THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. [From the Manchester Guardian.}
New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Rōrahi IV, Putanga 290, 10 Haratua 1848, Page 3
THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. [From the Manchester Guardian.}
It may be remembered that an electric telegraph was first invented by professor Wheat* stone, and that alierwards Wheat* stone an,d Cobke became pint patentee** *aa&
subsequently a company was formed lor making practical application of this combined discovery and invention throughout the kingdom. This company, under the title of the Electric Telegraph Company, has its head office at No. 345, Strand, London, and Mr. J. P. Cox has been appointed its agent and superintendent for Manchester. The company are to have for their office a large room on the first floor, on the Exchange-street side of the building, upwards of 100 feet in length, so as to furnish every accommodation to the subscribers to the telegraph, who are the cnly parties that will be entitled to the use of the telegraph, for the tiansmission or receipt of information through its magic wires. As ye have stated, the communication is at present complete only between the Victoria station and the telegraph office in the exchange; and this has been done, in order chiefly to test the continuity of the subterranean lines of wires, for the wires are carried under the streets, at a depth of probably averaging 18 inches, beneath the kurbstones of the foot-walks, from the Victoria station, by Hunt's bank, acioss Cateaton-street, along Victoria-street, and across the maiket- place, to the exchange ; and they are carried up fiom the exchange news-room, enclosed in a pipe, to the telegraph office above. In order to have an ample supply of wires in reserve no fewer than 18 wires have been laid down for this distance, though, in ordinary cases, only two are in requisition. These wires are of copper, each wire being covered with cotton, and this cotton coated with a composition of pitch or tar; for L is essential to the transmission of the electric current throughout the whole distance required, that no two wires should be in contact at any one point throughout the entire length ; otherwise the current always takes the shorter circuit and the communication is thus interrupted. The 18 wires are enclosed in two lead tubes (nine in each), and these again are inclosed in an ordinary metal gas pipe, to preserve them from corrosion or external injury. It is necessary at every telegraph station to have a dial, and there is one at the Victoria station, Hunt's bauk, and another at the telegraph office in the exchange. These dials have a singular appearance, and are only unintelligible to the uninitiated. At the top of each are to be several name plates of telegraph stations, as Rochdale, Normauton, Leeds. Beneath these the dial ias the following singular combination of Roman capital letters and figures : — + 34 7 Ji- -hdE Hi- -u± AA PF II 00 888 GGG XXX FPF Not understand. Understand. Figures. Code. 2 No. 2 Yes. 2 Letten. Private signals. SS XX TTT YYY Wait. Go on. The reader is to suppose that the two vertical lines are magnetic needles, which, at the will of the operator (by turning handles below the dial) may be either singly or both together deflected, either right or Jeft. The telegraph communicates by a rapid process of spelling every word used in the communication, and, where required, by figures ; as in the Government telegraph, where the code of signals is composed of combinations of two or more figures. Suppose a question asked from a distance of 200 miles, — or say frum London, "Is Smith there?" and the reply to be made being "He is gone;" the operator would spell these words on the Manchester dial, when the London dial, by the transmission of the electric current through the wires, would at nearly the same moment spell the same words by its needles, — for the electric current travels along the wires at the lightning speed of 288,000 miles in a second of time ! To spell the above words, the upper limb of the Tight needle would be deflected to the left, for H ; then the left needle to the right ; and immediately afterwards to ihe lelt towards the large cross, which is the mark that denotes tlie completion of any word. As the diagram shows two letters, 11, the right needle must be tvicc deflected to indicate that letter. Then for S, it is obvious some change m the modus operandi must be made ; for if the lower arm of the left needle be deflected twice to th,e left for S, its upper limb would, by the same action be deflected twice to tbe right, which would denote F; and no one* «ould tell whether F or S were the letter used. Therefore, for any of the letters, figure^, -^r marks below the needles, both . needle? sxe used, simultaneously deflected in the same
direction ; so that the way to make S would be, by deflecting the lower points of both needles to the left twice. Alter making the stop-mark as before at the end of a word, th » upper point of the left needle deflected thrice to the right denotes G; the right needle twice to the right for O ; then, after a pause, once to the right for N; and the left needle once to the right for E, followed by turning it once to the left for the stop-mark ; and the answer is marked, spelled, and read (practically speaking) simultaneously at Manchester and London. The short sentence we have used as an illustration, we find does not show the mode of making the letters C, D, L, M, U, and Y. If Cisto be made, the left needle is moved first to the right and then instantly to the left, being the motion tliat, if slowly done, would seem to spell CD ; if D is wanted, the needle first points to C and then instantly to D ; and so as to each of the six letters referred to ; both needles being used together in this duplex movement, for the U and Y. If an answer involves mixed words and figures, as " She brings £200,000 in specie, or " New extensions at 7 discount," the right needle is turned to the word figures to intimate that figures and not letters are to be used and read, and the figures are then expressed precisely as the letters over which they stand in the diagram, from one to 9, the cypher or nought being placed over the Y. If there is any doubt, the operator at either end can ask by pointing to the word " Understand," if the other comprehends what has just been indicated. If he does not, he indicates " No," or " Not understand," and then the misunderstood passage is repeated. If he says (through the wires) " Understand" or " Yes," then the operator proceeds to the next word or sentence. There is also a code of signals used by the company, by which certain fixed sentences as to the weather, and even mixed figures, especially in pounds, shillings, and pence, can be still more rapidly conveyed by the needles pointing at combinations of two letters. Before using this, the right