Telegraphic Communication – progress report

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Telegraphic Communication – progress report

Post by Sduddy » Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:22 pm

Clare Journal, Mon 28 Mar 1870:
Local and District News. The Ennis Telegraph. Complaint is made by merchants, traders, commercial travellers, and visitors of the inconvenience experienced when sending messages by telegraph owing to the post-office in Ennis not having been yet appropriated to that use. Persons must go to the railway station, which is a long way from town, to transact business through that medium.
Clare Journal, Mon 8 Aug 1870:
The Telegraph. The Telegraph poles for wires to connect Ennis direct with Gort, Athenry, and Galway, have been erected within five miles of the town, and in a few days will extend to the Post-office, in Jail-street, where all messages will thenceforward be received and transmitted. This accommodation has been long looked forward to by the public, who experienced considerable inconvenience by having to go so far as the railway station.
Clare Journal, Thur 15 Sep 1870:
The Telegraph. The wires have been constructed, and conveyed into the Ennis Post office, where after Saturday next all public business in the Telegraph department will be conducted.
Clare Journal, Mon 28 Nov 1870:
Local and District News. The Government has issued orders to the Irish Postal and Telegraph department to expedite the construction of the wires to the fullest extent along the whole Irish coast, extending to Loophead and Carrigaholt, on the Lower Shannon. No time is to be lost in carrying out this order.
Clare Journal, Thur 5 Jan 1871:
Local and District News. The telegraph inspectors and engineers are busily engaged on a survey in this and the west Clare district, arranging for laying down the wires in connection with the post-offices of country towns. Newmarket is likely to be one of the first that will partake of the benefit.
Clare Journal, Thur 23 Feb 1871 (taken from the Irish Times - I think):
Postal Telegraph in Ireland. Our readers doubtless have observed that week by week we have notified the opening of post-offices in Ireland for the transaction of telegraph business, and now that the State has had the control of the telegraphs for a little over twelve months it may not be out of place if we glance at the progress made in Ireland by the Post Office towards fulfilling the engagements entered into with the public.
There cannot be two opinions that, prior to the transfer of the telegraphs to the State, telegrams were sent and received only by a limited section of the community, and the reduction of the tariff to the present uniform rate of one shilling has done much to popularize telegraphy, and bring it within the reach of all classes. This, however, is not the only alteration likely to lead to a general use of the telegraph. The late companies, for obvious reasons, never opened an office unless they were assured that the amount of business would at any rate cover the working expenses, and that at the beginning of last year there were only 118 offices in the whole of Ireland, and more that two-thirds of this number were at railway stations.
During the twelve months just expired 114 additional offices have been opened, but large as it this increase it represents only a portion of the actual number included in the scheme the completion of which ultimately will enable the public to send telegrams from every money-order office.
Greater progress even that this would have been made if the department only had to extend to new offices, but the heaviest portion of work hitherto done has been that of restoring and improving the existing lines, and replacing old-fashioned and worn out instruments with new and more perfect ones. On this point we can speak with the utmost confidence, for the new Postmaster-General, in his speech to the electors at Limerick, upon his reselection three weeks ago, stated that “since the transfer, 595 miles of line have been renewed, comprising the examination and part re-insulation of about 2,400 miles of wire; 2,042 miles of new wire on existing poles on railways have also been erected, and 234 miles of line on roads in the shape of loops between railway stations and post-offices, making a total of 2,274 miles of new wires.” And also: “The following apparatus has been sent to Ireland, and a great deal of it is at present in use: 327 single needle instruments, 68 Morse Printer instruments, 272 sets of acoustic instruments, nearly 25,000 battery cells, and 500 other descriptions of apparatus.” That the reduced tariff, the benefit of which was specially felt in Ireland, and the improved accommodation have been largely appreciated, is clearly shown by the fact that the number of messages in this country has increased from about 6,000 to nearly 12,000 weekly. We believe that we are correct in stating that one half of this number are messages sent by cable to England and the Continent.
It will be easily understood that tot meet this large increase of business a great addition to the staff of the late companies has been necessary. About the middle of last year schools were established in Dublin, Belfast and Cork, for the purpose of training young men for employment as telegraphists, and these schools have answered their purpose so well that upwards of 150 youths have been qualified for junior positions. This statement might not be considered satisfactory by the writer of a letter which appeared in a contemporary, and who complained of the youthfulness of the telegraphists, but we believe that the art of telegraphy must be acquired in early life, and that is an extremely rare circumstance to find a good telegraphist who did not commence to acquire his knowledge between the ages of 14 and 18. In confirmation of this we may say that the expert operator, who has charge of our office of the Irish Times Special Wire, entered the service of the Electric Company when at the age of 14.
For some little time previous to the transfer, one of the old companies had obtained through the agency of the Queen’s Institute, Dublin, a number of young women, who had acquired the rudiments of telegraphy in that establishment, and we are glad to find that the Government intend to continue to employ females so far as is practicable. We notice with pleasure, in the prospectus of the Queen’s Institute, that there now are two teachers in charge of the telegraph class in place of one as formerly, and it seems, therefore, that the Post Office is really extending the field of female labour.
It may not have occurred to our readers that with the exception of the lines of telegraph along certain of the railways permission has to be obtained for the erection of every telegraph pole. The public, however, generally have very cordially assisted the Post Office in carrying out the scheme. Only one or tow isolated instances to the contrary occur to us. [the rest of the report, which seems to have been taken from the Irish Times, a Dublin newspaper, focuses on Dublin and the laying of new wires and pneumatic tubes there].
