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         The first means of communication were the acoustic signals (voice, sound of the drums) which were propagated on small distances. Optical signals (fire, smoke) were used for a long period.          The ancient Greeks would transmit war messages making use of fire and smoke. Legend says that the wife of King Agamemnon, Cytemnestra, found out about the fall of the city of Troy the very night this event took place, although the fortress of Mycenae was at a 50 km-distance, with the help of a fire-based transmission system. Military historian Polybe described the water telegraph made by Eneas (336 B.C.), which consisted in water tanks with measured rods. It was also Polybe who presented a telegraph which used a code of flames (150 B.C.). Romans also transmitted messages with the help of fire, fact attested by the stone- carved images on Trajan's Column.
          Telegraphy can be said to date back to the invention of the telescope (Galileo Galilei, 1609) which enabled the tele-transmission of messages. In 1690, Amontons made a telegraph with field glasses, but the most frequent type of telegraph was the one produced by the French Claude Chappe (1791). It was at that moment that the word telegraph was created, being derived from the Greek elements tele = distance and graphos = writing. Chappe’s telegraph consisted in a system of lights with arms, messages being transmitted according to a 172 sign-code.
         Electricity represented a real qualitative jump in the field of the means of communication. The first attempt of using static electricity in telegraphy was done by the Swiss George Lesage in 1774. There followed Sömmering (1809) with the electrochemical telegraph, Silling (1830) with the electromagnetic one. A simple, user-friendly, easily manipulable telegraph was constructed by Samuel Brese Morse (1838) and got soon worldwide spread. The device was using a code of lines and dots, known as the “Morse alphabet”. The device had an immediate impact and a wire network was arranged in the whole world.
         In 1855, another American, Hughes, built the teleprinter, whose main advantage was that messages were directly transmitted with Latin characters, and there was no need to decode them any more.
         These devices were continuously improved by the producing companies, having as a main objective the quicker transmission of telegrams.
         The Morse device would transmit about 25 words per minute, while the Hughes telegraph around 36. In 1867, Wheastone achieved a device which managed to transmit about 360 words per minute. A much practical and cheaper method was the multiplex transmission which connected lines to two to four teleprinters.
         In 1851, brothers Iacob and John Brett installed an underwater telegraphic cable crossing the Channel and in 1858, the American Cyrus Field made an unsuccessful attempt to install a trans-Atlantic cable. It was only in 1866 that “Great Eastern” ship laid the cable without any incident.
In 1915, a new device was built; it did not require many adjustments and ran at a big speed. The tele-printer also known as telex, worked according to the START-STOP principle. The device gets started and stopped automatically for each transmitted letter, thus eliminating the possibility of summing up the speed deviations between gyrations, as it happened in the case of the Hughes device. The telex was printing on a paper tape or sheet.
         In Romania, the first line in Morse system was arranged in 1853 on the route Vienna- Timisoara-Sibiu. In 1854 the telegraphic connection started functioning on the route Bucharest-Giurgiu-Rusciuc while one year later, the Iasi–Cernauti line was carried out. Through this line, Iasi was connected to Vienna and Paris. The telegraphic posts were installed by Austrian companies which provided both equipment and specialists. From the very beginning, schools were founded in order to train Romanian telegraph personnel. Thus, in 1855 telegraphy schools were inaugurated both in Bucharest and Iasi and Romanian staff was formed for serving in telegraphic offices. Between 1858-1859, Romanian telegraphic lines were taken over by the Austrians.

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