Implementing optical telegraphy: a case study of R.L. Edgeworth’s Telegraphic Establishment, 1797-1805
|Dates:||25 February 2014|
|Times:||13:00 - 14:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Faculty of Life Sciences|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public, Post 16|
This is seminar is part of the CHSTM Lunchtime seminar series
Implementing optical telegraphy: a case study of R.L. Edgeworth’s Telegraphic Establishment, 1797-1805.
Optical telegraphy emerged in many countries throughout Europe in the period following the French revolution. The technology offered rapid communication to belligerent states in a period of massive change. However, while some states adopted the technology wholeheartedly, developing large optical telegraph networks, others used the technology sparsely. This paper shall briefly examine the use of the technology in France and Britain before surveying its use in Ireland. Here the optical telegraph system of Richard Lovell Edgeworth was adopted in late 1803 as a response to the threat of French invasion. The island, only two years after political union with Britain and five years after the 1798 rebellion, was ill-prepared for any potential invasion. It would be reliant upon its land-based forces to repel any potential French landing, native rebellion or combination of the two. Edgeworth’s tellograph sic if successful would be a great benefit in allowing the rapid movement of troops. The subsequent strengthening of Ireland’s coastal defences and, thus, renewed focus on naval defence destroyed the rationale for an Irish optical telegraph system. This paper shall, through this case study of Ireland, argue that optical telegraphy was only of significant benefit to nations whose main military force was land-based.
Role: PhD Student
Organisation: National University of Ireland, Maynooth
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