A telegraph on an improved plan was invented by Jonathan Grant
, of Belchertown, Mass.
, as early as 1799.
The inventor set up one of his lines between Boston
and Martha's Vineyard
, places 90 miles apart, at which distance he asked a question and received an answer in less than ten minutes. Until the perfecting of the electro-magnetic telegraph by Professor Morse
in 1844, telegraphy was carried on by means of contrivances visible to the eye. The Morse system is now universally used, but seems yet in its infancy.
The astonishing developments of its capabilities fill us with perpetual wonder, and its use has become an absolute necessity.
Its growth has been marvellous.
In 1846 three men conducted the entire telegraph business in the United States
from a dingy basement in New York City; in 1900 there were 192,705 miles of poles and cables; 933,153 miles of wire; 22,900 offices; 63,167,783 messages handled; $24,758,569 gross receipts; and $18,593,205 expenditures.