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sioned became insupportable to persons in constant attendance, and this part of the instrument was speedily given up, the clicking of the needle being found quite sufficient to draw his attention to the arrival or passing of a message. We say or passing of a message, because when a communication is made, as for instance, between London and Edinburgh, the needles of all the telegraph stations on the line are simultaneously deflected, but the attendant has only to take notice of what is going on when a special signal is made to his particular locality, informing him that he is spoken with. A story is told of a certain somnolent station clerk, who, in order to enjoy his nap, trained his terrier to scratch and awaken him at the first sound of the clicking needles.

There are but two kinds of telegraph used by the Company, the Needle Telegraph and a few of the Chemical Recording Telegraph of Bain. The latter instrument strikes the spectator more perhaps than the nimble working needle apparatus, but its action is equally simple. Slits of variable length representing letters, according to the alphabet in the note,* are punched out from a long strip of paper called the message-strip, which is placed between a revolving cylinder and a toothed spring. The battery is connected with the cylinder; the wire, which goes from station to station, is joined to the spring. As dry paper is a non-conductor, no electricity passes while the unpierced portion of the message-slip interposes between the cylinder and the tooth; but when the tooth drops into a space and comes in contact with the cylinder the current flows. If we now transfer our attention to the station at which the message is received we find a similar cylinder revolving at a regular rate, and a metal pin, depending from the end of the telegraph-wire, pressing upon it; but in this case the paper between the cylinder and the pin has been washed with a solution of prussiate of potash, which electricity has the effect of changing to Prussian blue at the point where the pin touches it. Therefore, as the chemically-prepared paper moves under the pin, a blue line is formed of the same length as the slits at the other end, which regulate the duration of the electric current; and thus every letter punched upon the message-strip is faithfully transferred to its distant fellow. Such is the celerity with which the notation is transmitted by this method, that in an experiment performed by M. Le Verrier and

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Dr. Lardner before Committees of the Institute and the Legisla tive Assembly at Paris, dispatches were sent 1000 miles at the rate of nearly 20,000 words an hour.' In ordinary practice, however, the speed is limited to the rate at which an expert clerk can punch out the holes, which is not much above a hundred per minute. Where the object was to forward long documents, such as a speech, a number of persons could be employed simultaneously in punching out different portions of the message, and the message-strips would then be supplied as fast as the machine could work.

This system is used on 1199 miles in America. A weaker current of electricity than what is required for deflecting needles or magnetising iron, suffices to effect the requisite chemical decomposition. The conducting power of vapour or rain carries much of the electricity from the wires in certain states of the atmosphere, and in such cases, where both Morse's and Bain's telegraphs are used by an amalgamated company in the same office, it is found convenient to remove the wires from Morse's instruments and connect them with Bain's, on which it is practicable to operate when communication by Morse's system is interrupted.'-(Whitworth's Report, p. 51.)

This Chemical Telegraph has also the advantage, in common with all recording instruments, that it leaves an indelible record of every message transmitted, and therefore is very useful when the mistake of a single figure or letter might be of consequence, which we will illustrate by a case which happened very lately. A stockbroker in the City received, during a very agitated state of the funds, an order to buy for a client in a distant part of the country, by a certain time of the day, 80,000l. of Consols. This order being unusually large for the individual, the broker doubted its accuracy, and immediately made inquiries at the office. The message had luckily been sent by the recording instrument, and upon looking at the record it was immediately seen that the order was for 8,0007.—the transcriber having put in an 0 too much, for which, according to the rules of the Company, he was incontinently fined. Now here the error was immediately traced to the person who made it, and there was no need of telegraphing back to inquire if all were right, two matters of vital importance in such a transaction as this, involving so much personal responsibility, for if the purchase had been made and turned out unfortunate, the loss would indubitably have fallen upon the unhappy sharebroker.*

In all ordinary transactions, however, the needle instrument is

In justice to the Company, which is very properly jealous of the particulars of its messages transpiring, we beg to state that we acquired the above fact from a person totally disconnected with the Electric Telegraph Office.


preferable, because it transmits its messages much more quickly. The speed with which the attendants upon these instruments read off the signals made by the needles is really marvellous: they do not in some cases even wait to spell the words letter by letter, but jump at the sentence before it is concluded, and they have learned by practice, as Sir Francis Head says in 'Stokers and Pokers,' to recognise immediately who is telegraphing to them, say at York, by the peculiar expression of the needles-the long drawn wires thus forming a kind of human antennæ by which individual peculiarities of touch are projected to an infinite distance. To catalogue the kind of messages which pass through the room, either on their way from London or in course of distribution to it, would be to give a history of human affairs. Here, from the shores of this tight island, comes the morning news gathered by watchers, telescopes in hand, on remote headlands, of what ships have just hove in sight, or what craft have foundered or come ashore--to this room, swifter beyond comparison than the carrierdove of old, the wire speeds the name of the winner of the Derby or the Oaks. How the four winds are blowing throughout the island; how Stocks rise or fall every hour of the day in all the great towns and in the continental capitals; what corn is at Mark Lane, and what farmer Giles got a quarter of an hour since in a country town in Yorkshire, are equally known in the telegraph room. Intermixed with quotations of tallow and the price of Wall's End coals, now and then comes a love-billet, which excites no more sympathy in the clerk than in the iron that conveys it; or a notice that the sudden dart of death has struck some distant friend is transmitted and received as unconcernedly as an account of the fall in Russian Stock. When business is slack the telegraphists sometimes amuse themselves by an interchange of badinage with their distant friends. Sir Francis Head informs us that an absolute quarrel once took place by telegraph, and the two irritated manipulators were obliged to be separated in consequence.

