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    South Australia - Communications


    Overland Telegraph - North-South

    "A Telegraph to England" is in the Register,
    22 May 1857, page 2c-f,
    23 May 1857, page 1b-h (supp.);
    also see 7 November 1857, page 1b (supp.),
    29 May 1858, page 5g, 19 June 1858, page 6e,
    3 September 1859, page 6c, 28 July 1860, page 5d,
    23 March 1861, page 6g, 20 September 1862, page 6c,
    Register, 19 and 30 January 1863, pages 2f and 3a,
    30 May 1863, page 2e,
    11 August 1866, page 6e,
    22 May 1869, page 12b.

    A proposed Anglo-Australian Telegraph is discussed in theRegister, 30 May 1863, page 2e.

    Information on early telegraph lines appears on 21 March 1925, page 10f.

    "Anglo-Australian Telegraph" is in the Register,
    7 and 17 August 1867, pages 2d and 2d,
    Chronicle, 7 and 28 August 1869, pages 2d (supp.) and 18a,
    13 November 1869, page 11f.

    "Historical Moment - Planting the First Pole" is in the Observer,
    18 September 1926, page 22c.

    "Building the Overland Telegraph" is in the Chronicle,
    5 March 1936, page 50.
    Photographs and sketches are in the Observer,
    5 March 1904, page 23,
    4 February 1905, page 25,
    23 December 1911, page 30,
    26 November 1921, page 26.

    "The British Australian Telegraph Company is in the Observer,
    16 April 1870, page 13e,
    "The Overland Telegraph Route" on 30 April 1870, page 12e;
    also see 7 May 1870, page 11a,
    4, 11 and 25 June 1870, pages 7d, 3d and 13a,
    2 and 30 July 1870, pages 2g and 13b,
    6 and 27 August 1870, pages 13b and 6f,
    10 September 1870, page 13d,
    1, 15 and 22 October 1870, pages 4c, 13e and 7f,
    5 and 19 November 1870, pages 4a and 8d.

    Also see Express,
    29 July 1871, page 3e,
    Observer, 7 and 21 January 1871, pages 3a and 4g,
    25 March 1871, page 12f, 17 June 1871, page 4d,
    15, 22 and 29 July 1871, pages 13b, 12d and 5f,
    14 October 1871, page 12f, 18 November 1871, page 12b,
    2 and 23 December 1871, pages 2g and 12a,
    17 February 1872, page 5c, 23 March 1872, page 13d,
    6 April 1872, page 13a, 22 June 1872, page 2f, 6 July 1872, page 13d,
    24 August 1872, page 2f, 2 November 1872, page 2g.

    A history of the Adelaide-London Telegraph is in the Express,
    25 June 1872, page 2b,
    24 August 1872, page 4c,
    15 July 1872, page 3b,
    21 June 1887, page 5d (supp.).

    "When London First Called to Adelaide by Telegraph" is in The Mail,
    13 August 1932, page 6e.

    "Adelaide and London Telegraph" is in the Chronicle,
    10, 17, 24 and 31 August 1872, pages 9a, 8f, 8e and 11e.

    A telegraphic demonstration is reported in theObserver,
    26 October 1872, page 8c.

    A presentation to R.C. Burton is reported in the Observer,
    16 November 1872, page 6d.

    A photograph taken at Darwin on 7 November 1871 is reproduced in the Observer,
    26 November 1921, page 26.

    A list of members of the overland telegraph construction party is in the Observer,
    9 November 1872, page 7g and contemplated bonuses on 30 November 1872, page 13b,
    7 and 21 December 1872, pages 13f and 7b.
    An obituary of Charles Kelly is in the Observer,
    29 January 1898, page 32c.

    "Mr Todd and His Staff" is in the Chronicle,
    2 November 1872, pages 10b-11f,
    "The Telegraph Line" on 21 December 1872, page 11e.
    Mr Todd's report on the overland telegraph is in the Express,
    7 January 1873, page 2b.

    "Anglo-Australian Telegraphy" is in the Observer,
    19 April 1873, page 12g.

