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1846 __ Electric telegraph to every house
Comment : “Since the electric telegraph is being extended everywhere, we think it might be laid down, like the water and the assessed taxes, to every house. By these means a merchant would be able to correspond with his factors at sea-towns - a lawyer would communicate with his agents in the country - and a doctor would be able to consult with his patients without leaving his fireside.”.“What a revolution, too, it would create in the polite circles! Mrs. Smith, when she was giving an evening party, would ‘request the pleasure’ of her hundred guests by pulling the electric telegraph, and the ‘regrets’ and ‘much pleasures’ would be sent to Mrs. Smith in the same way.”.“This plan of correspondence would have one inestimable blessing - all ladies' letters would be limited to five lines, and no opening afterwards for a postscript. If this plan of electric telegraphs for the million should be carried out, the Post Office will become a sinecure, as all letter-writing would be henceforth nothing more than a dead letter. In that case it might be turned into a central terminus for all the wires; and any one found bagging a letter by means of false wires should be taken up for poaching.” From ‘Punch, or The London Charivari’, December 5, 1846. (Steven Roberts, “Distant Writing - A History of the Telegraph Companies in Britain between 1838 and 1868”, 2010)
Urls : http://distantwriting.co.uk/privatetelegraphy.aspx (last visited )

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