This page has been inactive for some time. An overhaul and refocusing is under way. Some parts will be pruned, others added. There is no need to duplicate the
links pages of other telegraphic history sites — pointing to the best of those is sufficient — nor duplicating the bibliographies and notes of recent scholarship around telegraphic history.
This page will focus more on telegraphic codes, contemporary evidence about their use (in fact and fiction!), and telegraphic message practice generally.
About Telegraphic Codes and Cipher Messages
The Telegraphic Code, now so essential an adjunct to the foreign correspondence department of every businesshouse...
in Chambers’s Journal (June 16, 1894); also here (pp 379-381)
Cables and Cabling : The World’s Routes, with Directions for the Management of a Cable Department
Entry by Charles W. R. Hooker in Harmsworth’s Business Encyclopedia and Commercial Educator. (London, 1925 ?) : 1122-26
Codes : Their Nature and Manipulation.
Entry by E. L. Bentley in Harmsworth’s Business Encyclopedia and Commercial Educator. (London, 1925 ?) : 1483-88
W. J. Johnston, Telegraphic Tales and Telegraphic History: A popular account of the electric telegraph, its uses, extent and outgrowths. New York: W. J. Johnston (1880)
transcription of code and message practice passages.
Another miscellany of telegraphic literature was Oakum Pickings (W. J. Johnston, 1876), compiled by Walter Polk Phillips. Phillips was a famed operator, general manager of United Press, and inventor of the Phillips Code. The latter was more like a shorthand for operators than a code dictionary, and was committed to memory by study and use. A transcription is available at www.qsl.net/ae0q/phillip1.htm; the first (1879) edition of the code was recently (January 2010) scanned, here.
Telegrams were methodically read for statistical and administrative purposes. See The Telegraph Clearing House, a transcription from Chambers’s Journal October 11, 1873 :
Clearing Housewas first established in the beginning of 1871, experimentally for the purpose of examining at least one day’s messages in every month of each Postal and Railway Telegraph Office in England and Wales... The work, which chiefly consists in fault-finding, is well within the capacity of the female staff, and has been performed in a very satisfactory manner.
Maude Hanson (Mrs Arundel-Colliver) is identified as Superintendent of the female staff in the Postal Telegraph Service’s London Clearing House in this genealogy site devoted to the Hanson-Allen family. Maude was earning an annual salary of about £400 ca 1892.
The Young Women at the London Telegraph Officein Good Words (June 1877) and here, as well as his short Story
The Telegraph Girlwhich appeared in Good Cheer, Christmas Number of Good Words (December 1877) and was collected in Why Frau Frohmann Raised Her Prices; and Other Stories (December 1882). Ellen Moody (who provides the transcription of the Trollope essay) notes that The Girl’s Own Paper contained a number of articles on women’s work, including
Female Clerkships in the Post Office4:186 (21 July 1883): 663.
See also Susan Shelangoskie,
Anthony Trollope and the Social Discourse of Telegraphy after Nationalisation.Journal of Victorian Culture 14:1 (Spring 2009) : 72-92
Abstract presented below, with permission of the author) :
The article examines two periodical works by Anthony Trollope, the non-fiction essay
Young Women at the London Telegraph Officeand the short story
The Telegraph Girl,to illuminate their contribution to the public discourse on the telegraph after its nationalisation in 1869. Both texts are read in the context of a wider debate in periodical press over the social merits of the telegraph system. Each text deploys rhetorical strategies used by proponents of the government telegraph, which countered criticisms of nationalisation as a financial debacle and reinforced a framework of value based on social responsibility and the social benefits of the new technology. Trollope focused on female telegraph workers to demonstrate how to stabilise the social application of telegraphy by containing it within the boundaries of dominant cultural and literary narratives. By uniting the theme of paternalistic government with the traditional marriage plot, his two works promote the potential of telegraphic technology for social good.
How Cables United the World.