needle directs attention to the word " code" so as to prevent any confusion, and the same as " private signals." The words " wait" and " go on" may also be expressed by the lower points of both needles being simultaneously deflected towards them, and the mark over the W, implies that fractions are about to he used. From the number o words we have used to explain the action of the nee.iles in spelling, it must not be inferred that it is a slow process. A sentence of half a dozen words can be spelled in a few seconds. Beneath each dial stands an electric battery, — that in the telegraph office consisting of twenty-four pairs of zinc and cojiper plates, the trough being fi led with a solution of sulphuric acid, to which sand is added. A coiled wire from each end of the trough is carried to the dia' above ; the wire from the copper plates being the positive, and that from the zinc the negative pole. It will be seen, from the rate of speed at which the electric current travels, U makes little difference (provided the communication be complete and unbroken) whether the distance at which two persons thus converse be two yards or two hundred miles ; the difference in the time of transmission being almost, if not quite, inappreciable. The current is supposed to go out of the battery at the positive end or pole, and to retuin again to the negative. When a handle is turned, the needle is almost instantly deflected ; but before this reflection can take place, the'electric current originated by turning the handle must go to the other end of the wires (say two hundred miles), and return all that distance, or, in other words, it must travel four hundred miles before the needle can answer the motion of the handle, and yet the one seems to follow the other instantly. By making a connection between the positive and negative wires, wiihin the dial, a bell is rung to call the attention of the clerk at the other end of his post. In connection with the bell-ringing, it js usual to point the needle to some particular station, say Rochdale; then, if any telegraph-clerk at Norraanton or Leeds sees the needles in his dial working, he sees that it is a communication to the Rochdale station, and not his own; while the Rochdale clerk, on hearing the bell, and seeing that his station is indicated, is at once on the alert to receive the communication destined for him. It is proposed, when the communication with London is complete, to transmit the substance of any important intelligence in the morning papers immediately on publication ; so that Manchester will only be a few seconds, or at most, minutes, behin ! London, in its news of what is passing at home or abroad. The prices of stocks and shares, the arrival of important foreign intelligence, any parliamentary division, serious catastrophe, or other matter, will thus be conveyejj|in a few minutes to all the principal towns in the kingdo — (Liverpool is to have its direct telegraphic communication with the metropolis) — so that practically, intelligence will be simultaneous throughout these vast hives of industry,
separated though they be by hundreds of miles from the seat of govp rnment, the capital of the country, and from each other. Who shall attempt to guage the amount of individual, social, and national benefit, to flow from this new mode of conveying thought, with a rapidity second only to the immaterial fleetuess of thought itself? In the Manchester electric telegraph office, we saw another extraordinary adaptation of the powers of that subtle agent, the electric fluid —a clock, without pulleys, or weights, or escapement —a clock of three wheels, carrying as many hnnds, the motion given by electricily, drawn directly from the earth below the vaults of the exchange, and the pendulum vibrating in obedience to the laws of electricity and gravitation. The clock needs no winding —its primutn mobile is the electric fluid, and so long as this continues, and the simply beautiful mechanism of the clock endures, so long is it the nearest approach to that scientific ignis fntuus, the perpetual motion that has, perhaps, ever been devised.
Vinegar from Milk. —The cowherds on the Alps, and in several parts of France, use milk whey to make the sharpest vinegar, and they also extract from it a salt, called in pharmacy sugar of milk, which the Swiss doctors consider as the best detergent to purily the blood and cure radically the most inveterate cutaneous complaints. The method they use to prepare the salt is this : —After having separated all the gaseous and oily parts, the wbey is clarified by boiling until reduced into one fourth part of the whole, which they deposit in wooden or earthen pans in a cool place. In a thort time the saccharine particles are chrystallized, the phlegmatic part is then decanted slowly, and the sugar is dried upon pieces of green paper. This operation may be accelerated b_, boiling out the whey entirely. But the sugar which remains at the bottom of the kettle is coloured, and unfit for pharmaceutical purposes. I: might, however, answer well for veterinary uses. The process of making vinegar out of milk is very simple: —After having clarified the whey, it is pourel into a cask with some aromatic plants or elder blossoms, as it suits the fancy, and exposed in open air to the sun, where it soon acquires an uncommon degree of acidity.
The Remedy worse than the Disease.—If any of our readers were asked what a pyx is, most of them would reply that all they know is that poor Bardolph was hanged at last for " pyx of little price." But there are pyxes of great value; And such are the boxes so called, full of coin, v hich the Mint yearly submits to a jury of the pyx, twelve goldsmiths duly summoned to examine the weight and the fineness of the current coin. The accuracy of the Mint is remaikable. Gold coin was presented to the pyx-men in last March which should have weighed 2041b5. 3oz. 9 dwt. 20grains; it weigi'td just four grains more, —making the average departure of a sovereign from the legal standard less than the two-thousandth part of a grain. Silver coin, which should have weighed 128lbs. 5 oz. 14 dwt. weighed ouly one pennyweight less. The Government allow what they call remedies (a limit of error) of tw.elve grains to the pound for gold, and a pennyweight for silver. As this quantity is always greater than the error, we may say the remedy is worse than the disease.
Wonderful, if true —but not true. — Such are the curling qualities of somebody's fluid for the hair, .that a little of it having been accidentally spilled on the top of a dressing-case, it has become impossible to open the lock ever since /—rPunfih. It is said that a young lady who greatly admires Get eral Taylors epistolary s>tyle, lately received a letter from a sweetheart inquiring if she would havp him, and that she immediately replied, in the language of her hero's answer to Santa Anna, " Come and take me." —American pa/,er.