Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic Imaginary 1857-1900
Between 1857 and 1866 the public's attention was caught by the drama of the repeated attempts to lay a submarine cable across the Atlantic for the transmission of telegraphic messages. Over subsequent decades, a range of technical constraints led to concerted scientific endeavour to overcome obstacles in the sending of messages electronically. This project draws on discussions of twenty-first century digital culture and its limit points to establish why it is that the scrambling of messages was as significant for Victorian culture at large as the sending of flawless messages. It is our hypothesis that pleasures and excitements produced by the new technology were productive of new cultural forms in literary writing and fine art... More
The project team
We are an interdisciplinary group from fields as diverse as engineering, art history, English and archaeology
What we do
We meet fortnightly to explore and discuss telegraphic imaginings in Victorian literature, engineering, and the arts (1857-1900).
Read our most recent thoughts on our blog. We hold frequent events to disseminate and share our work and are producing a selection of teaching resources for use in schools. Scrambled Messages has also funded the cataloguing and digitization of the Wheatstone collection, which is searchable here.
Groups we work with
We have links with a number of related projects
The Information Age Gallery @ The Science Museum