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1846 __ ‘Gold leaf’ Telegraph
Henry Highton (1816-1874)
Comment : Henry Highton, a cleric from Rugby, took out a patent in February 1846 for his ‘gold-leaf’ telegraph. The indicator was a gold-leaf filament in an air-filled glass tube moved left and right by an electro-magnet, using a single wire. Although it was a frail contrivance it was adopted on the Baden Railway in South Germany in October 1847, and was bought by the Electric Telegraph Company. The Highton family were to found the first competitor to the Company in 1850. (Compiled from various sources)Telegraph, Electric.[...] By the Rev. H. Highton, as described by Mr. E. Highton : a small slip of gold leaf inserted in a glass tube is made to perform part of the electric circuit of the line wire, and near it is a permanent magnet. Wen a current of electricity is passed along the line wire, the gold leaf is instantly deflected to the right or to the left according to the direction of the current [...]. (In "The English Cyclopaedia: Division. Geography. 4v. and Suppl", conducted by Charles Knight, London : Bradbury, Evans & Co., 1868, p. 90)In 1844, Henry Highton took out a patent in England for a telegraph working through electricity of high tension, with the use of a single line wire. A paper unrolled regularly between two points, and each discharge made a small hole in it, But this hole was near one or the other of the points according as the line was positively or negatively charged. The combination of the holes thus traced upon two parallel lines permitted of the formation of an alphabet. This telegraph was tried successfully over a line ten miles long, on the London and Northwestern Railway. (Compiled from various sources)
French comment : Le télégraphe à feuille d'or de Highton inventé en 1846 [contient] une petite bande de feuille d'or, enfermée dans un tube de verre passe dans le champ d'un aimant permanent, en formant une partie du circuit de la ligne. Quand un courant passe dans la feuille d'or, il met celle-ci en mouvement vers la droite ou la gauche suivant sa direction. (In “La Lumière Électrique”, 1e série, vol. 5, n°53-78, 1881, Paris : Union des syndicats de l'électricité, Vol. 5, 1881, p. 36)En 1844 Henry Highton prit en Angleterre un brevet pour un télégraphe fonctionnant par l'électricité de haute tension avec emploi d'un seul fil de ligne. Un papier se déroulait entre deux pointes et chaque décharge le perçait d'un petit trou, mais ce trou se trouvait près de l'une ou de l'autre des pointes selon que la ligne était chargée positiviement ou négativement. C'était l'application à la télégraphie de l'expérience du perce-carte. La combinaison des trous ainsi tracés sur deux lignes parallèles permettait de former un alphabet. Le télégraphe fut essayé avec succès sur une ligne de 10 milles au London and North Western Railway. (Auguste Guerout, "L'Historique de la télégraphie électrique", 1883)
Source : Guerout, Auguste (1883), "L'Historique de la télégraphie électrique", In "La Lumière Électrique — Journal Universel d'Électricité", 1e série, vol. 8, n°1-17, 1883, Paris : Union des syndicats de l'électricité,3 mars, No. 9, pp. 257-264.
Urls : http://distantwriting.co.uk/noncompetitors.aspx (last visited ) http://cnum.cnam.fr/fSER/P84.html (last visited ) http://chestofbooks.com/crafts/scientific-american/sup2/The-History-Of-The-Electric-Telegraph-Part-5.html (last visited ) http://cnum.cnam.fr/CGI/fpage.cgi?P84.8/265/100/572/0/0 (last visited )

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