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Women as Telegraphists

Women telegraphists

Victorian working-class women were - by definition - obliged to take employment. Many jobs were available to them in workshops, laundries, factories and the homes of the better off. Therefore to be a middle-class women was to be in a position where you did not need to take up work. If you wanted employment as a middle-class women (to pass the time until you married of course) it had to be improving, non-physical and safe. It had ...


And the Winner is...

We are delighted to announce the winners of our GCSE/A-level Photography competition, which we ran to coincide with the Victorians Decoded exhibition.  We were very impressed with the standard and variety of work we received and are sure you will agree that the winners have produced striking and thought-provoking images.  We hope you enjoy them!

All our winners receive a goody bag (with thanks to Courtauld Institute of Art, King's College London English ...


Marion Richards: Victorians Decoded and A Childhood on the Seas

The ‘cable themes’ of ‘Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy’ (Guildhall Art Gallery, 20 September 2016 – 22 January 2017), resonate deeply with my own maritime family history. My father, Colin Cameron (1922-1983), was for many years master of the Burmah Emerald, a Burmah Oil Company (BOC) tanker that transported oil from Iran and the former British colony of Aden (now South Yemen) to Pakistan, India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and Burma (Myanmar). My mother ...


Victorians Decoded Photography Competition

James Hook 'Word from the missing', Hook (1877)

Does photography form part of your GCSE or AS/A2 work?  Does your photography convey ideas in imaginative and surprising ways? We are looking for entries from exciting young photographers!


***Deadline Extended: Closing date now 23:59:59pm (BST) on Friday 9th December 2016.***

On September 19th 2016 the exhibition Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy opens at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London. The exhibition is the result of the research project Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic ...


'The Great Grammatizator' wins message scrambling machine competition

Message machineWe are very pleased to announce that Alexandra Bridarolli has won the Scrambled Messages competition to design a message scrambling machine for our upcoming gallery exhibition Victorians Decoded. The challenge she won was to design and build an interactive messaging machine which interprets ‘telegraphy’ freely, and allows the public to take part in the exhibition. Competition was stiff with many great entries so every congratulations to Alexandra and her 'Great Gramatizator'. Read more about Alexandra ...


Fearfully Funny: Making Sense of Nonsense

Testing the recovered 1865 cable Charles Dodgson (who later took the pen name Lewis Carroll) entertained a flight of fancy about teaching.  He embarked on his academic career by tutoring a pupil at Christ Church, Oxford.  He understood the tutor-student relationship to be one where the distance required for authority and deference should be maintained and suggested that it could be represented in the form of the game traditionally known as ‘Whisper Down the Lane’ or (in the sinophobic designation ...


DUPLEX TELEGRAPHY I: HIROSHI SUGIMOTO


Duplex is simultaneous communication between two points in both directions. In terms of telegraphy this means sending messages along a single wire, both ways at once. This capability was developed over several decades, becoming a practical reality in the early 1870s. So that received messages could be understood, it was necessary for both parties to cancel out their own current using matching resistance, effectively silencing their own messages so that the line appeared free to ...


DUPLEX II: JOHN RUSKIN AND SIMEON SOLOMON


Following the reading of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work in terms of duplex telegraphy, our latest discussion considered the same technology in the context of John Ruskin’s lecture on ‘The Technics of Metal Engraving’ in Ariadne Florentina (1873). For Ruskin, engraving is purely linear: the engraver should not be overly (or at all) concerned with representing colour or light and shade, but line is key. This essential truth of engraving should be obvious from the ...