» Nonsite Author: Richard Taws
December 15th, 2014
Fig. 7. Giovanni Caselli and Paul Gustave Froment, Télégraphe autographique système Caselli dit Pantélégraphe, 1861. © Musée des arts et métiers-CNAM, Paris/Pascal Faligot
When I was a Telegrapher
By (University College London)

It is to the afterlife of optical telegraphy that this article turns, less to trace a linear technical history characterized by patterns of evolution and decay, rupture and regress, than to suggest that visuality continued to inflect the subject of telegraphy in France after the 1850s, and to draw out some of the ways in which telegraphy provided a means of conceptualizing the historical meaning of diverse media. As the century progressed, the emergence of other media with an ability to conjure the past—most notably photography, in its various forms—did not lead to a decline in telegraphic metaphors: rather, it gave them new life.

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