    The reminiscences of Alfred Giles are in the Observer,
    7 March 1925, page 46a, 2 and 9 May 1925, pages 45a and 46c (in a series of 22).
    A second series commences on 30 January 1926, page 18a.

    "Planting the First Pole" is in the Observer,
    18 September 1926, page 22c.

    A lecture on the overland telegraph by Charles Todd is reproduced in the Observer,
    2 August 1873, page 10b.

    An obituary of S.A. Townshend is in the Observer,
    28 November 1925, page 28c.

    "Mr Todd's Jubilee" is in the Register,
    5 and 7 December 1891, pages 6d and 6d;
    also see 7 July 1906, page 7c.

    The retirement of Sir Charles Todd is reported in the Express,
    1 February 1905, page 4e,
    Observer, 21 January 1905, page 40a;
    also see 4 February 1905, page 38a,
    11 July 1908, page 41a.

    His obituary appears on 5 February 1910, page 41a.

    "The Telegraphic Banquet" is in theObserver,
    9 November 1872, page 6b;
    also see Chronicle, 30 November 1872, pages 5e-6g,
    "The Telegraphic Demonstration" in the Observer,
    16 November 1872, page 6b,
    "The Overland Telegraph" on 21 December 1872, page 3a-18;
    also see 28 December 1872, page 4b,
    11 and 25 January 1873, pages 13a and 12 (opening).

    "Injuring Telegraph Lines" is in the Register,
    1 May 1866, page 2e.

    A sketch of the telegraph station at Alice Springs is in the Australasian Sketcher,
    14 June 1873, page 53;
    also see Illustrated Adelaide Post, 1 December 1870, page 1,
    22 April 1871, page 1.
    Information on it is in theObserver,
    14 September 1901, page 4c and photographs on 27 May 1905, page 25;
    also see The Critic,
    2 March 1904, page 27.

    The reminiscences of J.McL. Johnston are in the Observer,
    15 April 1916, pages 20b-41b.
    Notes on the overland telegraph by Hillary Boucaut are in the Observer,
    1 May 1926, page 52d.

    "The Past Year's Telegraphic Business" is in the Observer,
    3 January 1874, page 13c.

    "Seventeen Hundred Miles Along the Overland Telegraph" is in the Observer,
    24 January 1874, page 6c.

    "The Natives on the Overland Telegraph Line" is in the Observer,
    28 February 1874, page 4a.

    "The Stapleton Relief Fund" is in the Observer,
    7 March 1874, page 10f,
    6 June 1874, page 7f.

    An obituary of W.J. Cunningham is in the Register,
    3 September 1875, page 5c,
    of R.P. Boucaut on 28 July 1902, page 5a,
    of A.J. Giles on 8 September 1902, page 4c.

    A banquet to celebrate an anniversary of the completion of the overland line is reported in the Observer,
    30 August 1884, page 38d.

    "The Jubilee of the Telegraph" is celebrated in the Register,
    19 September 1887, page 4f;
    also see Advertiser,
    27 August 1932, page 9e.

    "The Overland Telegraph Line - How It Was Built" is in the Register,
    14 July 1902, page 7g.

    The reminiscences of Charles Laycock are in the Express,
    11 November 1915, page 2e.

    "The Overland Telegraph - Death of an Original Member" is in the Advertiser,
    20 August 1928, page 16e.
    An obituary of C.H. Marsh is in the Observer,
    21 October 1912, page 24b.

    "The Overland Telegraph Line - How it was Built" is in the Register,
    14 July 1902, page 7g and
    1 September 1936 (special edition), page 70.

    An obituary of J.A.G. Little is in the Register,
    22 May 1906, page 5c.

    Reminiscences of the overland telegraph line by R.R. Knuckey are in the Advertiser,
    11 July 1912, page 12b
    by Frederick Marshall on 22 March 1923, page 11a.
    Mr C.W. Tucker's are in the Observer,
    5 April 1913, page 45a.

    "Memories of Old Overland Telegraph Men" is in the Register,
    27 May 1914, page 9d;
    also see 13 April 1916, page 5b,
    7 November 1921, page 7b,
    12 January 1927, page 11e,
    "Telegraphs and Telephones" on 17 August 1915, page 4c.

