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86 votes

Why exactly did telegraphs have to use "STOP" instead of a period and "QUOTE" instead of a quotation mark? (Or special codes.)

A 1928 booklet on HOW TO WRITE TELEGRAMS PROPERLY has this to say concerning the use of STOP (emphasis mine): If it seems impossible to convey your meaning clearly without the use of punctuation, ...
justCal's user avatar
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70 votes
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Why did Roosevelt and Churchill use voice-based telecommunication, instead of simpler text-based options which were easier to encrypt?

During that period, both Churchill and Roosevelt were old men more used to hand written letters than "high technology" teletype writers. Teletype writers are NOISY! Using teletype writers ...
Fred's user avatar
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69 votes

Why exactly did telegraphs have to use "STOP" instead of a period and "QUOTE" instead of a quotation mark? (Or special codes.)

Because telegraph was a manually routed transmission. Like the original Ethernet of the 1980's, one had long cable runs with stations tapping the cable along its length. Transmission to another ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
37 votes

How difficult was it to spoof the sender of a telegram in 1890-1920's in USA?

There is nothing to "spoof". Note that a telegram did not have a "sender" field to begin with. There was the office of origin, the address of the recipient, and the message. That ...
DevSolar's user avatar
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35 votes

Was it possible for a message from Paris to reach London within 48 hours in 1782?

The French Postal Service started operation in the fifteenth century and by 1632 - 150 years before your inquiry - there was already a network of over 623 coaching inns operated by it across the ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
27 votes
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How much did a transatlantic telegram cost in 1914?

The first book google hit for "cablegram price" is The Bolsheviks: Twilight of the Romanov Dynasty by John D. Loscher which contains a discussion of the prices and comparison to today's money. If I ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
25 votes
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When was the first electrical intra-battlefield communication?

Chapter 16 - TELEGRAPH AT WAR 1854 - 1868 of Distant Writing by Steven Roberts outlines several battlefield usages of the telegraph prior to the American Civil War. The British, French and Spanish all ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
18 votes
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How long did it take to get news of the sighting of the Spanish Armada from Land’s End to London?

It seems to me that there are a number of variables to this, many of which would vary from beacon to beacon, so getting an 'accurate' transmission time for the information is going to be almost ...
KillingTime's user avatar
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16 votes
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How was the 1849 "Proclamation to the People of California" announcing the formation of a Constitution communicated to the people?

Territory Governor Riley, who had summoned the constitutional convention, had 1,000 English and 250 Spanish copied printed "post-haste" and distributed around the state. In addition, many of ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
14 votes
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What methods were used for onboard ship communication during WW2?

There were a variety of systems in use for onboard communication on military ships during the Second World War. Different systems were used by different navies, and not all systems would be available ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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14 votes

Why did Roosevelt and Churchill use voice-based telecommunication, instead of simpler text-based options which were easier to encrypt?

For a print work I recommend Francis L. Loewenheim, Harold D. Langley, & Manfred Jonas, Editors; Roosevelt and Churchill: Their Secret Wartime Correspondence, Dutton, 1975. Contains some 600 or ...
R Leonard's user avatar
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13 votes
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What is the first known instance of gift-giving backfiring across cultures?

An incident leading to the First Opium War comes to mind. The setting is China in the late 1700s. European traders want free trade with China, but China has restricted them to a single port: Canton. ...
Schwern's user avatar
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13 votes
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Telegraph availability in Russia around year 1875

Yes, it was possible to send a telegraph message from Moscow or St Petersburg to Tomsk in 1875. Tomsk was connected in 1863, Irkutsk in 1864 and Omsk in or before 1866. "Map Showing the Telegraph ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
13 votes
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What was the first broadcast television programme?

SHORT ANSWER The earliest TV program broadcast which can be proven as not being experimental is Charles Francis Jenkins' revolving windmill segment broadcast on the 2nd of July, 1928, but there may ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
13 votes

Communication lag during the Age of Sail: what if enemy claimed that peace agreement was signed?

Because European naval tradition freely allows ruses of war (such as false flag ruses) that would shock a commander of land-based forces, and even be treated as war crimes if perpetrated by land ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

How did pagination come to be used?

Unknown. For first numbering of pages in book or codex form. Around 1470-1499 for printed books made with numbers on pages. The system was known since antiquity, as there we have some fragments that ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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12 votes

How was the 1849 "Proclamation to the People of California" announcing the formation of a Constitution communicated to the people?

It was published at least twice in the newspaper Alta California, on November 1 and November 8. It may have appeared in other newspapers as well, but this was what I was able to find with a quick ...
Brian Z's user avatar
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11 votes

Was it possible for a message from Paris to reach London within 48 hours in 1782?

No idea if the story occurred exactly as described, but FWIW it is plausible. Louis XVI sought to flee his plight during the French Revolution a few years later. A number of things went wrong after ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
11 votes

Was it possible for a message from Paris to reach London within 48 hours in 1782?

Post stages existed in France (and elsewhere in Europe) before the Revolution where horses would be exchanged along the route The Wikipedia article Stage station deals more about the 19th century ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
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10 votes

Did they really have individual telephone wires going from a central tower to each customer in Sweden in the late 1800s?

Absolutely - and dedicated point-to-point wiring remained state-of-the-art technology for telephony right into the 1960's, as in the 1960 photograph below of a telephone exchange switchboard: As the ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
9 votes

What did the Jews during the First Jewish-Roman War know about other anti-Roman revolts?

First off, the idea that the First Jewish-Roman war was futile is wrong. The war lasted several years, the Roman armies were defeated a few times. The main reason for failure was Jewish infighting and ...
rs.29's user avatar
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8 votes

What did the Jews during the First Jewish-Roman War know about other anti-Roman revolts?

I can only give part of an answer. However, Josephus, a moderate Jewish leader of the time who changed sides when he decided the Jews could not win, subsequently wrote a 'History of the Jewish War' ...
Timothy's user avatar
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8 votes

Where was the AT&T radio station in 1942 in New York?

The A3-scrambled signals were carried by the ordinary civilian telephone network (AT&T and GPO in the US and UK), and the SIGSALY messages were carried by the military communications network (in ...
kimchi lover's user avatar
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7 votes
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Early Telegraph Systems

To get all the way to India would take several steps. At the turn of the century there were three cables from Aden to Bombay. So, if you needed to wire Madras from London, the message would first have ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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7 votes

Where was the AT&T radio station in 1942 in New York?

A Fourmilab web page (not Fermilab mind you) has information on the system. They quote from a page at the Antique Wireless Association (although I cannot locate that page): Cooling Radio Station was ...
Jon Custer's user avatar
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6 votes
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When was the first known international call between two heads of state or government?

In early 1887, a telephone line between Brussels and Paris was completed, and at the opening of the line on February 2nd, King Leopold II of Belgium and President Jules Grévy of France spoke over the ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 1,168
6 votes

How long did it take to get news of the sighting of the Spanish Armada from Land’s End to London?

FWIW: From years of cooking on open fires in the bush, it is not an instant to go from candle to conflaguration. Under exceptionally dark nights, you can see the flare of a match from a long ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
6 votes

How long did it take mail to get between Madrid and Mexico?

It looks like around 7-8 weeks ship time. See update below. (Inserted new info at top, ahead of the background info on the avisos ships and routes.) --- UPDATE --- Finally found actual info on the ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40.4k
6 votes

How much did a transatlantic telegram cost in 1914?

Partial answer. Source for information would be postal agreements of the Universal Postal Union, where rates and conditions were set for international fees. Telegrams fees were often based on a ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
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