Napoleon's telegraph changed the worldtags: France, BBC News, Napoleon, telegraphs, Morse code
Napoleonic semaphore was the world's first telegraph network, carrying messages across 18th Century France faster than ever before. Now a group of enthusiastic amateurs are reviving the ingenious system.
Before the web, before the computer, before the phone, even before Morse code, there was le systeme Chappe.
Not for the first time or for the last, at the end of the 18th Century France made an important technological advance - only to see it overtaken by newer science.
In this case, it was the world's first ever system of telegraphy.
According to most accounts, the very word "telegraph" - distance writing, in Greek - was coined to describe Claude Chappe's nationwide network of semaphore....
comments powered by Disqus
- A prominent historian of science dies and no one takes notice
- A pro-Hamas Left emerges among historians, complains Jeffrey Herf
- Classicist Mary Beard celebrated by the New Yorker as “The Troll Slayer”
- Ilan Pappé praised in Iran as a "prominent anti-Zionist Israeli historian and intellectual"
- It's hard to be an optimist today, but Juan Cole is