• WordNet 3.6
    • v telegraph send cables, wires, or telegrams
    • n telegraph apparatus used to communicate at a distance over a wire (usually in Morse code)
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

One of them horrid telegraph things One of them horrid telegraph things
Printing telegraph Printing telegraph
Telegraph and Railroad Telegraph and Railroad
The First Telegraphic Instrument, as Exhibited in 1837 by Morse The First Telegraphic Instrument, as Exhibited in 1837 by Morse
Diagram showing the Method of Telegraphing from a Moving Train by Induction Diagram showing the Method of Telegraphing from a Moving Train by Induction

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Samual Morse, who invented the telegraph, was originally a portrait painter and didn't give up painting to turn to inventing until he was 46 years old.
    • n Telegraph An apparatus, or a process, for communicating intelligence rapidly between distant points, especially by means of preconcerted visible or audible signals representing words or ideas, or by means of words and signs, transmitted by electrical action.☞ The instruments used are classed as indicator type-printing symbol-printing, or chemical-printing telegraphs, according as the intelligence is given by the movements of a pointer or indicator, as in Cooke & Wheatstone's (the form commonly used in England), or by impressing, on a fillet of paper, letters from types, as in House's and Hughe's, or dots and marks from a sharp point moved by a magnet, as in Morse's, or symbols produced by electro-chemical action, as in Bain's. In the offices in the United States the recording instrument is now little used, the receiving operator reading by ear the combinations of long and short intervals of sound produced by the armature of an electro-magnet as it is put in motion by the opening and breaking of the circuit, which motion, in registering instruments, traces upon a ribbon of paper the lines and dots used to represent the letters of the alphabet. See Illustration in Appendix.
    • v. t Telegraph To convey or announce by telegraph.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In 1977, according to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, there were 14.5 telephone calls made for every 100 people in the entire world.
    • n telegraph In cricket, the score-board upon which numbers indicating the progress of the game are displayed.
    • n telegraph In ship-building, an apparatus for transmitting and receiving orders mechanically. An engine. telegraph consists of a dial on a stand on the bridge or pilot-house having a handle with a pointer attached which, by movement of the handle, is pointed to the desired order on the dial, as ‘ahead full speed,’ ‘stop,’ ‘astern half speed,’ etc. By a line of wires, a pointer on a similar dial in the engine-room is made to point to the same order and ring a gong. The engineer then manipulates a handle with its pointer to point to the same order on the engine-room dial, and by another line of wires a pointer on the dial on the bridge is moved, and if the order has been correctly received, it points to the same order as the pointer on the handle of the bridge-dial. A similar apparatus fitted for giving orders for steering from the bridge to the steering-engine room, or other steering-station, is called a steering-telegraph.
    • n telegraph A chute or trough, usually of sheet-steel, by which coal or ore or refuse is carried by gravity from screens or other dressing machinery to the desired point of disposal.
    • n telegraph An apparatus for transmitting intelligible messages to a distance. In this general sense it includes the original semaphore-telegraphs; mechanical telegraphs for sending messages short distances, as from the pilot-house to the engine-room of a steamer; pneumatic telegraphs, in which compressed air in a tube serves to transmit a message; hydraulic telegraphs, in which a column of water takes the place of the air in the tube; flashing lights, as from a heliotrope, and any appliance for signaling, as flags or lanterns. Nearly all of these appliances are recognized as signaling apparatus, and are now so called. (See signal and annunciator.) In its later and more restricted sense, the name is applied to some form of apparatus employing electricity and transmitting more than mere calls or signals. Telegraphs may be divided into two classes: the electromechanical telegraphs, or those in which the messages are received by means of some mechanical device operated by electricity; and the electrochemical telegraphs, in which the message is received and recorded by means of some chemical effect produced by electricity, the messages in both systems being sent or transmitted by some mechanical means. The electromechanical telegraphs may be again divided into two classes: those in which the message is received or read by sight (including those in which it is printed or recorded), and those in which it is read by sound. The electromechanical telegraphs are in some instances actuated by means of an electromagnet, and for this reason they are called electromagnetic telegraphs. This name has sometimes been given to all electrodynamic telegraphs, but it appears properly