Flying Telegraph Train



Flyinf Telegraph Train

A system of battlefield signal Communications developed by A.J.Myer.

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Mar 2, 2012
Found a good site for info on this. Has some pictures as well.

The Beardslee Telegraph machine (1862) was part of Maj. Myer's dream of Signal Train. It's advantages were that it would operate without batteries and could be operated by men without knowledge of morse code. Unfortunately for Maj. Myer, the Beardslee in operation wasn't as promising (discussion) as many had hoped. The machine required lots of maintenance, didn't send signals as far a distance as battery powered devices, and the device itself fought acceptance from the professional telegraphic community. It also was one of the controversies surrounding Maj. Myer's conflict with Secretary of War Stanton and his command transfer.
The Beardslee operates using magnetos. The magnetos generate the needed power to send electricity over the telegraph wire. In theory, the operator need only to move the lever to a point on the dial representing the "letter" he wishes to send as part of his message. On the receiving end, the dial will move to the corresponding position on the dial. Thus, the signal is sent exactly as it was meant to be sent and, theoretically, without error. The operator need only copy down the characters he sees "dialed".
In practice, however, the operators had to do more than just turn the lever to the correct character on the dial. There was a whole set of steps and procedures for the operation of the machine. Additionally there was a set of procedures which had to be followed by all operators of a Beardslee along a given telegraph circuit in order for messages to be sent. To many operators of the Beardslee, it was complicated and not as easy to learn as promised. Among many, it was considered an "expensive failure". Repeatedly, it was demonstrated that trained operators using a conventional telegraph system could send messages faster than most, if not all, operators using a Beardslee machine. This is due, in part, to the fact that the Beardslee was never allowed to mature. Operators never gained a similar familiarity with its operation as did the conventional telegraph operators with their telegraph equipment.

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