Clare Journal, Thur 16 Mar 1871:
Local and District News. We are glad to learn that the Post Office authorities are about to open more commodious and central premises for discharge of the public business, and general accommodation, than those at present used in Jail-street, where, we are bound to say, every possible facility was at all times afforded by the obliging and courteous Postmaster, Mr Frisby, consistent with the extent of the place. The telegraph business being now added at all post-offices where the wires are in operation, renders it necessary to have increased facilities, respecting which the Town Commissioners recently sent forward a memorial to the Lord Lieutenant. An Inspector of Post-offices visited Ennis yesterday, and, as we are informed, the very commodious and central residence of Dr Dillon, Jail-street, has been decided upon as the new office.
Clare Journal, Mon 27 Mar 1871:
The Telegraph. Arrangements have been made for constructing the telegraph wires from Ennis to Kilrush, Kilkee, and on to Carrigaholt, as expeditiously as possible, so that communication may be established before the 1st of May.
Clare Journal, Mon 1 May 1871:
Local and District News. Ennis Post-Office. The premises in Jail-street, opposite the Clare Journal Office, lately occupied by Dr. Dillon, who has removed to a more accommodating place of business in the same street, having been taken by Government from Mr Rynne, are about being fitted up as a new Post-Office for this town, which as very much required, and petitioned for by our local Commissioners. In carrying out the alterations necessary for public accommodation, it is hoped that authorities will in time pay due attention to the requirement of the Telegraph department for general purpose, so as not to clash with the postal business, which is in itself very heavy and onerous.
Extension of the Telegraph. Considerable progress has been made with the extension of telegraphic wires from this to Kilrush, which it is expected to reach in about a fortnight. The wires from Kilrush to Kilkee, will than be constructed, and afford great facility to visitors. The work is being carried out with great vigour under Mr William Humphries, district inspector, who is most indefatigable in expediting operations.
Clare Journal, Mon 15 May 1871:
The Telegraphic poles and wires to Kilrush and Kilkee being now complete, offices will be opened at each. Branches to Corofin, Ennistymon, Miltown, Killadysert, Tulla, &c. will be established by degrees.
Clare Journal, Mon 22 May 1871:
Telegraph communication has been established to Kilrush and Kilkee, and messages will now be transmitted to and from all parts.
Clare Journal, Mon 29 May 1871:
The Telegraph offices at Kilrush and Kilkee will be occupied by official clerks and opened to the public on Thursday next, 1st June. The Carrigaholt station is intended to be one of importance for a submarine cable.
Clare Journal, Thur 8 Jun 1871: T
elegraph Communication. The business of the postal telegraph offices opened yesterday at Kilrush and Kilkee, and a number of messages were transmitted. It is expected Killadysert will be the next station opened in this county.
Clare Journal, Mon 3 Jul 1871:
Telegraph communication is established at Killadysert, and Corofin is the next town in Clare towards which the wires will be constructed.
Clare Journal, Mon 24 Jul 1871:
Injuring Telegraph Insulators – caution to juveniles. At Ennis Petty Sessions on Friday, before Pierce O’Brien, Esq., J.P., three youths names John Houlihan, John Lewin, and James Flynn, who reside in the neighbourhood of the Turnpike, were brought up on a charge at suit of Constable Daly, for having thrown stones at the insulators on the telegraph wires, in the vicinity of New Hall, with the intent to demolish them.
Mr W. Humpries, Inspector of Telegraph Lines, Mr Harte, Examiner and Inspector of Telegraph Department, and Mr John Frisby, Postmaster, were in attendance to watch the proceedings.
The Constable clearly established the fact of having seen the three boys pelt at the telegraph insulators, but could not swear they hit them.
The defence was that it was crabs (small apples) the lads were merely throwing at the wires by way of casual amusement, and not with an intent to break the insulators on the pole tops, or do any damage.
Mr Humphries represented that according to the law the punishment for such an offence was a fine of £10 or 3 months imprisonment, but as it was the first case of the kind in Clare, and as the lads stated that they had no intention of doing harm, he would not press for a heavy sentence. He added that it was due to the character of the county to state that unless at the point in question, near Newhall, where many insulators had been broken, not the slightest damage in any way occurred along the whole line from thence to Kilrush and Carrigaholt. He represented the great inconvenience to the public communication that may result through the most trivial injury to the insulators in any way.
Mr Frost, solicitor, interposed for the accused, who had no intention of doing any injury, and would never throw at the wires again.
The Court read the juveniles a very severe reprimand, and wished it to be publicly known that if any persons were again brought forward charged with a similar offence, or in any way injuring the telegraph wires, the full penalty of 3 months imprisonment would be given.
In the present case his worship would let the lads off with a fine of 1s each.
Clare Journal, Mon 31 Jul 1871:
The New Post-office in Jail-street, Ennis, will be opened in a few days. It is fitted up in good style with compartments well suited to public accommodation, and increased facility will be afforded for the telegraph department, the business of which has recently much increased. There is now a special wire direct from Ennis to Dublin.
As we have already announced, Corofin is the next post town to which telegraph communication will extend in this county. Ennistymon, Lahinch, Lisdoonvarna, and Miltown Malbay, will afterwards be taken up. Mr William Humphries, Inspector, with staff, is losing no time in carrying out operations.
Clare Journal, Mon 7 Aug 1871:
The Telegraph in West Clare. The following telegram from Rev M Meehan, Carrigaholt, and its reply from Colonel the Right Hon W Monsell, Posmaster-General, by telegram also, we feel much pleasure in publishing;- “Carrigaholt, July 27, 1871. Right Hon Sir – I have the honour, on behalf of the Far West of Clare, to thank you for the great boon you have conferred by giving telegraph communication to Carrigaholt. This county is so close to Limerick that we can largely share with your respected constituents in the pride they feel in having an Irish gentleman – and that gentleman their own popular representative – selected for your important office. The universal satisfaction given by your administrative ability, proves the wisdom and justice of their selection.”
“London. Dear Father Meehan, - Many thanks for your kind dispatch. I was very happy to receive it.”

