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The Electric Telegraph Series

Reprints in New Editions of 19th Century Books

Newly typeset but with all the original text, illustrations, diagrams and tables included and with nothing left out

All the books in this series have an Editor's Forward
which contains a biography (and sometimes a photograph) of the Victorian author
together with any points of special interest within the treatise

Title: An Illustrated Handbook to the Electric Telegraph
Author: Robert Dodwell
Date: 1862
Edition: Second
Pages: 102
Formats: Paperback and Kindle
Print Replica
Size: 6 x 9 in (152 x 229 mm)
ISBN: 978-1-9792525-6-0
Series: Electric Telegraph
Published: 30 Oct 2017
U.K. £ 7.99 - U.S.A. $ 10.99
Kindle Print Book Replica
U.K £ 5.35 - U.S.A. $ 6.93

This volume is the first of a series comprising new editions of early books on the subject of the Electric Telegraph. Anyone researching the technology, development and operation of telegraphy, or persons simply wanting an absorbing read, will find these works of the greatest historical interest. This particular book, An Illustrated Handbook to the Electric Telegraph, by Robert Dodwell, was originally published at London in 1862. Dodwell, a telegraph engineer and electrician, who was at one time District Engineer to the Magnetic Telegraph Company in Manchester, here presents a non-technical but very readable account of the Electric Telegraph, from the earliest days up to the mid-nineteenth century. By this time most of the essential features of telegraphy had been invented and patented, experimentally tested and then either discarded or put into operation somewhere or other in Europe or the United States of America. Dodwell deals mainly, but not exclusively, with telegraphy in Britain. The three broad topics covered are, first, the Galvanic Battery, the means to generate the ‘electric fluid’ (as electricity was then called), the newly discovered and wonderful agency that made long-distance communications possible. Secondly, the various Sending and Receiving Instruments used for communicating by telegraphic signals are discussed. Thirdly, the Line Wire, the medium by which signals are carried across country and around the world, either overground, subterranean, or submarine, are examined. Dodwell also relates many amusing anecdotes about the misapprehensions, misconceptions and misunderstandings of the telegraph by his Victorian contemporaries.

Title:  The Electric Telegraph - Its History and Progress
Author:  Edward Highton
Date:  1852
Edition: First
Pages: 200
Formats:  Paperback and Kindle
Print Replica
Size:  6 x 9 in (152 x 229 mm)
ISBN:  978-1-9791199-9-3
Series:  Electric Telegraph
Published:  26 Oct 2017
Paperback: U.K. £ 10.99 - U.S.A. $ 12.99
Kindle PBR: U.K £ 6.55 - U.S.A. $ 8.46

The author of this book, Edward Highton (1817-1859) was a Victorian civil engineer, telegraph engineer and company promoter. A professional in his field, he worked throughout his life in close collaboration with his brother, the Reverend Henry Highton, who can perhaps be best described as a gifted amateur. Edward Highton was at one time the telegraphic superintendent of the London & North Western Railway, who independently developed and patented a simplified and inexpensive needle telegraph instrument that used keys (or tappers), rather than the commutators with drop handles that were more common at the time. He made a number of innovations in overhead wire telegraphy, as well as advocating the laying of resin insulated underground cables. In 1849 he founded the British Electric Telegraph Company, to exploit the patents held by him and his brother. His single needle telegraph was one of the most widely used in Britain. In this treatise Highton traces the development of telegraphs generally, before discussing the generation of electricity for telegraphic purposes by all the means known at the time. He reviews the history of the telegraph before 1837 in Britain, Europe and America, then covers in more detail systems currently in use at the time this book was published. This includes telegraphic instruments and circuits in Britain, America, France, Prussia and Germany, Russia, India and other countries. He discusses message charges and the regulation of time by the telegraph, before some concluding remarks on the utility of the electric telegraph. He also relates some amusing misunderstandings of the new electrical technology by the general public.
Edward Highton

Title:  Modern Practice of the Electric Telegraph
Author:  Frank L. Pope
Date:  1869
Edition: First
Pages:  162
Formats:  Paperback and Kindle
Print Replica
Size:  6 x 9 in (152 x 229 mm)
ISBN:  978-1-9818047-1-9
Series:  Electric Telegraph
Published:  18 Dec 2017
U.K. £ 9.99 - U.S.A. $ 12.99
Kindle Print Book Replica
U.K £ 5.95 - U.S.A. $ 7.95

