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has himself confessed to the writer, listened to the trembling steel discourse as his partner at the Camden Town station touched the keys. • Never did I feel such a tumultuous sen6 sation before,' said the Professor, “as when all alone in the
still room, I heard the needles click, and as I spelled the words • I felt all the magnitude of the invention now proved to be * practical beyond cavil or dispute.' About the same time Steinheil's telegraph was put in operation at Munich, but it was not workable, and he afterwards abandoned it for a form of instrument invented by Morse of New York; but to Steinheil must be ascribed the valuable discovery of using the earth to complete the circuit. In September of the same year Morse of New York perfected his needle instrument, which has been in use in America and Europe ever since. At this time of day it is useless to contest the point as to priority in the invention. The time was ripe for its accomplishment, the introduction of locomotive travelling dragged it from the studio of the philosopher into the working-day world. Swift steam demanded a messenger that should outstrip itself, and science promptly replied to the call. The public were not yet awakened, however, to the value of the servant that waited at their door, and had it not been for Brunel, who with prophetic eye saw the incalculable value of the new invention, it is just possible it might have dropped for years from the scene, inasmuch as the directors of the North-Western gave the inventors notice to remove the new-fangled thing, -as one of the directors in his ignorance called it,- from the line. At this juncture Brunel adopted it on the Great Western line, where it was carried first to West Drayton, and afterwards to Slough. Here for some tinie it was kept at the expense of the inventors; and, singularly enough, at this early date it was devoted to the conveyance of domestic and commercial messages, the tariff of one shilling placing it at the service of the tradesmen of the latter town, who made use of it to order the more perishable commodities they required from town. The arrest of the Quaker Tawell in 1845, however, first called into striking notoriety the value of the new agent, and from that day its fate as a working scientific fact of the highest importance to civilisation was apparent not only to educated minds, but to the public generally, who could not fail to be struck with the marvellous powers of the invention tested and proved in so dramatic a manner.
So rapid has been the advance of the telegraphic system that the establishment of the different companies which have carried the wire throughout the length and the breadth of the land is within the memory of all middle-aged men. Whilst private enterprise has fairly accommodated itself to the wants of the commercial part of the community, it has failed to meet the wants of the great mass of the people. Competing boards with duplicate lines maneuvring to produce the highest dividends to shareholders rather than to accommodate the public in the most liberal manner at the lowest charge, led thoughtful men to consider that a matter so imperial as the conveyance of intelligence should, like the conveyance of letters, be conducted imperially. The admirable working of the Post
. office administration naturally led to the conclusion that an analogous duty could be most satisfactorily delegated to that authority under whose administration a uniform system, somewhat similar to the penny-postage scheme, could be inaugurated, which, serving the public at cost price, might afford to reduce the tariff for messages to its minimum. That such a notion was floating in the public mind we have evidence in the various schemes that appeared from time to time. The plan therefore proposed to the Postmaster-General by Mr. Scudamore was welcomed by the country as the only means of putting the invention into the hands of the people for the every day purposes of life. This scheme adopted by Parliament became the law of the land on the 28th of January last, when all the existing international land lines belonging to the different companies were purchased for the sum of 6,400,0001., and were consolidated under the direction of the Secretary of the Postoffice. It was supposed that together with the international system of telegraphy, the submarine cables stretching from this country and in the hands of the private companies, would also be absorbed by the authorities of St.-Martin's-le-Grand; but either in consequence of the cost of this supplementary system, which might amount to another 10,000,0007., or from the conviction of Mr. Scudamore that it would be necessary to thoroughly master and organise the home telegraphs before he undertook the submarine ventures, he has declined for the present, at all events, even to entertain the notion of purchase, with two exceptions, namely, the short lines running between Lowestoft and the Hague, and between Lowestoft and Norderney, and even these two insignificant lengths of cable are by agreement worked by the Submarine Telegraph Company on behalf of the Post-office authorities.
As the public is not generally aware of the advantages that will accrue to it from the Government control of our existing telegraphic system, it may be well to state them in Mr. Scudamore's own words, which we take from the Bluebook on Electric Telegraphy, published in 1868, and which it is intended to carry out to the letter.
"What then [he asks] would the Post-office be able to do for the public if it were entrusted with the management of the telegraphs ? -It would be able to bring the telegraphs closer to the population, to extend the hours during which they could be used daily, to reduce the charges for the transmission of messages, and lastly, to give facilities for the transmission of money-orders by telegraph.
'I would propose-* To open a central telegraphic office at each of the ten district offices in London.
* To open subordinate telegraphic offices at the sorting-offices and receiving-offices in each district.
• To connect the subordinate telegraphic offices of each district with the central telegraphic office of that district.
"To establish direct connexion between each central telegraphic office and each other central telegraphic office in London.
"To establish central telegraphic offices at the post-offices of the principal towns in the kingdom, and to establish direct communication between all such central telegraphic offices and the central telegraphic office in the East Central District of London.
• To establish direct communication between the more important of the central telegraphic offices in the provinces and the central telegraphic offices in the West-Central, Western, and South-Western Districts of London.
• To establish a direct communication between each central telegraphic office in the provinces and such of the other central telegraphic offices in the provinces as it might be desirable to connect it with.