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Re: Telegraphic Communication – progress report

Post by Sduddy » Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:04 am

Clare Journal, Thur 28 Sep 1871:
Local and District News. The public experience great facility since the new post-office was opened in Jail-street. The premises are admirably suited for the purpose, owing to their central position, while the interior is fitted up and arranged for general accommodation in a very business-like way. Mr Frisby, the obliging Postmaster, must feel well pleased at the agreeable change, owing to the enlargement of the space devoted to officials for duty. The Postal Telegraph office is in connection with the establishment, where three young ladies are employed as operators, namely, Miss N. Kelly, Miss B. Coghlan, and Miss Carey. Railway station – Miss Fanny Coghlan.
Clare Journal, Mon 11 Dec 1871:
Strike of Telegraph Clerks. On Friday, at 25 minutes to 12 o’clock, Irish time, on the bell ringing from London advising the clerks at the General Post Office that important intelligence was about to be transmitted, the male employees, numbering about 60, with a number of young ladies, who were working in the circuits, rose from their instruments en masse, and refused to receive or transmit messages. Immediately afterwards alarms from Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow, Cork, and other large towns, announced that the strike had become general. The alleged cause of this extraordinary proceeding is that the Government have failed to concede the scale of the classification according to service as sought for by the whole body of telegraph clerks and promised by the Government for nearly two years. The office at which messages are received for transmission presented a curious appearance. Crowds of professional and mercantile men besieged the counter, demanding that their communication should be forwarded. Notices, however, were quickly posted up announcing that no messages could be received, and that if received the authorities could not undertake to transmit them within any definite period. It is impossible to describe the confusion which the action on the part of the clerks has caused in all classes of society. It is right to add that the authorities at the Dublin Post Office exerted themselves to the utmost in a vain endeavour to induce the clerks to perform their duties until the Postmaster-General could be consulted. The clerks in charge, and the heads of departments, did not leave their posts, and at about three o’clock business was partially resumed, every available person being pressed into the service, including Post Office clerks and even messengers. [More here on background to the strike and the (failed) negotiations leading up to it]. For several days past the heads of the organization had been in communication with Mr Scudamore before whom they had placed their demands, but no satisfactory reply was received, and they resolved to await until 12 o’clock yesterday for his answer. No answer being received at that hour the strike took place. [the report continues here]
I don’t know if the Telegraphists in Ennis left their posts and joined the strike – I would have liked to know, but don’t see a report. At any rate, they benefitted from the settlement of the strike:
Clare Journal, Mon 1 Jan 1872:
The Telegraph Clerks. By order issued on Friday from the Postmaster-General’s department, the salaries of all the officials in Ireland (employees) were on Saturday increased by 12 and a half per cent from the former pay, and to make the boon more acceptable, it had a retrospective effect from the 1st September last, extending over a period of sixteen weeks. In our town Mr Frisby, Postmaster, paid the additional rate, and back stipend, to the young ladies in the postal department here. In addition to this arrangement the new classification which will conduce to further augmentation of the clerks’ salary, will shortly take place.

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