JOHANN ANDREAS BENIGNUS BERGSTRASSER (1732-1812)
Signal-, Order und Zielschreiberei in die Ferne.
Frankfurt am Main,
Andreäischen Buchhandlung, 1795.
In this work,
Bergsträsser develops a synthematographic, or "whole communication"
system, employing a telegraphic apparatus which uses both visual and
auditory signals. The author is particularly anxious to demonstrate the
difference between his own scheme for signaling, and that of the
Frenchman Claude Chappe. Bergsträsser argues that Chappe merely
modified an earlier optical system propsed by the English experimental
philosopher Robert Hooke (1635-1703), while his own scheme is not subject
to the limitations of sight. Bergsträsser sees his synthematograph
as primarily suited to military uses. He is also the author of Ueber
sein am ein und zwanzigsten Decembr. 1784 (Hanau, 1785-86), also on
signing. (Bibliothèque Nationale XI:378; NUC 48:518 (NB
CLAUDE CHAPPE (1763-1805)Claude
Chappe, a French engineer, developed perhaps the most widely used optical
telegraph in France. The French Legislative Assembly adopted the device
in 1792. The device itslef consisted of a transverse bar mounted on a
post. At the end of this bar were fastened with pivots two small arms,
making it possible to form symbols of letters and numbers by various
positions of the bars. In view of earlier proposals by Gaspar Schott
(1608-1666) and Robert Hooke, and the military signaling described by the
Greek writer Polybius (205-125 B.C.), the originality of the device was
soon attacked by Johann Bergsträsser and others. Chappe's invention
was defended, however, by his elder brother, Ignace Urbain Jean Chappe,
in his Histoire de la Télégraphie (Paris, 1824).
(NUC 103:605 (NC 0307005))
Beschreibung und Abbildung des
Augsburg, C. F. Bürglen,
WILLIAM GODDARD (fl. 1800)The British Admiralty had set up an optical
telegraphic system modeled on that of Chappe in 1796, and based entirely
on the use of the alphabet. In this unpublished work, Goddard sets forth
his attempts to secure a change in the system used by the Admiralty, by
recording his own discussions of the subject with William Marsden
(1754-1836), secretary of the Admiralty and vice-president of the Royal
Society. Goddard proposes both the use of the alphabet and the use of
signals standing for entire sentences, previously agreed upon. The
advantage of using signals for entire sentences would be to speed up
greatly the process of communication, escpecially under threat of fog or
other meteorological conditions.
Bound in red morocco with marbled endpapers, the holograph
consists of 32 unnumbered leaves. The versos of 29 are blank, while three
others contain illustrations of telegraphic apparati. On the back free
endpaper these is mounted a volvelle. The holograph is signed: W.
Goddard, Chatham, the 24th November 1803. The inside front cover bears
the bookplate of William-Henry, Duke of Clarence (1765-1837), later King
William IV of Great Britain. Below and above it are mounted the book
label and bookplate of his illegitimate son, George Augustus Frederick
Fitz-Clarence, 1st Earl of Munster (1794-1842).
Observations, Strictures &
Remarks on Telegraphic Correspondence.
Chatham [Eng.] 1803.
JOHN MACDONALD (1759-1831)Civil and military engineer in Sumatra from
1783 until 1796, and later lieutenant-colonel of the Royal Clan Alpine
Fencible Infantry in Ireland, MacDonald published several military works,
and was very much interested in the improvement of naval and military
telegraphs. His first work on this subject, A Treatise on Telegraphic
Communication, appeared in London in 1808. New System is an
expanded version of that work. The first part is an explanatory treatise
on types of telegraphs for both night and day, land and sea use. The
second part of the work is a telegraphic dictionary, that is, numeric
equivalents for words and phrases to be used in signaling. It is of note
that he suggests that, were such numeric dictionaries made bi-lingual,
they could be made the basis of communication between two parties who do
not know each other's language. This copy bears the author's signed
autograph presentation inscription to Sir John MacGregor Murray. (BMC
148:310; Galland p. 116)
A Treatise Explanatiory of a New
System of Naval, Military and Telegraphic Communication.
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