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New South Wales is fortunate in possessing a telegraph department wduch loses sight of no improvement or invention connected with its operations which may be recorded in any part of the world. This is evidenced in the very complete display of all instruments and appliances connected with telegraphy in the International Exhibition, under the direct supervision of Mr. M‘Guire, electrician to the department. But at the dinner on board the Orient liner John Elder, a few nights since, Mr. Cracknel!, Superintendent of the Telegraphs, in replying to a toast, indicated that this colony would in a few months be termed the most advanced of sending telegraphic messages known in the world. That is a method by which a person can write his message at one office, and as lie writes his very writing will be reproduced without other intervention than that afforded by the electric current at some distant office. We have no doubt that Mr. Craoknell alluded t > what is called “ The Writing Telegraph,” a pretty full description of which appeared in the Illustrated London News some six months since, This has been invented by Mr. E. A. Cowper, a gentleman distinguished in the scientific world, and the instrument constructed by him enables anjmne to write at a distant telegraph station many miles away in just the same manner as if he were present at that station. This is accomplished in the following manner :—The stylus, or the pencil, held by the writer is in connection with two wires, which give to a pencil at the station he is communicating with, a horizontal and a vertical motion—or, in other words, enables a pencil 50 miles away to follow every movement of a pencil in a writer’s hand. By an automatic attachment the paper written on at each end passes from right to left as written on, and the messages as received have merely to be cut off, wound round a piece of card, or sent to their destination and despatched. Of course for rapidity of transmission the new invention does not equal the duplex, and, equally of course, cannot come up co the quadruplex system under which two or four currents, each containing a separate message, may be sent along one wire simultaneously ; but, on the other hand, it has the advantage of requiring no receiving clerk to transcribes message,and in many ways may be made practically useful at present. But beyond this there is the consideration that the invention is only in its infancy, and that whilst in action now it requies the undivided services of two wiios, and is limited to some 50 or GO miles of distance on land, the time may be expected to arrive when it will work with 5 out these hindrances to its universal adoption. It will be easily understood that the delicate writing necessary for telegraphic cables would prevent its use on any of them.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 102, 20 May 1880

Word Count

THE WRITING TELEGRAPH. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 102, 20 May 1880