to belong to the electromechanical telegraphs which employ electromagnetism, and particularly to the Morse system. There is also an electromechanical telegraph actuated by magneto-electricity, and called the magneto-electrictelegraph. The telegraph consists essentially of a linewire, or main conductor; a battery, or other source of electricity; a transmitting instrument, or device for connecting or disconnecting the line-wire with the battery, or for changing the polarity of the current sent over the linewire; and a receiver, or indicating or recording apparatus. The line-wire is, for land lines, most commonly of iron, but sometimes of steel covered with a copper tube, and frequently also (especially on the rapid circuits in England) of hard drawn copper and, for the local connections with the battery or instruments, of copper. The source of electricity may be a battery or a dynamo. The transmitter or receiver may vary greatly according to the system in which it is used. In the electromechanical systems in which the message is read by sight, two different receivers are employed. The first of these, the needle-telegraph of Cooke and Wheatstone of England, has a linewire, a battery, and a simple device for reversing the current by the movement of a handle. The receiver is a needle supported on a horizontal bar, free to turn to the right or left, and provided with an index needle, placed in front of a dial, to show the deflections. The needle is within a coil of wire through which the current from the line passes, the whole forming an electric multiplier or galvanoscope. The message is indicated by an alphabet of motions, deflections to one side being read as the dots and to the other as the dashes of the Morse alphabet. This system is still used on some unimportant circuits and on some of the railway lines in England. It is largely in use for long submarine cables. Thomson's mirrorgalvanoscope being used. This receiver consists essentially of a galvanometer, the needle of which carries a small mirror that reflects a beam of light from a lamp upon a screen. The minute movements of the needle are thus rendered visible on a large scale, and the vibrations of the spot of light serve to spell the message. The second sight-reading system is the dial-telegraph; it employs a dial and index or pointer for a receiver. The letters are placed round the edge of the dial, and the index travels round the dial from letter to letter till the right one is reached, when a slight pause indicates that the letter was signaled from the transmitting end of the line. This system is used for private lines and for local circuits where speed of transmission is not important. The Morse system employs a line-wire, battery, and circuit-breaker or Morse key as a transmitter, and now very commonly uses a sounder as a receiving instrument, the slight clicking sound of the instrument clearly indicating the letters of the alphabet. This system has developed from the recording telegraph which was invented by Morse of New York, and was first tried on a commercial scale between Baltimore and Washington in 1844. (See Morse telegraph, below.) The electromechanical systems in which the message is automatically recorded as it is received include the Morse system using the Morse receiver, the chemical telegraphs, the printing telegraphic systems, the stock-reporting telegraphs, the syphon recorder, and the writing-telegraphs. A number of telegraphic-printing systems have been invented, the object being to print the message directly on paper as fast as received. Of these, the systems of House and Hughes were successfully worked in the United States, and a modification of Hughes's apparatus, the electromotor printing-telegraph of Phelps, is still used by the Western Union Company. Hughes's apparatus is still used in Europe, especially in France. Several simpler forms of type printing-telegraphs are used as stock-printers and private-line telegraphs. The telegraph of Cowper, and the telautograph (which see) of Elisha Gray are examples of facsimile- or writing-telegraphs. In the former system two wires are used, and the message is transmitted by varying the intensity of the currents in the double line. The transmitter consists of a pencil connected by means of light rods with metal plates joined together thtough resistancecoils. The message is written on a band of paper passing under the pencil, and every movement of the pencil causes one or both of the rods to move over the plates, and change the resistance in the circuits. The receiver consists of a pen held upright, and joined by means of threads to the armatures of two magnets placed so that variation of the currents through the two circuits give motions in two rectangular directions to the pen. The pen thus gives a trace in one direction or the other, or in a curve that is the resultant of both movements, and this trace is a literal copy of the message written by the transmitting pencil. The electrochemical systems of telegraphy all give a record of the message, and the transmitting device, whether a Morse key or some automatic mechanism. breaks or closes the circuit and thus either spells the message in the Morse alphabet, or copies it from writing or a drawing