The earliest practical trial of electrical telegraphy was made in 1837 on the London and North Western Railway, and the first public line under the patent of Wheatstone and Cooke was laid from Paddington to Slough on the Great Western Railway in 1843.
Nevertheless, transoceanic wireless telegraphy over long distances, such as those across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is a matter to be reckoned with in the future, but it remains to be seen whether the present means are sufficient to render possible communication to the antipodes.
Braun showed that oscillations suitable for the purposes of electric wave creation in wireless telegraphy could be set up in a circuit consisting of a Leyden jar or jars, a spark gap and an inductive circuit, and communicated to an antenna either by inductive or direct coupling (Brit.
Duplex telegraphy consists in the simultaneous transmission of two messages, one in each direction, over the same wire.
Other experiments in inductive telegraphy were made by Preece, aided by the officials of the British Postal Telegraph Service, in Glamorganshire in 1887; at Loch Ness in Scotland in 1892; on Conway Sands in 1893; and at Frodsham, on the Dee, in 1894.
Marconi applied a modified and improved form of Branly's wave detector in conjunction with a novel form of radiator for the telegraphic transmission of intelligence through space without wires, and he and others developed this new form of telegraphy with the greatest rapidity and success into a startling and most useful means of communicating through space electrically without connecting wires.
Leyden jars are now much employed for the production of the high frequency electric currents used in wireless telegraphy (see Telegraphy, Wireless).
Starting from an observation of Marconi's, a number of interesting facts have been accumulated on the absorbing effect of sunlight on the propagation of long Hertzian waves through space, and on the disturbing effects of atmospheric electricity as well as upon the influence of earth curvature and obstacles of various kinds interposed in the line between the sending and transmitting stations.4 Electric wave telegraphy has revolutionized our means of communication from place to place on the surface of the earth, making it possible to communicate instantly and certainly between places separated by several thousand miles, whilst The Electrician, 1904, 5 2, p. 407, or German Pat.
The problem of syntonic electric wave telegraphy is then to construct a transmitter and a receiver of such kind that the receiver will be affected by the waves emitted by the corresponding or syntonic transmitter, but not by waves of any other wavelength or by irregular electric impulses due to atmospheric electricity.
Fleming, The Principles of Electric Wave Telegraphy (London, 1906), chap. vii.; also Cantor Lectures on Hertzian wave telegraphy, Lecture iv., Journ.