Needle telegraph (1830s)

In the mid-19th Century several private telegraph companies were established in the UK. The Telegraph Act 1868 granted the Postmaster General the right to acquire inland telegraph companies in the United Kingdom and the Telegraph Act 1869 conferred on the Postmaster General a monopoly in telegraphic communication in the UK.

As a result, in the late 19th century, the Post Office took over the telegraph service and its infrastructure. The first commercial electrical telegraph involved needles that moved to convey the message. This example has a polished wooden base and surround with a small sideways pivoting needle in a glass window with green background saying 'GENERAL POST OFFICE'.