• To open subordinate telegraphic offices at the district-offices, sorting-offices, and certain of the receiving-offices in Liverpool; and in like manner to open subordinate telegraphic offices at the principal receiving-offices in such towns as Edinburgh, Dublin, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, Bristol, Sheffield, Bradford, and to connect each group of such subordinate offices with its central telegraphic office.
• To open subordinate offices connected in like manner with central offices and at all money-order offices.
To open deposit-offices, i.e. offices at which messages may be deposited, and the charge thereon paid, at every post-office in the United Kingdom at which no telegraphic office is established.
• To permit the pillar-boxes throughout the kingdom to be places of deposit for messages, provided such messages be written on stamped paper.
To require payment for messages to be made in stamps or by writing them on stamped paper, and to issue special stamps for the purpose.
• To make the charge for transmission from any one part of United Kingdom uniformly, and without regard to distance, one
for the first twenty words, with an addition of sixpence for every addition of ten words, or part of ten words; such charge to include free delivery by special messenger at any place within the town delivery of the terminal office when that office is a head post-office, and within one mile of the terminal office when that office is not a head post-office; and to include free transmission by post from a deposit-office to the nearest telegraphic office, when the message is so left for transmission, or free delivery by post when the addressee resides out of the limits of the terminal office, and the sender does not desire to pay for a special messenger.
• To fix the rate for conveyance by special messenger at 6d. per double mile.
* To make arrangements, on the plan of those prevailing in Belgium and Switzerland, for the registration or the redirection of telegrams, and for the delivery of copies.
* To give facilities for the transmission of money-orders by telegraph, on payment of the charge for the message, and of a commission which shall not be less than two ordinary commissions, under certain restrio, tions as the amount to be remitted by any one person.
• To effect a reduction corresponding with the reduction of the charges for the transmission of inland telegrams in the charges for the transmission of messages to foreign parts.
• To prepare a telegraphic guide, to be sold at a charge of not less than sixpence, and to contain, together with the rules of the telegraphic offices and instructions as to the best mode of preparing telegrams, an alphabetical list of the pillar-boxes and telegraphic offices in the United Kingdom, distinguishing pillar-boxes from deposit-offices, and telegraphic offices from both; giving the hours of collection from the pillar-boxes, and the hours at which messages deposited in the pillarboxes before the hours of postal collection would reach the nearest telegraphic office; giving also the hours of the postal collection, or transmission from the deposit-office, the hour at which messages deposited at such offices would in course of post reach the nearest telegraphic offices; the distance of the deposit-offices from the telegraphic offices, and the cost of transmission by special messenger from the deposit-offices to the nearest telegraphic offices if such special transmission were desired by the sender; giving also the hours of business at the telegraphic offices, and the hours of postal delivery or despatch at such offices; from which last data the senders would know at what hours their messages would be sent out in course of post from the terminal offices, when the addressees did not reside within the limits of the terminal offices, and when they, the senders, had not paid for delivery by special messenger.'
In order to carry out this scheme in its entirety, the head office in the metropolis is being constructed on a scale commensurate with the great scale of its operations. Not only will it have to carry on the work of all the old offices, but that work will speedily be augmented in a manner which we can only measure by the increased business thrown upon the Postoffice since the change made in the postal fee by Sir Rowland Hill. In order to accommodate this great press of business a new building is already rising opposite the General Post Office in St. Martin's-le-Grand. This structure, in all probability, will exceed in size the Post-office itself. It is estimated the new building will take three or four years in completion ; meanwhile, the Postmaster-General has selected for his headquarters the old establishment of the Electric and International Company in Telegraph Street, Moorgate Street, the most capacious and central of the old-established offices. Here, although the arrangements are only temporary, a good forecast is given of what will, in its new home, be the sensorium of the nervous system of the empire. From and to this point will radiate and emerge all the wires which place the metropolis in connexion with the wires of the three kingdoms, and indeed with the ends of the earth by means of the apparatus leading to the submarine offices. Some of these wires, suspended in gigantic curves, enter the upper part of the establishment, over the roofs of the intervening houses. Others, again, emerge from beneath the pavement, where they are conveyed in iron pipes from the different lines of railway. Gathered in great bundles, these nerves, so to speak, ascend in a great shoot like the bony case that protects the spinal column, and when they have arrived at the ample apartment termed the instrument-room, they decussate and spread out to the different tables where they may be said to seek their nerve-cells in the shape of telegraphic instruments. This room, the most sensitive spot in the whole world—the cerebrum, which receives and transmits intelligence from all quarters of the globe-may be looked upon as one of the most curious sights in the metropolis. Although hundreds of minds are simultaneously conversing, some with tongues of steel, some with the clear sound of the bell, some again by means of piano-like notes, which spell the words letter by letter; although we have the clatter of all these sounds mixed with the metallic tinkle of the electric bell, hailing from distant western and northern cities--not a human voice is heard, although, stranger still, the manipulators are all women. According to the rules of the service, the swifter they talk the better, but it must be done in silence with some unseen correspondent at the extremity, it may be, of the kingdom,-a necessary condition in order to insure attention and accuracy whilst the operators are at work. It is certainly no unpleasant sight to see these young women doing the work of the world, proving that they are capable of thoughtful labour, and trust