The growth of vast systems of submarine telegraphy, with the story of recent achievements in swift automatic transmission.
Donald Murray. The World’s Work 4 (July 1902): 2298-2309
from which this passage on Rates, Codes, and Ciphers —
In the early days the Atlantic Telegraph Company started with a minimum tariff of $100 for 20 words and $5 for each additional word. Later this was reduced to $25 for ten words. It was not till 1872 that a rate of $1 a word was introduced. This word-rate system proved so popular that it was soon adopted universally and since 1888 the cable rate across the Atlantic has been continuously down to 25 cents a word. Rates now range from the 25-cent tariff across the Atlantic to about $5 a word between England and Peru. The average for the whole world is roughly $1 a word. This the Commercial Company proposes to charge from America to the Philippines, as compared with the present rate of $2.35 by the circuitous route across the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, across the Indian Ocean and on to Manila via Hong-Kong. Even from New York to faraway New Zealand the rate is now only about $1.50 per word. The cost of cabling, however, is greatly influenced by
coding,a system by which business men use secret words for commercial messages. A cipher, on the other hand, is a system of secret letters or figures used for secrecy by Governments. Practically Governments are the only users of ciphers.
Codinghas developed to an extraordinary degree of perfection. One code word will frequently stand for ten or fifteen words, and there are instances where one word has been used to represent over 100 words. Practically all commercial cablegrams are coded, and nearly all departments of commercial and industrial life nowadays have their special codes.
The increase in speed brought up another difficulty. No human operator can send so fast... To take full advantage of the speed of a modern Atlantic cable, therefore, it is necessary to have some automatic method of transmitting. The advantages of automatic transmission are higher speed, greater uniformity of signals, more legibility, and fewer mistakes.(p 2303)
The Telegraph and the Turf
pp 29-32 of Charles Maybury Archer, ed., The London Anecdotes for All Readers : The Electric Telegraph. Popular Authors (London: D. Bogue, 1848)
The race-horse was once a favourite symbol of rapidity ; now, even Pegasus is outstripped; and the achievement of Flying Childers, who went over the four-mile course at Newmarket in six minutes and forty-eight seconds, or at the rate of thirty-five miles an hour, is thrown into the shade. The result of every meet is known in town, and at Tattersall’s, almost before the last horse and jockey are at the goal; thus superseding the fleet posters and pigeons that conveyed the intelligence by the old regime...
Charles Bright. Submarine Telegraphs: Their History, Construction, and Working
Founded in part on Wünschendorff’s Traitée de Télégraphie Sous-Marine and compiled from authoritative and exclusive sources
London: Crosby Lockwood and Son (1898) (Google Book; original at Stanford)
From which these extracts on codes and message practice —
Miscellaneous and Commercial Résumé
Section 7.— Business Systems and Administration —
Codes and Cipher Messages.—
As has already been mentioned, one important change which has contributed very much to the increased use of submarine cables during recent years, is the development of a system of private codes. Secret language always took, as it does now, two forms, codes and cipher...
Various methods of building up a private code have been introduced from time to time with explanatory books of reference.* Probably the first was that of Reuter, followed some time after—in 1866—by that of the late Colonel (afterwards Sir Francis) Bolton, R.E.† The Telegraph companies at that time could but accept code on the same terms as ordinary messages. At the Rome International Telegraph Conference of 1870, however, certain regulations were laid down regarding the use of code words; and again at the St Petersburg Conference of 1875. At the latter it was decided that code words should not contain more than ten characters. Words of greater length in code messages are liable to be refused. Some telegraph companies, however, accept them at cipher rates, i.e., three or five characters to a word, according to régime. Subsequently the Bureau of this International Congress was authorised to compile a complete focabulary of the words to be recognised and admitted for code purposes. This vocabulary was duly printed and issued. Fresh editions of it are brought out now and again, and three years after date of issue it becomes obligatory upon all parties to the St Petersburg Convention to abide by it.
