Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

Woman using a telegraph machineThe electrical telegraph was first invented by Pavel Schilling in 1832 and was an early communication device that allowed the transmission of messages over long distances. In the picture to the right is a woman using a telegraph machine.

Land telegraph messages, known as telegrams, were sent by an operator using Morse code in the late 1800s over wires which connected telegraph stations and were a faster and more effective means of communication than semaphore telegraphs.

In 1846 Royal Earl House patented a printing telegraph that used 28 piano-style keys to represent each letter in the alphabet and make it easier for everyone to send messages. In October 1902, Guglielmo Marconi became the first person to telegraph the letter "S" across the English Channel which became the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message.

The telegraph remained a popular form of communication before the invention of radio and wide use of the telephone. In the United States, on January 27, 2006, Western Union discontinued all telegrammed commercial messaging services.

Cell phone, Radio, Semaphore