[ISHMap-List] Help with telegraph maps

Jon Jablonski jonjab at ucsb.edu
Mon Feb 29 22:30:03 CET 2016

What an interesting question.  One could get lost.  In my 10 minutes of
avoiding work that I spent researching this, it’s certainly obvious that
the development of rail lines and telegraph lines were intimately linked.
And the interconnection of systems and building of trans-border lines seems
like a rich research topic.  And both phenomenon grew so quickly, with the
first commercial electric telegraph 1846, and widespread networks by 1860.
  Looks like they started figuring out undersea cables about 10 minutes
after commercial telegraphs became a thing!

Did you see this in WorldCat?

Map of the submarine telegraph between America & Europe, with its various
communications on the two continents.

Groom, Thomas & Co.  1856 (there’s several variations)

                Note the ‘with its various communication on the two
continents” subtitle.

And this:


but it would be difficult to trust the map of Europe I suppose – it seems
pretty sketchy from a data point of view.

And what constitutes cross-border in 1850s – 60s Europe?

Finally: here is a page out of an 1891 Stielers hand-Atlas:


1891 being a little too late perhaps?  And most likely not the
scale/resolution you desire.


Jon Jablonski

Spatial Data Librarian

UC Santa Barbara Library: Map & Imagery Lab

*From:* ishm-bounces at lazarus.elte.hu [mailto:ishm-bounces at lazarus.elte.hu] *On
Behalf Of *Julie Sweetkind-Singer
*Sent:* Friday, February 26, 2016 10:54 AM
*To:* ishm at lazarus.elte.hu
*Cc:* Julie Sweetkind-Singer <juliets at stanford.edu>
*Subject:* [ISHMap-List] Help with telegraph maps

Hi, all,

I’ve got a graduate student in economics looking for the following:

“I am conducting research on the development of communication system in
Europe in the 19th century, especially on the evolution of the telegraph
and railroad networks between 1800s and 1850s. I am looking for some maps
that can show me the expansion of the network across time.”

We have been able to find country-level maps on the telegraph network, but
are having trouble finding maps that show where the telegraph networks
spanned country boundaries or at the continental scale in Europe.

For example, here’s a useful map of just the UK:
http://distantwriting.co.uk/telegraphmap.html .

Here’s another example:

We’ve search on David Rumsey’s site and on Old Maps Online.  I’ve been able
to find some maps out of our own collection that are at the country level,
but nothing more general.  Any ideas or leads?

Many thanks for any help you can provide.




Julie Sweetkind-Singer

Assistant Director of Geospatial, Cartographic and Scientific Data

Head Librarian, Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections

397 Panama Mall, MC: 2211

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305

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