* Almost from the very beginning of submarine telegraphy, temporarily improvised forms of codes were used both by Governments and by merchants. On the English land lines code messages were in vogue among the great mercantile firms as early as 1853, if not earlier.
† The telegraph codes of the present day are built on somewhat the same principle as the above. They are improvements mainly in the sense of being perfectly simple instead of extremely complicated — and yet they are equally, if not more, trustworthy, from a secrecy standpoint.
The transmission of submarine code messages is liable to be partially, or entirely, suppressed at any moment by the Government of the country which granted the concession for the cable in question. Moreover, Government messages at all times take precedence (immediately on handing in) before all others. These conditions, under which all such concessions are granted, are very obvious and natural precautions, if only in view of war; indeed, whether expressed as a stipulation or not, it is certain that any Government would be acting within its rights in suppressing code messages at such a time, and would almost certainly exercise this privilege.
From the point of view of the general public, the economy effected by the use of code is often even a more important consideration than its secrecy. A single code word, charged for only at a slightly higher rate than one ordinary word, may be made to convey the sense of a good many.* The telegraph cable thus becomes available for business and other purposes by many people who could not otherwise afford it, and the number of messages which pass over it daily have enormously increased in consequence. And with this increase in the number of them, there has not been the corresponding decrease in their length which might have been anticipated. The public has simply become educated to the more liberal use of the telegraph, and has availed itself of its facilities in the measure and in the spirit in which they have been granted to it. The increase of the total volume of traffic, and of business leading to still greater traffic in the future, has more than compensated the companies for the economies effected by its code-using customers.
The following examples, taken from a certain mercantile code, may be of interest here:—
Code Words Plain English Equivalents Elgin Every article is of good quality that we have shipped to you. Standish Unable to obtain any advances on bills of lading. Penistone Cannot make an offer; name lowest price you can sell at. Coalville Give immediate attention to my letter. Grantham What time shall we get the Queen's Speech? Gloucester Parliamentary news this evening of importance. Forfar At the moment of going to press we received the following.
A striking example of the unlimited application of the code principle is the word
unholy,which was used to express one hundred and sixty words. Another English word, which we cannot recall, was made to stand for no less than two hundred! This is economy with a vengeance.
The fact is, but for the code system, the existing number of cables would, in many cases, be quite inadequate for the demands of the present traffic. This remark applies most conspicuously to the case of the North Atlantic, and will be readily understood when it is stated that, whereas prior to the universal recognition and adoption of code transmission, the average length of telegrams used to be thirty-five words, it is now only eleven. In other words, but for the code, the companies might, by now, be asked to transmit more than three times as many words as they are transmitting within the same time. More probably the proportion would not be so great in practice, for reasons already given. But even an addition of only half as many again would be embarrassing to the operators — and, indeed, to all concerned, excepting telegraph engineers and contractors, who would, in consequence, have extra cables to lay.(175-77)
Unless, indeed, as it is likely enough would have happened, the absence of code — or its suppression by unwise restrictions on the part of the companies — had starved and stunted the natural development of trade itself. All commercial traffic, practically, is nowadays
coded.Seeing that this custom began to grow up with the establishment of trans-Atlantic telegraphy, it is difficult now to estimate where we should be without it.
Railway and Commercial Telegraphy (Fifth Edition, revised and enlarged)
Frederick L. Meyer. Chicago and New York: Rand, McNally & Company, 1905
original at Stanford University
detailed, thorough chapters on commercial business, beginning and advanced railway business, technical orders and telegraphic reports.
provides examples of the different kinds of telegrams a clerk might handle, e.g.,
grain, provision, and stock quotation,or a
form for trotting race in four heats;also
column workin which, for example, statistics are telegraphed along with a description of a baseball game.