properly arranged at the transmitting end. The receiving apparatus in all these systems depends on the fact that if a current of electricity is made to pass through a piece of paper moistened in certain chemicals, a discoloration of the paper appears wherever the current passes. The first practical system is that of Bain of Edinburgh, which was used for some time both in England and in America. Several forms of copying telegraphs exist, but are little used. It was early recognized in the history of telegraphy that the cost of sending messages could be reduced if more than one message could be sent over a line-wire at one time, or if the speed of transmission could be made very great. Of the many systems designed to accomplish this five are in actual use, and two have been adopted throughout the United States and more or less in other countries. These systems are the duplex of Stearns, 1872; the quadruplex of Edison, 1874 (see duplex telegraph, below); the harmonic of Gray, 1874; the rapid system, 1880; and the synchronous system, 1884. The harmonic system depends on the property possessed by sonorous bodies of responding to vibrations corresponding to their own pitch or rate of vibrations. A vibrating reed is used to transmit over the line a series of electrical impulses exactly corresponding to its rate of vibrations. At the receiving end of the line is another reed that vibrates at the same rate as long as connected with the line, giving to the ear of the operator an apparently continuous note. By means of a Morse key this continuous tone in both reeds may be broken up into the letters of a message. Besides this, if two or more reeds are placed at the sending end of the line, and an equal number having the same pitches at the receiving end of the line, all may transmit their rate of vibration to the current, and each receiving reed will select its own note and no other. By the use of a Morse key to each pair, it thus becomes possible to transmit as many messages as there are pairs of reeds over the same wire at the same time. The so-called rapid system of telegraphy is an electrochemical system, with automatic transmitting and receiving instruments. The message is first prepared by punching a series of holes in a strip of paper, each perforation or group of perforations representing a letter. This strip of paper is then made to pass rapidly under metal points connected with the line. At each perforation, one of the points passes through the paper and closes the circuit through the line-wire. At the receiving end, each closing of the circuit makes a stain on a band of prepared paper drawn rapidly under a stylus in connection with the line. Both the transmission and the recording of the message are automatic, and a large number of messages can be sent over one wire in a short time. The synchronous system is wholly electromechanical, and is based on the phonic wheel of La Cour. This invention employs a wheel divided radially into a number of sections, every alternate section being connected with the battery, and the alternating sections being connected by wire to the earth. A trailing needle connected with the line-wire rests on the upper side of the wheel, and as the wheel revolves it touches every section in turn, connecting the line with the battery at one section and being cut out at the next. Two wheels are used, one at each end of the line, and as each needle on the two wheels touches the same section the circuit is closed through the line, and then broken as the needles touch the next sections. In the synchronous system branch wires extend from each wheel, every branch being connected with a number of sections, and, as the wheels turn, these branches are connected with the line a number of times in a second, or often enough to be practically always joined to the line, and thus messages may be sent by the Morse or other system. Upward of seventy branch wires may be connected with each end of a line-wire, every pair having the line to itself in succession, and yet with sufficient rapidity to be, as far as sight or sound is concerned, wholly independent of all others. The phonic wheel is in this system made useful on a commercial scale in telegraphy.
    • n telegraph An electric telegraph of the needle or pointer class.
    • n telegraph A system of transmission for signals in which a bell is sounded and a pointer caused to indicate a message by the compression of air in a reservoir at one end of a long tube, the compression being transmitted to the opposite end of the tube. This system is used in hotels, manufactories, etc., and to transmit steering and steaming directions on shipboard.
    • telegraph To transmit or convey, as a communication, speech, intelligence, or order, by a semaphore or telegraph, especially by the electric telegraph.
    • telegraph To send a message by telegraph.
    • telegraph To signal; communicate by signs.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The telegraph plant of Asia has leaves that flutter constantly, even when there is no breeze.
    • n Telegraph tel′e-graf an apparatus for transmitting intelligible messages to a distance, esp. by means of electricity
    • v.t Telegraph to convey or announce by telegraph
    • ***


