Telegraph: Who Invented, Types, Examples, Application

A telegraph is mainly a communication system that can send information by breaking and making an electrical connection.

It is actually associated with sending various electrical pulses along a wire with Morse code encoding. Samuel F.B. Morse, an inventor, and artist, invented the first electric telegraph in 1832 and also the Morse code.

The telegraph revolutionized long-distance communication. It operates by transmitting electrical signals over a wire that is laid between stations.

Telegraph reached the height of its popularity in the 1920s and 1930s due to its incredible usefulness.

By the year 1852, there were more than 2200 miles of telegraph wires in the UK.

The main components of a telegraph are a receiver and a transmitter. The transmitter is the transmission key or the telegraph. Wires connect the receiver and the transmitter while forming a series circuit.

A certain battery supplies the electrical current, and the knob located on the telegraph works as the switch. With the help of a telegraph, people could instantly communicate worldwide.

Different Types Of Telegraph

There are four types of telegraph machines primarily, as shown below:

Electrical telegraphs.

Optical telegraphs.

Wireless telegraphs.

Morse telegraphs.

The Following Are Some Examples of Telegraphs.


A heliograph is an example of a specific telegraph that could transmit messages by flashing sunlight with a mirror, with the help of Morse code. It was used mostly for different types of military purposes. The French used this system during the siege of Paris in 1870-1871. Another kind of heliograph was the heliotrope or heliostat fitted with a Colomb shutter.

Railway Telegraphy:

This kind of telegraphy first developed in Britain at first. This kind of telegraphy was used to manage railway traffic and avoid accidents. Thus, it was used as the main part of the railway signaling system.

Electric Telegraph:

This was another kind of telegraph that used electrostatic deflections. This electric telegraph became a means of more general communication very quickly.


A telegraph is an example of a certain type of telegraph machine that could send messages from a typewriter-like keyboard and incoming messages in readable text. The operators did not need to be trained in specific telegraph line codes.

Wireless Telegraph:

In this type of telegraph, electromagnetic waves were transmitted through the air.


This kind of telegraphy proved to be effective for rescue work in sea disasters. Here effective communication was possible from ships to shore and also between ships.

Optical Telegraph:

An example of a telegraph consists of a line of stations in natural high points or towers that signal to each other through paddles or shutters.

Applications of Telegraph

Telegraph is the forerunner of all communication systems we use today. Also, many of the principles that were developed for the telegraph are still useful in modern communication systems and computer networks. Here are some of the notable applications of the telegraph:

One of the most common yet vital uses for telegraphs in the United States was for the railroad lines. It was only possible for telegraphy to know when trains were leaving and when they should be expected to arrive.

The invention of the telegraph helped consolidate financial and commodity markets.

Telegraph helped a lot in political situations and banking transactions.

The telegraph helped people communicate very quickly by sending signals over the wire.

With the help of wireless telegraphy, radio waves transmitted text messages.

During the Civil War, the medical supply list ordered by the military and casualty lists were transmitted by telegraph.

So, these crucial facts regarding the telegraph may help you a lot.

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