The Storming of Rocky Cottage and Other Matters,
being chapter 28 of R. M. Ballantyne (1825-1894), Post Haste; a Tale of Her Majesty’s Mails (1880)
Business men have therefore fallen on the plan of writing out lists of words, each of which means a longish sentence. This plan is so thoroughly carried out that books like thick dictionaries are now printed and regularly used. — What would you think, now, of
Obstinate Kangaroofor a message?
I would think it nonsense, Phil.
Nevertheless, mother, it covers sense. A Quebec timber-merchant telegraphed these identical words the other day to a friend of mine, and when the friend turned up the words
obstinate kangarooin his corresponding code, he found the translation to be,
Demand is improving for Ohio or Michigan white oak (planks), 16 inches and upwards.
This and other works of Ballantyne, and of other 19th century authors, can be found via www.athelstane.co.uk; the transcription has recently moved to project gutenberg.
Joseph Colin Frances Johnson (1848-?), Getting Gold: A Practical Treatise for Prospectors, Miners, and Students (1898, but several editions)
Chapter 11 (Rules of Thumb)
To provide a simple telegraphic code
Buy a couple of cheap small dictionaries of the same edition, send one to your correspondent with an intimation that he is to read up or down so many words from the one indicated when receiving a message. Thus, if I want to say
Claim is looking well,I take a shilling dictionary, send a copy to my correspondent with the intimation that the real word is seven down, and telegraph —
Civilian looking weird;this, if looked up in Worcester’s little pocket dictionary, for instance, will read
Claim looking well.Any dictionary will do, so long as both parties have a copy and understand which is the right word. By arrangement this plan can be varied from time to time if you have any idea that your code can be read by others.
- Jim Reeds provides a elegant overview at commercial telegraphic code books; see also his codes data base.
- The Fred Brandes collection of code books is described by two lists, of Letter Group Codebooks and Pronounceable Word Codebooks.
- The Chappe optical telegraph system involved the use of semaphores and a code dictionary. chappe.ec-lyon.fr/ (in French) provides examples of the code vocabulary and actual messages, in addition to Les signaux réglementaires (service code) and Les (92) signaux de correspondance.
- Historic Cryptographic Collection, Pre-World War I through World War II
National Archives Box List, Records of the National Security Agency, Record Group 457
( search through with keyword
scroll down for useful finding aids for cryptographic history at www.hnsa.org/doc/nara/
hosted by Historic Naval Ships Association
- Copper Mine Strike of 1913-1914
Images of actual (coded) telegrams, and typewritten plaintext translations. beautiful project, done by student participants in a Scientific and Technical Communication class at Michigan Technological University, in Houghton, Montana, in Fall 2000.
These telegrams were communicated back and forth from late July of 1913 until the end of the strike between James MacNaughton, then Second Vice President of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company (C & H), Quincy Shaw, the president of the company.
- Donald McNicol Collection
at Queens University Library, via library.queensu.ca/webmus/sc/collections_mcnicol.htm
Donald Monroe McNicol (1875-1953) was a Canadian-born railway telegrapher who rose to become President of the Institute of Radio Engineers, Chairman of the AIEE Publications Committee, editor of the journal Telegraph and Telephone Age, author of numerous scientific and historical articles, and lecturer at Yale.
Collection of some 1200 items from McNicols's private library, including "books, pamphlets, journals and archival resources on the experimental history and development, to World War II, of the telegraphic, telephonic and radio sciences." Items in the collection can be searched via the library's QCAT catalogue, but not as a separate collection. An author search for McNicol will turn up material on telegraphers' memoirs, poetry and handwriting; printing telegraphy; McNicol's scrapbooks, etc.
- National Cryptologic Museum
adjacent to NSA Headquarters, Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland.
The Museum has a reference library that appears to be open to scholars and others. Hidden in a virtual tour page is this :
The library has a very large collection of commercial codebooks. These codebooks were used by all manner of businesses to reduce the costs of cable communications as well as to provide a measure of security for trade secrets. Modern communications and encryption methods have made these books obsolete and are mainly of historical interest.
