Eli5: How did telegraphs function?

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Eli5: How did telegraphs function?

In: Technology

The telegraph uses electric signals. The sender makes and breaks an electrical contact, similar to how you can flip a light switch on and off, which creates a sound on the receiving end. The signal travels through a long electrical wire to the receiving end where an another person interprets and transcribes the sounds to text form or speaks it out loud.

Electric telegraphs simply connected a voltage at one end of a wire that caused an electromagnet to attract a piece of metal at the other end, causing a click. The spacing between the clicks, short or long, were read as dots and dashes making letters and numbers in Morse Code. Later versions used different codes, similar to modern ASCII, that could print the letters automatically so people didn’t have to know Morse.