NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1877 __ Talking telegraph in New Zealand
Charles A. Henry (?-?)
Comment : In 1877 a Dunedin electrician Charles A. Henry organised the first 'talking telegraph' trial based after putting together a telephone receiver and transmitter based on what he had read in a magazine. According to the Otago Daily Times a ‘telephone instrument and wire’ was attached to the existing telegraph wire at the Dunedin Telegraph office and another at the Milton office - a distance of 57km. The newspaper described it as ‘simply marvelous’. It wrote ‘A large number of questions were asked and each was replied to instantaneously by the person in Milton….Not only could the words spoken at either end be clearly heard, but the difference in tone of voice was easily distinguished’. The first telephone office was opened at Port Chalmers in 1879 with the first link between Port Chalmers and Portobello so shipping information could be relayed to Dunedin more quickly. A Mrs Sheehy, who took a call from a Roxburgh farm in 1877, was the first person in New Zealand to hold a conversation on a private line. Telephones begin to be used to supplement the telegraph in small towns which lacked the finance to employ Morse operators. (Taming the lightning a New Zealand perspective - Milestones a New Zealand timeline of communications and computing)A living document compiled by Keith Newman).
Urls : http://www.wordworx.co.nz/KiwitelcoTimeline.htm (last visited )

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