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Overland Telegraph Line - Australia

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1284115.  Mon May 14, 2018 10:35 pm Reply with quote

G'day QI,
A little known piece of trivia and may be useful for the current Australian live shows.

The question?
How did the locals in Darwin communicate with Canberra to tell the govenment that Australia had been attacked when Darwin was bombed in Dec 1941 and then again in Feb 1942 alongside Katherine - ?

The answer - via morse code and repeater stations using the 70 year old Overland Telegraph Line - all 3,000 kms of it, conceived and built by my great-great-grandfather, Sir Charles Todd. Conventional telephone lines were not installed connecting Darwin to Adelaide until April 1942.

Incidentally, Sir Charles' wife was Alice - hence Alice Springs and of course the Todd River is named after him.

BTW - the original join near Frews Ponds - completed on August 22, 1872 - is still intact today.

Finally - South Australia is physically bigger today than it was when Sir Charles first arrived in 1853. He competed the telegraph line from Melbourne to Adelaide, and then used galvanic instruments to measure the longitude. The original surveyors had pegged out the Victoria/South Australia and NSW borders incorrectly - Todd moved the boundary eastwards to the agreed longitude as South Australia became a bigger State!

cheers and have a great day.

Julian Todd
Great-great-grandson of Sir Charles Todd[/b]

1284117.  Tue May 15, 2018 3:40 am Reply with quote

Greetings Julian. WTTF.

If it wasn't for one of my ancestors, your ancestor wouldn't have been able to do his job. My great-<however many times>-great uncle was one Samuel Morse. I haven't done any research into it, but I remember my great grandma, whose maiden name was Helen Morse, telling me about it. That's good enough for me!

1284132.  Tue May 15, 2018 7:46 am Reply with quote

I'm guessing great great great great great uncle. He was born in 1791, and I reckon you're a bit younger than me (born in early 70s?), so about six generations.


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