    "Mammoth Task Recalled" is in the Observer,
    23 January 1926, page 17c.

    An article based on the diary of Robert C. Patterson is in The News,
    12 September 1934, page 4e.

    "Heroes of the Overland Telegraph" is in The Mail,
    22 August 1936, page 4.

    Telegraphic - Miscellany

    An Essay on Telegraphs

    (Taken from Geoffrey H. Manning's A Colonial Experience)

    The arrival of Charles Todd, the future Post-Master General of South Australia on 5 November 1855, coincided with a notable event - the opening of McGeorge's private telegraph line between Port Adelaide and Adelaide, but within a year it had been superseded by an official line, the second in Australia, born of the enterprise of Mr Todd.

    His foundling was smuggled from refuge to refuge - the booking room at the railway station, a den at Neale's Exchange, a room at Green's Exchange and, finally, a grudging corner of the post office. Diehards looked askance at the interloper, for on its fourth day it earned only one shilling and eight pence towards the 300 spent of the steel conduit, which carried the six cables beneath the city footpaths and the well-painted posts, nearly all imported, which bore the lines down the new railway line to the Port. However, when it was taken 'under the creek' by submarine cable and extended to the Semaphore, its revenue increased.

    In June 1856 he conceived the idea of putting into effect Oberon's fanciful idea of girdling the earth in 40 minutes - or less. He recommended the connecting of Adelaide and Melbourne and this scheme was a forerunner of his great project which a few years later was to connect the old world with the new.

    While fixing the route for the line he had many adventures and interesting experiences. During a solitary ride through the south-east district he pulled up one evening at a shepherd's hut and enquired of the occupant whether he might stay the night. 'Do as you like', was a rather uninviting rejoinder. 'Then I will', he replied, and at once hobbled his horse. They shared some damper and a billy of tea and, noticing a chessboard, Charles Todd suggested a game. They became quite friendly and the lonely old shepherd told his life's story which included the fact that he held a Master of Arts degree from Oxford, England!

    Later a line was opened to Sydney from Adelaide and, on its accomplishment, Charles Todd utilised it for determining the 141st meridian and thus fixing the eastern boundary of South Australia and finding that it should be two and a quarter miles further eastward. Thus arose the disputed boundary question which, currently, is causing so much controversy and no little friction between South Australia and Victoria; this matter is now awaiting legal settlement in the courts.

    The interstate line was extended to Brisbane in 1861, but prior to that date a submarine cable had been laid across Bass Strait to connect Tasmania with the mainland. Charles Todd was present at the laying of this cable, having sailed to the locality in the ill-fated Admella, which was wrecked during her next trip.

    The work with which his name will always be most closely associated is the construction of the transcontinental telegraph line. In 1859, after reading an account of A.C. Gregory's exploration from the Victoria River to Moreton Bay, he conceived the idea of linking Adelaide with Port Darwin by wire, but it was not until several years later that he was able to give effect to his idea.

    The magnitude of the undertaking can be appreciated adequately by those associated with the character of the land through which the line passes. Two thousand miles of unknown country had to be spanned and everything carted. Altogether 35,000 poles had to be carried. to say nothing of wire and other materials and supplies for the construction parties. Two wires now run across the country.

    Finally, the successful journey of John McDouall Stuart conformed Todd's conclusions and led him to oppose the schemes of the Anglo-Australian and China Telegraph Company for laying cables from Singapore to Moreton Bay. What followed has been well-documented and needs no repetition from me and I will say only that the Register of 25 July 1872 carries a poem by C. Carleton (she wrote the words of the now but all-forgotten 'The Song of Australia' - music by Carl Linger) written in honour of Stuart; the last verse reads:

    His next undertaking was the linking of east and west by extending South Australia's lines 750 miles from Port Augusta to Eucla, the last and most difficult section of 240 miles east of Fowler's Bay and the border station carried out under the driving force of Todd in less than the scheduled time despite dense mallee scrub, heavy sand, lack of water and the burning summer of 1876.

