At this time, we look at ninety years of electrical telegraphy before Morse. The University of Houston’s School of Engineering presents this sequence concerning the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.
The primary system that didn’t require expert technicians to operate, was Sir Charles Wheatstone’s ABC system in 1840 where the letters of the alphabet have been organized round a clock-face, and the sign induced a needle to point the letter. This early system required the receiver to be present in real time to document the message and it reached speeds of up to 15 phrases a minute.
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Mabel’s father, Gardiner Hubbard, who later grew to become the primary president of the Nationwide Geographic Society, was a well-to-do Boston lawyer. He had spent much of the prior two years lobbying Congress to break the monopoly on telegraph service held by Western Union. The so-known as Hubbard Bill did not go. The time and money Gardiner spent on his failed venture left him wanting funds. Not realizing about Alec’s experiments, he began looking for an inventor to again to develop a method to send a number of simultaneous messages over one telegraph line. Being first to patent such an invention could be the reply to his monetary problems.