Was there life before computer?

calculating instruments before the digital era

Baudot's telegraph

.-- .... .- - .... .- - .... --. --- -.. .-- .-. --- ..- --. .... - "What hath God wrought". With these words, the same as the first sent by Morse in 1844, ended in July 1999 the last commercial telegraphic transmission. Had ended an era that has revolutionized the world, allowing the first communication in real time.

"The Last Ride", George M. Ottinger 1873.  A Pony Express rider
pass the work crews installing the Transcontinental Telegraph

The telegraph work with different principles from the computers except the Baudot Multiplex that does not use the Morse code but, forerunner of modern computers, the first digital code of ... 5 bytes. It's a milestone of telegraphy, first used to link France - Italy in 1877 and that in 1894 allowed "real time" operations between the stock exchanges of Milan and Paris. Baudot code developed in the modern ASCII. More about Baudot and his Multiplex at Codes that Don't Count.

It's very rare but I have fortunately found a complete and running unit. More on telegraphs in my Homepage.

Baudot's Multiplex

Baudot's Multiplex, ca. 1877

Keyboard and distributor, collection Fons Vanden Berghen

The Multiplex at Milano stock exchange

Second from left the Multiplex at Milano stock exchange, end of '800

The Multiplex at Paris stock exchange

The Multiplex at Paris stock exchange, end of '800

How it works

The Baudot's code

The Baudot's code

The modern ASCII code

Telecarte Baudot

French phone card, 1993

Nicola Marras 2008


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