Add a Comment to this Note (list members only)
Dead medium: the Telegraph: Bain's Chemical Telegraph, the duplex telegraph, the quadruplex telegraph, House's Printing Telegraph, Hughes's Printing Telegraph, Phelps's Printing Telegraph, Bakewell's Fac Simile Telegraph, the Dial Telegraph
From: ac038@osfn.rhilinet.gov (Paul Di Filippo)
Source(s): *The Progress of Invention in the 19th Century* by Edward W. Byrn
Munn and Co., Publishers, Scientific American Office, 361 Broadway, New York 1900

(((bruces remarks: we continue quoting from this valuable pop-science tome from 1900, so kindly sent us by noted futurist and antiquarian Paul Di Filippo:)))

pages 22-24

"(...) when practical telegraphic communication was solved by Henry, Morse, and others, further advances in various directions were made. Efforts to increase the rapidity in sending messages soon grew into practical success, and in 1848 *Bain's Chemical Telegraph* was brought out. (U. S. Pats. No. 5,957, Dec 5, 1848, and No. 6,328, April 17, 1849.) This employed perforated strips of paper to effect automatic transmission by contact made through the perforations in place of the key, while a chemically prepared paper at the opposite end of the line was discolored by the electrical impulses to form the record. This was the pioneer of the automatic system which by later improvements is able to send over a thousand words a minute.

"In line with other efforts to increase the capacity of the wires, the *duplex telegraph* was invented by Dr. William Gintl, of Austria, in 1853, and was afterwards improved by Carl Frischen, of Hanover, and by Joseph B. Stearns, of Boston, Mass, who in 1872 perfected the duplex (U. S. Pats No. 126,847, May 14, 1872, and No. 132,933, Nov. 12, 1872). This system doubled the capacity of the telegraphic wire, and its principle of action permits messages sent from the home station to the distant station to have no effect on the home station, but full effect on the distant station, so that the operators at the opposite ends of the line may both telegraph over the same wire. This system has been further enlarged by the quadruplex system of Edison, which was brought out in 1874 (and subsequently developed in U. S. Pat No. 209,241, Oct. 22, 1878). This enabled four messages to be sent over the same wire at the same time, and is said to have increased the value of the Western Union wires $15,000,000.

"In 1846 Royal C. House invented the *printing telegraph,* which printed the message automatically on a strip of paper, something after the manner of the typewriter (U.S. Pat. No. 4,464, April 18, 1846). The ingenious mechanism involved in this was somewhat complicated, but its results in printing the message plainly were very satisfactory. This was the prototype of the familiar "*ticker*" of the stock broker's office, seen in Figs 10 and 11. In 1856 the Hughes printing telegraph was brought out (U.S. Pat. No. 14,917, May 20, 1856), and in 1858 G. M. Phelps combined the valuable features of the Hughes and House systems (U.S. Pat. No. 26,003, Nov. 1, 1859).

"*Fac Simile* telegraphs constitute another, although less important branch of the art. These accomplished the striking result of reproducing the message at the end of the line in the exact handwriting of the sender, and not only writing, but exact reproductions of all outlines, such as maps, pictures, and so forth, may be sent. The fac simile telegraph originated with F. C. Bakewell, of England, in 1848 (Br. Pat. No. 12,352, of 1848).

"The Dial Telegraph is still another modification of the telegraph. In this the letters arranged in a circular series, and a light needle or pointer, concentrically pivoted, is carried back and forth over the letters, and is made to successively point to the desired letters."

Paul Di Filippo (ac038@osfn.rhilinet.gov)