Tekniska Museet
100 Innovations - Tekniska museet

An exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, 2012 – 2018

The telegraph

The telegraph

Ingress för att beskriva innovationen

The telegraph

This optical telegraph was constructed in the Gärdet area of Stockholm in 1995 to commemorate 200 years since the invention of optical telegraph. Photo: Anna Gerdén.

The telegraph

A detail of a keyboard from a printing telegraph invented by David E. Hughes. Photo: Ellinor Algin.

Kort fakta om innovationen

Kort fakta (2) om innovationen

Rubrik för små genier


The telegraph

The telegraph was the first innovation that made it possible as early as 150 years ago to send messages to the other side of the globe in seconds. Hundreds of miles of cable linked cities like London, Hong Kong, New York, Cairo and Rio de Janeiro. This enabled states, shipping, railways, armed forces, trade companies, royal families and presidents to become much more effective. The world shrank and globalization took off. 

Samuel F B Morse and Alfred Vail developed an alphabet for the electrical telegraph in the 1840s. It was based on the ability to turn an electric current on and off in short and long bursts at different intervals. The simplest Morse codes were devoted to the most frequent letters in the English Language — E A N T are the most common and become -, - —, — - and —.

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