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Introduction
Cooke & Wheatstone
The Electric Telegraph Company
Competitors & Allies
The Universal Telegraph
Bain
Non Competitors
How the Companies Worked
What the Companies Charged
The Companies and the News
The Companies and the Weather
The Companies Abroad
The Companies' Foreign Operations
Railway Signal Telegraphy 1838-68
Telegraph at War 1854-68
Technical Detail
Finale
Telegraph Stations 1862
Instrument Gallery
Telegraph Maps 1852-68
Telegraph Company Stamps
The Rest of the World
Appendices
Sources
Links, Download & Contact
Legal

26. DOWNLOAD, LINKS & CONTACT

 

Steven Roberts: 1950-2012

I'm sorry to report that Steve Roberts died unexpectedly in December 2012. The Distant Writing website will be maintained to honour his memory, but there will be no further updates.

As of January 2014, the Distant Writing website has been archived for preservation by the British Library.

--Bill Burns, Webmaster


Steve Roberts at the Royal Institution, October 2009
Photograph by Ivor Hughes

 

Readers of Distant Writing may also be interested in the writer's other work on early telegraphy, the essays generously hosted by the Atlantic Cable website.

Just click the adjacent lightning-flash icon to download or to read these pieces.

Bolt

Distant Writing

The entire text of Distant Writing, without any of the illustrations, is available in PDF format for easier reading or for printing and is also readable on the Scribd site. It was last updated on December 4, 2012,

Click on the lightning flash icon to Download the 340 page document.

It is a large file, over 4MB, suitable only for fast connections.

The Moving Fire

The first biography of John Watkins Brett, Father of Submarine Telegraphy. Nine episodes in the life of J W Brett, and that of his brother Jacob, based on original research into nineteenth century resources, including several newly found and unpublished letters. It deals with the formation of the many telegraph companies in which they were involved and the ultimate, unjust downfall of the "Moving Fire" that created the first world-wide web.

Click the lightning flash to read it in your browser, click on Previous Page to return to this site.

A PDF download of the text of The Moving Fire is available HERE

Troubled Parents

The early struggles of the ancestors of the Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Company; Heimann, Küper & Co., Glass, Elliot & Co., and the Gutta-Percha Company, as well as of their much less well-known competitors in telegraph cable making, Andrew Smith, R S Newall, W T Henley, S W Silver and Christopher Nickels.

Click the lightning flash to read it in your browser, click on Previous Page to return to this site.

Nathaniel John Holmes

A biography of the "last of the first telegraphers", from manager of the Central Telegraph Station in London during 1848 to engineer of the Great Northern Telegraph Company of Copenhagen.

Click the lightning flash to read it in your browser, click on Previous Page to return to this site.  

George Saward

A short biography of the first manager of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, who fought for and saved the business but was mysteriously abandoned on its ultimate success.

Click the lightning flash to read it in your browser, click on Previous Page to return to this site.

Henry Weaver

A biography of one of the most important managers in the nineteenth century domestic and cable telegraph companies. From being a telegraph clerk in Hull, he controlled the business of the  Electric Telegraph Company and went on to become managing director of the Anglo-American Telegraph Company

Click the lightning flash to read it in your browser, click on Previous Page to return to this site.  

Thomas Allan

A biography of the inventor of the "light cable" for submarine telegraphy in 1853, now in common use, most notable for the many abortive telegraph companies that he promoted in the 1850s and 1860s, and the pioneer of the electro-magnetic engine, used to power Jules Verne's 'Nautilus'!

Click the lightning flash to read it in your browser, click on Previous Page to return to this site.

Bridging the Gap 1863 - 1870

An essay on the news telegraphs that connected America and Europe before the completion of the Atlantic cable.

Click the lightning flash to read it in your browser, click on Previous Page to return to this site.

Early Irish Cables

A chronological summary of the complex history of the earliest efforts to connect Britain and Ireland by electric telegraph.

Click the lightning flash to read it in your browser, click on Previous Page to return to this site.


CONTACT

Distant Writing has been a collation of small pieces acquired over a long time. The use of printed sources from the nineteenth century has the defect of being unverifiable; although checks have been made, all manner of authorial and compositors' errors might have crept in, let alone the writer's own contributions; corrections and comments are therefore welcome.

Messages about the site may be sent to the Webmaster.

 
Telegraph, from the Greek “tele”, distant, and “graphos”, writing
© Copyright - Steven Roberts 2012