22I do not expect any reader of this book to have firsthand knowledge of what a “telegraph” is, but I suspect some will have never heard of one until this point. Basically, a telegraph was a primitive electrical communication system stretching between cities using a keyswitch at the transmitting end to transmit on-and-off pulses and a “sounder” to make those pulses audible on the receiving end. Trained human operators worked these systems, one at the transmitting end (encoding English-written messages into a series of pulses) and one at the receiving end (translating those pulses into English letters).