    General Notes

    Information on the Adelaide to Port Adelaide telegraph is in the Observer,
    28 July 1855, page 5c,
    19 January 1856, page 5c,
    15 March 1856, page 6g.
    17 May 1924, page 49d.

    "Early Telegraphy in Adelaide" is in the Register,
    31 October 1910, page 7c,
    "First Government Telegraph" on
    21 March 1925, page 10f.

    Information on telegraph operators is in the Advertiser,
    24 August 1891, page 6d,

    An obituary of E.S. Cracknell, "a pioneer of Australian telegraphy", is in the Register,
    17 January 1893, page 5c.

    An obituary of G.H.C. Mann, who was connected with "the earliest telegraphic enterprise in SA", is in the Observer, 6 April 1912, page 41a.

    "How the Electric Telegraph was Introduced" is in The Mail,
    16 October 1926, page 17a,
    a history is in the Chronicle,
    4 October 1934, page 2.

    "The Intercolonial Telegraph" is in the Observer,
    9 August 1856, page 6c; also see
    7 November 1857, page 6d,
    28 May 1859, page 4h,
    11 February 1860, page 6e,
    25 August 1860, page 6c,
    23 March 1861, page 6h; also see
    20 September 1859, page 2e.

    The Adelaide and Melbourne Telegraph is discussed in the Register,
    3 April 1856, page 2c,
    1 August 1856, page 2c,
    21 and 24 October 1856, pages 2d and 2c-e,
    6 November 1856, page 4b,
    27 and 28 May 1858, pages 2c and 2f,
    24 June 1858, page 2c,
    22 July 1858, page 2f,
    3, 5 and 26 August 1858, pages 2e, 2b and 2e,
    3 February 1859, page 2e,
    29 May 1860, page 2f,
    7 June 1860, page 3a.

    "Early Day Telegraphy" is in the Observer,
    23 March 1912, page 51a.

    "Telegraphic Communication" is in the Register,
    3 November 1857, page 2c,
    "The Australian Telegraph System" on
    22 January 1858, pages 2g-3g.

    "Telegraph Charges" is in the Register,
    2 November 1858, page 3b.

    The reminiscences of W. Graham are in the Register,
    15 November 1887, page 6g.
    "Early Day Telegraphy" is in the Observer,
    23 March 1912, page 51a.

    "The SA Telegraph" is in the Register,
    19 January 1859, page 2e,
    1 October 1859, page 2f.

    "Our Telegraph System" is in the Observer,
    14 May 1859, page 5d,
    3 June 1865, page 2c.

    "The Electric Telegraph" is in the Observer,
    1 October 1859, page 1b (supp.).

    Information on the telegraph line to NSW is in the Register,
    15 November 1865, page 2f.

    The South Australian Telegraphs" is in the Register,
    1 January 1879, page 5b,
    4 January 1879, page 10g.

    "Inter-colonial Telegraphy" is in the Register,
    20 March 1882, page 4f.

    "The Rival Cables" is in the Observer,
    31 August 1872, page 13e.

    "The Telegraph Department" is in the Observer,
    4 August 1866, page 6b,
    "Telegraph Charges" on 4 July 1868, pages 3b-12g,
    Express, 18 October 1873, page 2c.

    "Government Telegraphs in 1867" is in the Observer,
    29 August 1868, page 3c.

    "Telegraphic Charges" is in the Chronicle,
    8 April 1871, pages 8b-9e.

    A report on the completion of the telegraph to Western Australia is in theRegister,
    13 October 1877, page 5b.
    "The Overland Telegraph Line - Mammoth Task Recalled" on
    14 and 15 January 1926, pages 13e and 12b.

    "The Automatic Telegraph" is in theRegister,
    2 September 1875, page 5e,
    "Automatic Telegraphy" in the Chronicle,
    11 September 1875, page 16e.

    Biographical details of R.R. Knuckey are in the Observer,
    3 August 1912, page 50a,
    Register, 16 June 1914, page 7e (obit.),
    an obituary of George Easther is in the Observer,
    14 April 1923, page 32b.

    "The South Australian Telegraphs" is in the Register,
    1 January 1879, page 5b,
    4 January 1879, page 10g.