In addition to this Private Message department there is, below stairs, an Intelligence Office, in which news published in the London morning papers is condensed and forwarded to the Exchanges of Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, &c. A few years since the Company opened subscription rooms in all the large towns of the North, in which intelligence of every kind was posted immediately after its arrival in London; but the craving for early intelligence was not sufficient to induce the people to incur the expense, and, with the exception of the room at Hull, the establishments have all been shut up.

On Friday evening especially this department is very busy condensing

condensing for the country papers the news which appears in that exciting column headed By Electric Telegraph, London, 2 A.M. Thus the telegraph rides express through the night for the broad sheets of the entire kingdom, and even steps across from Portpatrick to Donaghadee into the sister country, with its budget of latest intelligence, by which means the extremities of the two islands are kept as well up in the progress of important events as London itself. Upwards of 120 provincial papers each receive in this manner their column of parliamentary news of the night, and the Daily Mail published in Glasgow gets sometimes as much as three columns of the Debates forwarded whilst the House is sitting. A superintendent and four clerks are expressly employed in this department; and early in the day towards the end of the week the office presents all the appearance of an Editor's room. At seven in the morning the clerks are to be seen deep in the Times and other Daily papers, just hot from the press, making extracts, and condensing into short paragraphs all the most important events, which are immediately sent off to the country papers to form 'Second Editions.' Neither does the work cease here, for no sooner is a second edition published in town, than its news, if of more than ordinary interest, is transmitted to the provinces. For instance, whilst we were in the Company's telegraph room a short time since, the following intelligence was being served out to Liverpool, York, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham, and Hull:


"Vienna, Saturday, April 8th. "The journal Fremden Blatt announces, under date of Bucharest, 4th April, that a great battle was being fought at Rassova, about midway between Hirsova and Silistria, in the Dobrudscha. The result was not known. Mustapha Pasha is at the head of 50,000 men.' Arrived at the above-mentioned places, swifter than a rocket could fly the distance, like a rocket it bursts and is again carried by the diverging wires into a dozen neighbouring towns. The announcement we have quoted comes opportunely to remind us that intelligence, thus hastily gathered and transmitted, has also its drawbacks, and is not so trustworthy as the news which starts later and travels slower. The 'great battle of Rassova' has not yet been fought, and the general action announced through the telegraph was only a sanguinary skirmish.

The telegraphic organization of London, meagre as it is at present, would form alone a curious paper: a province covered with houses,' it demands a special arrangement, and accordingly we see day by day new branches opened within its precincts, by

which means every part of the metropolis is being put in communication with the country and Europe.

The Branch Stations are, London Docks (main entrance); No. 43, Mincing Lane; General Post Office, St. Martin's-leGrand; No. 30, Fleet Street; No. 448, West Strand; No. 17a, Great George Street, Westminster; No. 89, St. James's Street; No. 1, Park Side, Knightsbridge; No. 6, Edgeware Road; Great Western Railway Station; London and North Western Railway Station; Great Northern Railway Station; Highbury Railway Station; Eastern Counties' Railway Station; Blackwall Railway Station; London and Brighton and South Coast Railway Station; and the London and South Western Railway Station: of these only two are open night and day. The central office, strange as it might appear, is closed at half-past 8 o'clock P.M., and its wires are put in connexion with those at the Charing-Cross Station, which takes upon itself the night work-a singular proof, by the way, that London proper is deserted shortly after the hours of business are over. The Eastern Counties' Office is also open at night, and forms the East End Office of the Company. These stations communicate with the central office in Lothbury, and form in fact direct feeders to it, just as the hundred suckers do to the zoophite.

We have yet, however, to notice the special telegraphic communication which exists in the metropolis between place and place, either for governmental purposes or for social convenience. The most curious of these lines is the wire between the Octagon Hall in the New Houses of Parliament and the St. James's Street Commercial station. They should name this line from the whipper-in' of the House, for it is nothing more than a call-wire for Members. The Company employ reporters during the sitting of Parliament to make an abstract from the gallery of the business of the two Houses as it proceeds, and this abstract is forwarded at very short intervals to the office in St. James's Street, where it is set up and printed, additions being made to the sheet issued as the MS. comes in. This flying sheet is posted half-hourly to the following Clubs and establishments :-Arthur's; Carlton; Oxford and Cambridge; Brookes's; Conservative; United Service; Athenæum; Reform; Traveller's; United University; Union; and White's. Hourly to Boodle's Club and Prince's Club; and half-hourly to the Royal Italian Opera. The shortest possible abstract is of course supplied, just sufficient in fact to enable the after-dinner M.P. so to economize his proceedings as to be able to finish his claret and yet be in time for the ministerial statement, or to count in the division. The following, for instance, is a fac simile of the printed abstract of the debate on the Address to her Majesty on the declaration of war :


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