Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,972 pages of information and 233,612 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Late 1850s Electric and International Telegraph Co established a private pneumatic despatch system between their stations at Lothbury, Cornhill and the Stock Exchange and operated it for some years.
1858 The company introduced franked message papers and the employment of female clerks.
1860 The Central Telegraph Office was moved from Founders Court, Lothbury to Little Bell Alley, Moorgate (afterwards renamed Telegraph Street).
1861 C. F. Varley became chief engineer.
1863 Josiah Latimer Clark succeeded his brother Edwin Clark as chief engineer to the company, and held this post until the various telegraphic systems were nationalized in 1870. Clark introduced several improvements in the telegraph system, notably by coating the gutta-percha enclosing underground wires with a solution which prevented its decay; he also invented a very effective insulator to carry telegraph wires.
By 1865 C. F. Varley, who had been a member of investigative committee set up by the Atlantic Telegraph Co and the government into the failure of the first trans-Atlantic cable, was appointed chief electrician of the Atlantic Telegraph Co.
R. S. Culley succeeded Varley as engineer-in-chief of the company.
1868 When the government proposed to take-over the telegraph companies, the company objected that it had taken the risks in developing the telegraph, and these were not valued adequately by the government in its proposal. The company wanted to remain independent but it was taken over by the British General Post Office.
1869 Electric and International Telegraph Co was amongst the c.30 telegraph companies to be taken over by the General Post Office. The central telegraph office of the new service would be located at the offices of Electric and International Telegraph Co, where all of the continental, metropolitan and country wires would be concentrated so a request was made to the Metropolitan Board of Works for advice on suitable fire precautions.