- Abridged Catalogue and Manual of Telegraphy
J. N. Bunnell and Company, 1920
a exhibit in Duke University’s Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850 – 1920 collection, which includes some advertising ephemera pertaining to telegraphy and telephony.
- Edward Barron Broomhall (1848-1929)
geneological and some biographical data, at www.springhillfarm.com/broomhall/wmbroomhall.html
- William Friedman (1891-1969)
The Best Code Cracker of them All by Brad Herzog, appeared in the Cornell Alumni Magazine in March 2000.
- Donald Murray (1866-1945)
inventor of printing telegraph equipment, forward-looking author of books and articles on telegraphy and, later in his life, philosophy.
biographical and bibliographic information at lu.softxs.ch/mackay/Couples0/C111280.html
- How the companies worked
being an operations-oriented section of
Distant Writing —
A History of the Telegraph Companies in Britain between 1838 and 1868
(in which year the private companies were nationalized.)
This thoroughly researched and well-written resource is focused on the companies themselves. The stories yield interesting information on message practice, too. In this instance, an account of the retail operation of a telegraph office includes a discussion of the
translatingthat went on within telegraph offices, in which senders’s messages were rewritten into an abbreviated telegraphic script before being passed on to the instrument, and translated back at the receiving end. (Search on the page for
translatingbut, better to read the whole, which also includes a discussion of the employment of women as clerks.
chaptercloses with the
replacement of the (private) telegraph companies clerks and messengers by Post Office officials.Now, one’s private messages would be exposed to the eye of the Government. And so to satisfy a new demand for secrecy in transmission, telegraphic codes began to appear on the market in quick succession, beginning with Slater’s Telegraph Code, to Ensure Secrecy in the Transmission of Telegrams (1870), Bolton’s Telegraph Code (1871), Watts’s Telegraphic Cypher (1872), and the first ABC Telegraphic Code in 1873. All of these emphasized secrecy, although in actual usage, and certainly for the ABC Telegraphic Code, economy would also be an important objective. (See my scans and transcriptions page for links to most of these codes.)
- The Once and Future Web
Worlds Woven by the Telegraph and Internet
website to exhibition presented by The National Library of Medicine (May 24, 2001 to July 31, 2002)
- The Telegrapher Web Page
research resources for the history of telegraphy and the work of women in the telegraph industry, including oral histories and reminiscences of telegraph operators; also links to digitized books on telegraphy available through the Library of America and elsewhere (e.g., Taliaferro Shaffner’s The telegraph manual (1859); and links to articles by Thomas Jepsen, who maintains this excellent site.
- Morsum Magnificat
extensive information and links; newsletter soon to cease publication
- The Connected Earth
website devoted to telecommunications history; telegraphy at/www.connected-earth.com/Journeys/Telecommunicationsage/Thetelegraph/thetelegraph.htm.
- NADCOMM The North American Data Communications Museum
emphasis on teletype equipment, but much else besides. home at www.nadcomm.com; get overview at history page; see also good explanation of five-unit code.
- Dead Media Project
Working Notes arranged by category at www.deadmedia.org/notes/index-cat.html
- Transatlantic cables at Weston-super-Mare and the Commercial Cable Company
material on a specific cable station, at www.cial.org.uk. see also links on Atlantic cables
The Telegraph in the Library
essay by Richard Garnett, in Essays in Librarianship and Bibliography (New York: Harper, 1899), at www.libr.org/rory/wbm14.html. provided among other material on
The Dusty Shelfby librarian Rory Litwin. (emphasis on telautograph, rather than printing telegraph) and via Google Books here
- The Western Union Technical Review provides a good window onto communications engineering during its run, from July 1947 until Autumn 1969. The link provides a table of contents of every issue, and instructions for obtaining a DVD of the entire run. Alternatively, one can download individual issues of WUTR from an MIT archive here. The Western Union alumni website is also worth a look.
