Telegraph, History of

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


    The term “telegraph” was used from the late eighteenth century to describe line‐of‐sight distance communication systems, most notably Claude Chappé's semaphore network. By 1810, this network linked 29 of France's largest cities to Paris. Experimental telegraphs utilizing electricity passing over wire for signaling purposes were developed in the early 1800s, though it was the inventions of Cooke and Wheatstone in the UK in the late 1830s which led to their practical application, initially on railways, where, in warning of accidents and stoppages, this form of signaling had the obvious advantage of traveling much faster than any train itself. Around the same time Samuel Morse, in the US, developed his system of using a series of short and long pulses of electric current, generated by turning the current on and off with a Morse key, to represent letters of the alphabet (Morse code). This system came to dominate telegraph communication for the next 100 years
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Communication
    EditorsWolfgang Donsbach
    Place of PublicationOxford
    ISBN (Print)9781405131995
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    Dive into the research topics of 'Telegraph, History of'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this