• FA-112751 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Information & Communication
medien.welten (media.worlds)
1850 - 1899

Siphon recorder Submarine cable telegraph machine

James White, Glasgow since 1867


Cable messages

Overland and submarine telegraph cables effect increased global networking. By means of telegraphic transmission, news spreads around the world in no time at all.

From the mid 19th century onwards, international co-operations are formed which link up the national telegraph networks into continental networks. Against the backdrop of international trade as well as colonial exploitation, the continents are connected via submarine telegraph cables. Huge steamships lay the sub-sea cables, which are insulated with gutta-percha. The highly sensitive, English siphon recorder has the ability to record the submarine Morse signals, which are weak after having been transmitted over a distance of thousands of kilometres.

The telegraph is mostly used by merchants, banks, stock exchanges and newspapers. News agencies, such as the agency of Julius Reuter in London, supply their subscribers with telegraphic news from around the world. At the turn of the century, the latest news is transmitted directly to trading houses and banks via stock tickers. Teleprinters, such as the French Telescripteur with its typewriter keys and type wheel, are easy to operate and, furthermore, make two-way correspondence possible.

Inv.Nr. 54871
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