Story: Telecommunications

Telegraphy in the field

The transit of Venus, which took place in 1874/75, was observed in New Zealand by American scientists. Major Palmer of the Transit of Venus Observatory at Burnham was delighted with the work of a telegraphist who assisted them, telling the New Zealand Telegraph head office that:

‘Our telegraphic fittings are now about to be removed and at the close of this connexion with your department I wish to bring the telegraphist Mr White whom you detailed for duty here to your very favorable notice.

‘During the eleven weeks Mr White has been with us he has been very zealous and attentive in his duties and always accurate and careful. We could not have had a better man for the work and I feel that we owe much to his attention and steadiness.’

A week later, the Telegraph Department notified Mr White that a bonus of £20 ($2780 in 2008 dollars) would soon be his.

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: ACFB 8106 W5281 1[15]

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How to cite this page:

A. C. Wilson, 'Telecommunications - Business and cable networks', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 June 2022)

Story by A. C. Wilson, published 11 Mar 2010, updated 1 Apr 2022