- Friedrich Kittler, The History of Communication Media
- Steve Mullins has employed telegraphic codes, in lieu of actual cables, as evidence in a study of an Australian pearl-shelling venture in the Netherlands East Indies. See
James Clark and the Celebes Trading Co.: Making an Australian Maritime Venture in the Netherlands East Indies,The Great Circle 24:2 (2002): 22-52, for an abstract of this work. One is reminded of other codes, generated-on-the-fly
for the present emergency,that represent what the parties were prepared to say, rather than what they did say.
- Andrew Odlyzko
has written on pricing and economic issues around telegraphy as predecessor to the Internet. see his "papers on communication networks and related topics" via www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/
- Sven Spieker
Passer l’acte: Policing (in) the Office, Notes on industry standards and the Grosze Polizeiausstellung of 1926. (forthcoming in Klaus Mladek / Wolf Kittler, eds., Police Forces: A Cultural History of an Institution.) [ viewed 19 sep 04 ]
discusses a 3-letter police code developed in 1923 by police chief of Vienna, Dr. Brandel, but not earlier police, fingerprint and related codes dating from the 1890s and later, including a 5-letter police code introduced by NYC police commissioner Richard Enright in May 1923 at the International Police Chief’s Conference. also discusses Bertillon’s
portrait parléanthropometric system, but not its use in telegraphic message practice as developed by R. A. Reiss.
- Harry Leon Wilson (1867-1939). Bunker Bean.
Illustrated By F. R. Gruger. Garden City... New York: Doubleday, Page & Company. 1913
also available through Project Gutenberg.
Two days later a certain traffic manager of lines west of Chicago read a paragraph in this letter many times:
"The cramped conditions of this terminal have been of course appreciably relieved by the completion of the westside cut-off. Nevertheless our traffic has not yet attained its maximum, and new problems of congestion will arise next year. I am engaged to that perfectly flapper daughter of yours, and we are going to marry each other when she gets perfectly good and ready. Better not fuss any. Let Julia do the fussing. To meet this emergency I dare say it will come to four-tracking the old main line over the entire division. It will cost high, but we must have a first-class freight-carrier if we are to get the business.
The traffic manager at first reached instinctively for his telegraphic cipher code. But he reflected that this was not code-phrasing. He read the paragraph again and was obliged to remind himself that his only daughter was already the wife of a man he knew to be in excellent health. Also he was acquainted with no one named Julia.
He copied from the letter that portion of it which seemed relevant, and destroyed the original. He had never heard it said of Breede; but he knew there are times when, under continued mental strain, the most abstemious of men will relax.
- August Stramm (1874-1915)
official in German Posts and Telegraphs service, killed during war; wrote a "telegraphic" verse; gedichte in Projekt Gutenberg-DE at gutenberg.spiegel.de/stramm/gedichte/0htmldir.htm
- Paul van Ostaijen (1896-1928)
Repetition, short words and phrases, can be seen especially in Uit Bezette Stad and Nagelaten gedichten, via cf.hum.uva.nl/dsp/ljc/ostaijen/
(thanks to Hilde De Weerdt)
other primary sources (pending)other (pending)
- 1824 Histoire de la Télégraphie
Ignace Urbain Jean Chappe. Paris: chez l’Auteur, 1824
transcription of Table of Contents
two scans are accessible, from Michigan and the Bodleian, respectively :
scan 1 : Michigan copy
Histoire de la Télégraphie
This copy contains the plates, which are not always found bound with the text. Naturally, the scans do not capture the line detail of the original. There is no index to the plates, which are referred to in the body of the text.
scan 2 : Bodleian copy
Histoire de la Télégraphie
This scan misses page 262; this copy excludes the 34 plates.
- 1863 A Handbook of Practical Telegraphy
Published with the sanction of the Chairman and Directors of the Electric and International Telegraph Company. Illustrated with Numerous Diagrams.
