of the wireless version of the joke with a dog continued.
Dat am telegraphy. Fred, my gardener, explained wireless telegraphy to his wife in the following manner:.
Pull the dog’s tail in Damascus and the bark will be heard in Beirut.” Russian—First Russian: “Imagine a horse, its head in Moscow and its tail in Tula. By 1924 the wireless telegraph was being compared to a non-existent very long cat.
“The Partnership has been a huge part of our success,” said Bill Cieslinksi, Owner of Cafe’ Telegraph. Owners Matt Schweiss and Bill Cieslinski have been friends for over 20 years.
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A telegraph is a communications system in which information is transmitted over a wire through a series of electrical current pulses, usually in the form of Morse code. The basic components include a source of direct current, a length of wire or cable, and a current-indicating device such as a relay, buzzer, or light bulb. This device was refined and developed by Samuel F. B. Morse into a system that used a solenoid, equipped with a marker, to record multiple pulses of varying duration on a moving strip of paper.
A variant of the original Morse code is used by amateur radio operators today, largely for recreation, but occasionally in emergencies when all other modes of communication fail as a result of infrastructure damage or because of poor wave propagation conditions.