[LINK] Rumours of the telegraph's death are exaggerated
rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Wed Aug 4 11:24:28 EST 2004
Graham Greenleaf wrote:
> ... and a great book on the history of the telegraph is Tom Standage
> 'The Victorian Internet' (Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1998), where he
> shows that just about every social phenomenon we associate with the
> Internet was also experienced during the years of 'telegraph mania',
> including very varying national attempts to ban encrypted telegrams,
> marriages by telegraph, moral danger to minors (young female telegraph
> operators), investment bubbles, all sorts of start-ups etc etc.
...and don't forget that e-commerce replicated a telegraph phenomenon. I
recall doing some historical research back in the late 1990s, and
finding that Sears Roebuck's (I think) delivery times for telegraphed
orders, for delivery to customers on major US rail lines, were pretty
much identical in the 1890s to e-commerce delivery times in the US a
hundred years later!
> My favourite is the first international telegraph line (between
> Germany and Austria as I recall): unfortunately, one line stopped at
> the Austrian border, the telegram was written out on paper, passed to
> the German operator across the border in the adjoining booth, who then
> re-entered it into the German system and on it went.
> Well worth a read.
> At 8:56 AM +1000 4/8/04, Roger Clarke wrote:
>> Telegram veterans are still getting the message across
>> The Sydney Morning Herald
>> Date: August 4 2004
>> By Richard Macey
>> Gordon Hill still remembers the year he developed "telegrapher's
>> cramp" in his right arm.
>> "I broke down in 1935," Mr Hill, now 92, said yesterday, recalling
>> the repetitive strain injury triggered by his job as a morse code
>> telegram transmitter. "It was so painful I almost cried."
>> But such memories have failed to dull his passion for a 45-year
>> career that ended in 1972 when he retired as Liverpool's postmaster.
>> He belongs to a voluntary group of 16 men and two women who gather in
>> Bankstown each week to celebrate their passion for the communications
>> On Tuesdays they meet in a small building in Kitchener Parade, next
>> door to the Bankstown telephone exchange, to restore and maintain
>> ageing communications gear.
>> On Wednesdays they invite the public inside to inspect Bankstown's
>> Telstra Museum of telecommunications.
>> The thousands of exhibits are either owned by Telstra - which
>> yesterday donated $50,000 to produce a catalogue for the collection -
>> or donated by supporters. They include almost every type of telephone
>> ever used in Australia, as well as switchboards and teleprinters.
>> There is a machine made in 1858 - just four years after the telegraph
>> arrived in Australia - which inked out morse code messages on ribbons
>> of paper, a telephone used by prime minister Billy Hughes, and a
>> public phone box that stood in Anthony Hordern's city store.
>> A "misdemeanour book" records that around 1910 a young GPO worker
>> named Norman Gilroy, a future cardinal, was fined a shilling for
>> incorrectly addressing a telegram.
>> The historians take some of their technology on the road, visiting
>> country towns. Last month it was Mudgee.
>> Next they will head for Gunnedah.
>> Brian Mullins started work as a telegram boy in South Grafton in 1955
>> and retired in 1978 as a public phone inspector.
>> "But I have never worked so hard," he said of his voluntary job as
>> museum manager. "The younger generation doesn't even know what a
>> telegram is."
>> Mr Hill, who started work as a telegram messenger in 1927, still
>> demonstrates his skill on old morse code telegraph keys. "Once we go,
>> it is dead," he said.
>> Proving that the technology is always on the march, the museum has
>> mobile phones that were in use not long ago. But it seems the idea of
>> mobile communication is not new.
>> The January 17, 1901, edition of The Transmitter, published for the
>> NSW Postal and Electric Telegraph Society, made a prediction: "If in
>> the near future an electric bell concealed about the person of a man
>> in the street is heard to ring, and he draws from his pocket a small
>> case, listens to it, and then hurries off, it must not hastily be
>> assumed that he is mad. The probability is that he has just received
>> a message by wireless telegraphy."
>> Story Picture: The Bankstown Telecommunications Museum has some 18 ex
>> workers who volunteer their time to help run the museum. 3.8.04 pic
>> shows.Copy of EARLY 1900 s Postal inspectors..Photo Robert Pearce rmp
>> SMH NEWS story Richard Macey. SPECIALX 26690
>> Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
>> Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 78 Sidaway St,
>> Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
>> Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
>> mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
>> Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program, University of Hong Kong
>> Visiting Professor in the Baker Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre, U.N.S.W
>> Visiting Fellow in Computer Science, Australian National University
>> Link mailing list
>> Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
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