The Telegram: Answers

1. ​The telegram is a device which transmits telegraphs.
False: ​It is the opposite. The telegraph is a device which sends, from point A to point B, a coded message called a telegram. 

2.​The Frenchman Claude Chappe invented visual telegraphy.
True:​ In 1792, Chappe invented a system of visual communication called semaphore. Signals (letters or numbers) were sent from one tower to another with the help of movable wooden arms. However, this method of communicating was not practical at night or during inclement weather. 

3.​The Morse code, invented by American Samuel Morse, gradually replacedvisual or semaphore telegraphy.
True: ​In May 1844, Morse sent the first telegram in Morse code directly from the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland. This new mode of communication soon spread across America and throughout the world.

4. ​The Morse code is a system of signals transmitted with the help of flags or illuminated beacons.
False:​ The Morse code is an electrical rather than a visual communication system. It consists of a combination of standardized short and long signals, or dots and dashes separated with spaces. 
In broad terms, the signals are transmitted from a wooden apparatus equipped with two levers which oscillate vertically. The electrical system quickly became popular because it was much more reliable than the semaphore system using flags or beacons. Indeed, it could be used at all times and in all kinds of weather. Joe and Lillie LaFlamme sent or received telegrams using this mode of communication. 

5.​The telegram service is still in use today. 
True: ​Contrary to popular belief, telegrams are still in use today.
According to iTelegram, an international telegram delivery service, 17 million telegrams are sent yearly! But why is the telegram so prevalent? Firstly, delivery of the message is guaranteed even where Internet services are sporadic or nonexistent. The only requirement is a street address.​
​This mode of communication serves many purposes, some of which are legal notifications such as contract cancellations, urgent correspondence, marriage invitations, anniversary wishes, death announcements and expressions of sympathy. 
The telegram is also accepted in the court of law because it is averifiable proof given that a copy of all telegrams is generally kept for seven years. 


Cité des télécoms. Histoire des télécommunications : L’âge classique (des années1790 aux années 1950, De Chappe au télégraphe électrique,, retrieved October 26, 2021.

iTelegram,, retrieved October 26, 2021.

Musée de la poste. Télécommunications : Postestélégraphes et téléphones,, retrieved October 25, 2021.​

Wikipedia. Optical telegraph,, retrieved November 2, 2021.