    An obituary of E.E.S. Flint is in the Register,
    19 July 1887, page 5a,
    of J.E. Hawes on
    22 September 1891, page 5b,
    of Robert McMurray on
    3 February 1893, page 5b,
    of W.D. Randall on
    9 November 1893, page 5c.

    "Interrupted Cable Communication" is in the Register,
    3 and 5 July 1888, pages 5f and 4f,
    30 October 1888, page 4f.

    "Telegraphic Operators" is in the Express,
    28 January 1890, page 3f,
    "Telegraph Operators' Association" in the Chronicle,
    10 March 1894, page 7f,
    "Telegraphic Officials" is in the Observer,
    29 August 1896, page 45c,
    "Telegraphing Without Wires" on
    3 July 1897, page 33a.

    "Salaries of Telegraph Operators" is in the Register,
    12 February 1890, page 5c.

    Information on telegraph operators is in the Advertiser,
    24 August 1891, page 6d.

    "The Telegraphic Leakages" is in the Observer,
    9 May 1891, page 34d.

    "The Present Interruption" is in the Chronicle,
    2 February 1895, page 7e.

    An obituary of Mrs T.J. Shanahan, an employee of the telegraphic department, is in the Observer,
    19 October 1895, page 14e,
    of Charles Gant on
    29 October 1904, page 21a,
    of Thomas Irwin on
    12 July 1913, page 41a,
    of Miss S.D. King, telegraph operator, on
    20 September 1913, page 39b,
    of L.C.W. Wilcken, telegraph operator, on
    19 June 1926, page 59a,
    of J.F. Field on
    11 December 1926, page 75a,
    of Benjamin Clarke on
    13 October 1928, page 5oc.

    "The New Telegraph Code" is in the Register,
    8 June 1897, page 7b,
    12 June 1897, page 12d.

    "Cable Rates" is in the Observer,
    7 May 1898, page 46c.

    "Colonies and Cables" is the subject of an editorial in the Advertiser,
    12 June 1900, page 4d,
    "The Cape Cable" on
    24 February 1902, page 5a.
    23 February 1901, page 31a,
    12 October 1901, page 31b,
    1 March 1902, page 44a.

    "The Cape to Grange Cable" is in the Register,
    12 June 1901, page 4e,
    30 October 1901, page 4f,
    25 February 1902, page 4e,
    1 March 1902, page 7h.

    "A Cable Ship at Work" is in the Observer,
    12 March 1904, page 41a.

    "Printed Telegrams" is in the Advertiser,
    25 December 1902, page 6h,
    "Pneumatic Tubes for Telegrams" is in the Express,
    2 April 1912, page 3c.

    "To England in Three Minutes" is in the Observer,
    5 March 1904, page 23.

    Information on the Eucla telegraph station is in the Advertiser,
    5 June 1907, page 8a.
    Also see Place Names - Eucla.

    "Story of the Telegraph" is in the Register,
    18 June 1910, page 8c (includes photographs).

    "The Telegraphists' Work" is in the Register,
    10 February 1911, page 6d;
    "Telegraphists' Troubles" on 19 June 1911, page 8f,
    "Telegraphists' Grievances" on 21 August 1911, page 8d.

    A photograph of telegraph operators is in the Chronicle,
    22 January 1910, page 31.

    Biographical details of Albert MacDonald, telegraphist, are in the Register,
    16 February 1911, page 4f,
    an obituary of G.H.C. Mann,
    "a pioneer telegraphist", on
    3 April 1912, page 7i.

    Biographical details of R.W.M. Waddy are in the Register,
    21 January 1905, page 5a,
    2 April 1912, page 4g;
    his reminiscences are in the Register,
    31 October 1910, page 7c,
    3 May 1913, page 50a.
    "Telegraph Memories", the reminiscences of Mr Waddy, is in The Mail,
    24 April 1926, page 11e.

    A photograph of a telegraphic operators' conference is in the Observer,
    25 March 1903, page 24.

    Information on a telegram service is in the Advertiser,
    31 July 1937, page 14a,
    The News,
    25 February 1937, page 8g.

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