  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    “The press, the machine, the railway, the telegraph are premises whose thousand-year conclusion no one has yet dared to draw.”


Hear something on the jungle telegraph - (UK) If you hear something on the jungle telegraph, you pick up some information or informal gossip from someone who shares some common interest. ('Bush telegraph' is also used.)


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. far, far off (cf. Lith. toli,) + -graph,: cf. F. télégraphe,. See Graphic


In literature:

What did he telegraph you?
"Madeline Payne, the Detective's Daughter" by Lawrence L. Lynch
There's no need of half the telegraphing that's done.
"The Jucklins" by Opie Read
You will make your headquarters there, where a field telegraph station has been established.
"The Boy Scout Automobilists" by Robert Maitland
No telegraph operator or records remain here.
"Manual of Military Training" by James A. Moss
Furthermore, there is no telegraph station there from which our robbery could be reported.
"Chasing an Iron Horse" by Edward Robins
The first telegraph actually constructed and used was set up at Goettingen.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
Then I came back and telegraphed to you in Paris.
"The Stretton Street Affair" by William Le Queux
They are taken ashore and telegraphed to London.
"Seek and Find" by Oliver Optic
M. Kasansky, Acting Consul at Prague, telegraphed that Austro-Hungarian mobilization had been ordered.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8)" by Various
Run to the tower and have the man there telegraph the circumstances and get someone to look for Griscom.
"Ralph on the Engine" by Allen Chapman

In poetry:

Bold Cyrus Field he said, says he,
I have a pretty notion
That I can run a telegraph
Across the Atlantic Ocean.
"How Cyrus Laid the Cable" by John Godfrey Saxe
And hail to thy Telegraph, thy glory and prime,
Defying all distance, and outstripping Time,
Extending its arms through the heart of the sea
And binding all Realms to the Land of the Free;
"The Triumph Of Liberty" by James Madison Bell
Then came the crisis, strange to say,
Which turned a good wife to a better.
A telegraphic peon, one day,
Brought her — now, had it been a letter
For Belial Machiavelli, I
Know Jane would just have let it lie.
"The Mare's Nest" by Rudyard Kipling
In telegraphic sentences half nodded to their friends,
They hint a matter's inwardness—and there the matter ends.
And while the Celt is talking from Valencia to Kirkwall,
The English—ah, the English!—don't say anything at all.
"The Puzzler" by Rudyard Kipling
Across the travelling landscape evenly drooped and lifted
The telegraph wires, thick ropes of snow in the windless air;
They drooped and paused and lifted again to unseen summits,
Drawing the eyes and soothing them, often, to a drowsy stare.
"Late Snow" by John Collings Squire
Like when his wife's own mother died 'fore Sifers could be found,
And all the neighbors far and wide a' all jes' chasin' round;
Tel finally--I had to laugh--it's jes' like Doc, you know,--
Was learnin' far to telegraph, down at the old deepo.
"Doc Sifers" by James Whitcomb Riley

In news:

Registration is under way for the Tyler Morning Telegraph's 33rd annual Big Buck Contest in advance of Saturday's opening of the regular deer season statewide.
The Telegraph said the camera will be the first in a line of tech accessories by called
From The Telegraph, Alton, Ill. South Bend Tribune.
"I dried out and put on a rubber exposure suit," the British newspaper The Telegraph quoted him as recalling.
Chabon's "Telegraph Avenue," was named one of 2012's notable books by The New York Times.
Chabon ties it all together in 'Telegraph Avenue'.
There's something peculiar about the area bordered by Shattuck and Telegraph avenues between 56th and 58th streets in North Oakland.
Michael Dell confided to a reporter from Britain's Sunday Telegraph this weekend that, like Oracle, he was offered the UK software company before HP bought it.
GREG JORDAN Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
Chabon's "Telegraph Avenue ," was named one of 2012's notable books by The New York Times.
One hospitalized in shooting near Telegraph Avenue .
Chris Jackson-Pool, Getty Images Files, Daily Telegraph.
Reuters Files, The Daily Telegraph.
From the Telegraph's Number Game project: No 17, Mark Farriba, Stratford, baseball/football.
The Telegraph also reported that modern Maya say that there is no concept of an apocalypse in their culture.

In science:

In the physical mathematics the connection between the telegraph process and the electromagnetic theory strongly emerges.
Stochastic velocity motions and processes with random time
From (2.2) emerges that Xν (t) is a telegraph-type process similar to T (t) defined in (1.1).
Stochastic velocity motions and processes with random time
De Gregorio, A., Iacus, S.M. (2008) Parametric estimation for standard and geometric telegraph process observed at discrete times.
Stochastic velocity motions and processes with random time
Ratanov, N. (2007) A jump telegraph model for option pricing.
Stochastic velocity motions and processes with random time
We continue this discussion with some telegraphic remarks concerning various aspects of the Chernoff bounds.
User-friendly tail bounds for sums of random matrices