The author of this book, Franklin (Frank) Leonard Pope, was a renowned American telegrapher and electrical engineer. He began his career as a local telegraphist, employed by the American Telegraph Company in his home town of Great Barrington, Mass. He came to the notice of Marshall Lefferts, engineer-in-chief of that company, who, impressed by Pope's obvious skills and competence, transferred him to New York and promoted him to assistant engineer. Later in life he became assistant engineer and chief-of-exploration to the Collins Overland Telegraph Expedition, which attempted to establish a telegraph line through the wilderness of Canada and Alaska to the Bering Strait. The intention was to link with a Russian line to Moscow and thus establish communications between America and Europe. The successful laying of the Atlantic cable by Cyrus Field rendered the scheme redundant when it was about one third completed, and it was abandoned at enormous cost.In 1868 Pope began to write this book. He intended it to provide a complete handbook for the average American telegraphist and electrician and also for aspiring students. On its first publication it received glowing reviews from both industry and the general press. The first edition sold out in four weeks. Subsequently it went through fifteen reprints up to 1895, and it was adopted as a text book by the United States Signal Service. Pope's clarity of description and the use of his own practical experiences helped many readers to understand the basic principles of telegraphy, and to develop their own skills in the esoteric art of electric communications.
Frank L. Pope

Title:  The Electric Telegraph Popularised
Author:  Dionysius Lardner
Date: 1867
Edition:  Third
Pages: 346
Formats:  Paperback and Kindle
Print Replica
Size:  6 x 9 in (152 x 229 mm)
ISBN:  978-1-7963481-4-9
Series:  The Electric Telegraph
Published:  8 Feb 2019
U.K. £ 15.99 - U.S.A. $ 22.99
Kindle Print Book Replica
U.K £ 9.25 - U.S.A. $ 11.97

Unlike most, if not all, of the early writers who set out to explain the new science and technology of electrical communications to lay audiences, the author of this book, Dionysius Lardner, never had any professional involvement with the telegraph. Readers of this book therefore, might well be astonished at the breadth and depth of knowledge about the subject that he reveals in this treatise. He discusses the theory and technology of the electric telegraph authoritatively, he describes in detail the uses to which it was put and the costs of doing so. He surveys the operation of telegraphs in Great Britain, the United States of America, Russia and in most of the European countries. He does not omit to explain, in a separate chapter, the somewhat specialised subject of railway telegraphy. We can only be amazed at the diligence and dedication required to amass this amount of material, to study and master its purport, and then present it in a highly readable form. As an important mediator of the culture of the new technologies of his time, Lardner’s influence should not be underestimated, and his writings are a key source for understanding nineteenth-century popular ideas about progress and its relation to technological development. Although the day of the electric telegraph is now long past, supplanted by modern versions of the telegram and cablegram such as text messaging and e-mail, we can still enjoy and be enlightened by the writings of this remarkable man on a fascinating if obsolete technology.
Dionysius Lardner

Title: The Electric Telegraph its Rise and Progress in the United States
Author: Alexander Jones
Date: 1852
Edition: First
Pages: 222
Formats: Paperback and Kindle
Print Replica
Size: 6 x 9 in (152 x 229 mm)
ISBN: 978-1-7987476-4-3
Series: The Electric Telegraph
Published: 6 Mar 2019
U.K. £ 10.99 - U.S.A. $ 14.99
Kindle Print Book Replica
U.K £ 6.55 - U.S.A. $ 8.63

The author of this book, Alexander Jones, begins his treatise by enumerating all the discoveries made to date (1852) in electricity, magnetism, and the electric telegraph. He then provides a brief explanation of the terms and instruments used in telegraphy. Pointing out that it has long been received wisdom that Samuel Morse was the sole and ingenious inventor of the electric telegraph, Jones takes considerable pains to establish the truth of this claim, by examining and analysing more than 1000 pages of evidence arising out of the patent trials instituted by Morse and his friends. What he discovered will probably surprise those who uncritically accept the many myths about Morse. Jones writes that for Morse to have invented the telegraph, he should have discovered all that was actually discovered by Galvani, Volta, Oersted, Arago, Ampère, the Davys, Gauss, Faraday, Henry, Steinheil, Wheatstone and a host of others who had gone before him, embracing nearly half a century. He should have invented the galvanic battery, discovered electro-magnetic motion, discovered the plan of producing electro-magnets, and of varying their power, and adapted them to making signals at a distance. Indeed, he should have discovered nearly all that was known about electricity in his time, and been the first to suggest its application to telegraphing, before claiming to be the sole inventor of the telegraph. Jones also discusses the dates at which the chief telegraph lines in America were built and put into operation, new projected lines, the expense of building and operating lines, and, a topic dear to his heart, the connection of the newspaper press with the telegraph. He also gives a resume of telegraph operations in Europe, together with some rather quirky suggestions of his own for using the telegraph to activate fire alarm whistles, ignite gun powder for underwater blasting, and fire guns in warfare.
TGR Renascent Books is a small publishing house founded in 2009 by
Gordon and Elizabeth Roberts

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renascent - adj. Coming into
being again
from Latin renasci, to be
born again (OED)
Unique facsimiles of books on Astronomy, Medicine and Mathematics
originally published in the 16th century
(the Tudor period)
and the 17th century
(the Stuart period)
Creative reprints of books on
The Electric Telegraph
originally published in the 19th century
(the Victorian period)
Imaginative reprints of books on
Railway Signalling in the Steam Era
(originally published in the 20th century)

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