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The Prussian army in 1833 assigned such visual telegraph duties to engineer troops.
At the same time that these elementary methods of signal communication were being evolved on land, a comparable development was going on at sea.
Early signaling between naval vessels was by prearranged messages transmitted by flags, lights, or the movement of a sail.
Codes were developed in the 16th century that were based upon the number and position of signal flags or lights or on the number of cannon shots.
Three years later, in the Indian Mutiny, the newly established telegraph, which was controlled by the British, was a deciding factor.
In the American Civil War (1861–65), wide use was made of the electric telegraph.
The development of the flash signaling, adopted in the British navy in 1867, was an adaptation of the Morse code to lights.
Before the end of the 18th century European armies used the visual telegraph system devised by Claude Chappe, employing semaphore towers or poles with movable arms.It employed two adjustable mirrors so arranged that a beam of light from the sun could be reflected in any direction.The beam was interrupted by a key-operated shutter that permitted the formation of the dots and dashes of the Morse code. Because consistency and regularity of sunshine were important, the heliograph was never widely adopted throughout the armies of continental Europe.In the 17th century the British admiral Sir William Penn and others developed regular codes for naval communication; and toward the close of the 18th century, Admiral Richard Kempenfelt developed a plan of flag signaling similar to that now in use. In his successful demonstration of electric communication between Washington, D.Later Sir Home Popham increased the effectiveness of ship-to-ship communication by improved methods of flag signaling.telegraph by Samuel F. C., and Baltimore in 1844, he provided a completely new means of rapid signal communication.
Beginning with the Crimean War (1854–56), telegraphic communication became an indispensable tool of command, intelligence, and operational coordination, particularly in controlling rail…