Robert Spelman Culley. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green. 1863
original at Bodleian
Preface (vii); Introduction (1); Part 1, Sources of electricity (batteries) (4); Part 2, Magnetism, and the connection between magnetism and electricity (26); Part 3, Resistance and the laws of the current (43); The earth as part of a circuit (54); Part 4, Insulation (59); Part 5, Induction (83); Atmospheric electricity (93); Earth currents or deflections (94); Part 6, Testing for insulation or resistance (96); Part 7, Faults, and the methods of discovering them (103); Part 8, Signal apparatus:— Switches, commutators, or turnplates (126); Printing telegraphs (130); Cooke and Wheatstone’s needle telegraph (146); Part 9, Construction of a line (155); Part 10, The strain and dip of suspended wires (168); Appendix and notes (173); Index (189).
Visible Speech Telegraphy
Alexander Melville Bell. Visible Speech : The Science of Universal Alphabetics; or Self-Interpreting Physiological Letters, for the Writing of All Languages in One Alphabet, illustrated by Tables, Diagrams, and Examples.
London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co, 1867
original at Bodleian
- Oakum Pickings
A Collection of Stories, Sketches, and Paragraphs contributed from time to time to the telegraphic and general press, by John Oakum, "A Snapper-Up of Unconsidered Trifles"
(Walter Polk Phillips)
New York: W. J. Johnston, Publisher, 1876
original at NYPL
Love and Lightning (7); Old Jim Lawless (11); Thomas Johnson (16); Little Tip McClosky (21); Stage Coaching (28); Posie Van Duzen (41); Block Island (51); Bad Medicine (57); The Bloodless Onslaught (64); Cap. De Costa (68); Uncle Daniel (75); Summer Recreation (83); The Blue and the Gray (87); An Autumn Episode (91); An Old Man’s Exegesis (99); Departed Days (106); Minor Paragraphs (119-176)
- Telegraphic Tales and Telegraphic History
A Popular Account of the Electric Telegraph—its Uses, Extent and Outgrowths
W. J. Johnston
New York: W. J. Johnston, Publisher, 1880
original at Michigan
An expansion of the same author’s Lightning Flashes and Electric Dashes: A Volume of Choice Telegraphic Literature, Humor, Fun, Wit & Wisdom. New York: W. J. Johnston, Publisher, 1877
Passages on codes transcribed here.
- Signaux Télégraphiques
Signaux Télégraphiques adaptés au nouveau langage convenue, classification des signes, etc.
James Nicolson, 1903
original at Michigan
Proposes a novel system of consonant-vowel pair code-words, each letter-pair given a single Morse-like elementary signal set. Nicolson writes, in 1897:
Uncommon words, or words not generally employed in ordinary parlance, are, for evident reasons, generally used in the formation of telegraphic codes. Our codes provide this requisite, and combined with two alternate series of signals, of odd and even numbers of elementary motions, will prove more intelligible to the telegraph operator than promiscuous signals of from one to five motions, representing the letters of the Official Vocabulary, the words of which are, for the most part, unintelligible to him.
author of —
Telegraphic Signals and International Code Vocabularies, with a suggested reclassification of conventional telegraph signals, etc.
Telegraphic Vocabularies adapted to Telegraphic Signals.
Whittaker & Co.: London and New York; Robert Grant & Co.: Buenos Aires [printed], 1902-1903
Nicolson’s Consono-Vowel Vocabulary for Telegrams in Preconcerted Language. I.Ñ Part I.
It will be apparent that this System, far from interfering with the phraseology of existing code books, will afford an important economy in the transmission of the same.
000004 EBEBECOV >
Nicolson’s Consono-Vowel Condensor C. for Telegrams in Preconcerted Language (1904)
- Signals and Instructions
Signals and Instructions, 1776-1794: with addenda to vol. xxiv
Julian S. Corbett, ed. Navy Records Society, 1908