Telegraph Key And Sounder, 1850s, 1860s

Prior to radios and telephones, the telegraph was the only instant long distance communication device there was. Letters could take months to get to somone. Travel often took weeks. Allen Pinerton used telegraph communcation very successfully in running his investigative agency. Before he passed on, the telephone had been invented but he wouldn't really use it. To avoid rumors of the attempted assassination of Lincoln, Pinkerton was put in charge of getting him to Washington DC to get sworn in as President, Pinkerton had telegraph lines cut going into Baltimore. Right before the civil war, telegraph lines going into and coming out of Washngton DC had been cut. It was a Pinkerton detecctive Timonthy Webster who first secretly sumggled dispaches out of the White House in a hollow cane. He would travel on horse back to get to another location and then dispatch important Presidential telegraph messages to militarty personal. One message from Lincoln was sent to Allen Pinkerton who had travled back to Chicago to come at once to the White House. Without the telegraph, communication could only be as fast as a horse could travel or a train could get somewhere in those days.

From The Ralph D. Thomas PI Vintage Collection
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