Talk:Electrical telegraphy in the United Kingdom/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

Article (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · Watch

Reviewer: Scope creep (talk · contribs) 20:42, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

Initial comments[edit]

I have read the article 8 times now, the spelling is good, layout is good and coverage of content, having read up on it, seems fairly comprehensive at the moment. There is couple of things I have noticed that are not linked, from my own knowledge of the subject, but that can be done covered in appropriate section.


  • The nineteenth century in the opening sentence should be linked.
  • The second Electrical telegraphy is telegraphy over conducting wires - Duplicate link to telegraphy, an explanation of what is it would be more accurate and satisfying.
    • I don't understand the issue you raise of duplicate links. Electrical telegraph and Telegraphy are two separate articles. A definition of "electrical telegraphy" is given and the following sentence explains where this fits into the wider subject. If you are asking for a definition of telegraphy, its own article takes a lot of words to fully delimit it and I think that explanation is best given there. Remember, this article is three levels down from that topic; telegraphy → electrical telegraphy → electrical telegraphy in the UK. For comparison, Battle of Midway, a Featured Article, opens with The Battle of Midway was a decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II... The authors did not feel the need to explain the meaning of either "Pacific Theatre" or "World War II". SpinningSpark 23:09, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
      • Yes. The hierarchy is important it doesn't provide an immediate understanding of the stage, the context for the reader.. I had a think about this last night. That rationale assumes that most people already know what "Pacific Theatre" or "World War II" is and they do. It is repeated ad nauseam on TV. Its almost a universal constant and that is the reason why its not defined. Electrical telegraph is not. Its byzantine, an ancient technology. It is worth noticing that definition of Telegram is not given. Nobody knows what it is either and certainly nobody under 55 would know. The last time I knew about a telegram being sent was in 1992. That was the only time. I didn't know what it was. To get to a definition of telegram, you must read a full half of the article, before you even finished reading the first paragraph of this article. If I was writing I would say something like this to set the context.
        • That is much clear with the additional component. The reader now know three component to bring it into existence. Green tickY
Electric telegraph is the transmission of a message called a Telegram using electrical signals sent across conducting wires between two participants. This is known as telegraphy.
It is a basic definition. Per your delimit comment, it might need more, but not much.
Sorry for breaking up your comment, but you have two entirely different points there. I am very surprised at your comments about this being little known, but as it is unfamiliar to you, you are unlikely to be the only one so I have tried to make it a little more explicit. If you are going to bring TV into it, just about every Western film ever made features a telegraph office or telegraph lines somewhere in it (see Breakheart Pass for instance). Numerous war films include people receiving telegrams. As for your comment on this being an "ancient technology", I would point out that the telegraph lasted much longer into the twentieth century than World War II so that rationale does not stand up. Obviously, you don't watch the right kind of films or read the right kind of books! By the way, not all telegraphy is sending telegrams - they are not synonyms. SpinningSpark 14:19, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
On top of that you still have "telegraphy is telegraphy" in the top left. My eye is automatically drawn to it, when you start reading. What do you think? scope_creepTalk 12:26, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
The article does not say "telegraphy is telegraphy". It says Electrical telegraphy is telegraphy over conducting wires. I fail to see what is wrong with that. It is such a common construction that I would be very surprised if it was proscribed or deprecated in any style guide. At the risk of being accused of an OTHERSTUFF argument, numerous articles use this construction; "horse is a horse", "train is a train", "gun is a gun". Some quite contrived language would have to be used to avoid this simple construction. SpinningSpark 14:49, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
Ok, I've reworded it. SpinningSpark 11:50, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
It is now much clearer. Green tickY
  • Remove the the before radiotelegraphy.
    • The article matches the article in front of "optical telegraph". Both could be removed, but then the conjunction "that" seems out of place and would have to be changed to "which". This is a matter of taste, but I think it reads fine as it is. SpinningSpark 23:09, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
      • I still think it looks weird but minor. Green tickY
  • Francis Ronalds I notice on some names that you introduce them, e.g. the English scientist Francis Ronalds and some others aren't. I would suggest a small introduction for each person.
    • I don't agree with that, it would largely be distracting to the flow of text without any real benefit. In an article about British infrastructure, it is a fairly safe assumption that the people involved are largely British (in fact, they also are largely English) unless otherwise stated. It is very likely that people making technical innovations are engineers/inventors/scientists so no real need to say that either. All the important ones have their own articles if readers want to know more about them. As you point out, there are some exceptions, but I have only done this where it is particularly germane or surprising. For instance, I have given the background of William Mackenzie because it would otherwise be baffling to the reader what he was doing in Singapore and why his interest was medicine, not telegraphy. I'm willing to look at others on an individual basis. SpinningSpark 11:50, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • I wasn't sure about that. I try and introduce them but always seem to end up with a mix bag at the end.scope_creepTalk 12:50, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
        • Again as their is a common nomenclature and doesn't become unbalanced. (edit conflict) Green tickY
  • Francis Ronalds first demonstrated a working telegraph over a substantial distance in 1816, but was unable to put it into use Is there no information on how long a distance? I would take out but was unable to put it into use unless you can provide an explanation.
    • More information, all of it cited, is in the body of the article which address both your points. See my general comment on this below. SpinningSpark 11:50, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • Good. scope_creepTalk 12:50, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
        • I think that if fine per arguments about lede length. Green tickY
  • William Fothergill Cooke, starting in 1836, developed the first commercial telegraph put into operation with the scientific assistance of Charles Wheatstone, the battery invented by John Frederic Daniell, and the relay invented by Edward Davy No linking txt together, seems to be dropped on the page, its a 3 or 4 clause sentence, I can see why but there no explanation of why a battery is needed.
    • Reads better. Green tickY
e.g. In 1836, the first commercial telegraph that built by William Fothergill Cooke with assistance of Charles Wheatstone, who together combined the battery invented by the English chemist John Frederic Daniell to provide power for the signal and the relay invented by English scientist Edward Davy to provide switching Something like that perhaps.
    • I've split it into two sentences separating the development from the key components of C&W. I've also added the needle telegraph instrument to the list of components since that is the central component to the system and couldn't really be left out of a list of key components. I left it out of the previous construction because it is not a British invention and predates C&W considerably. That is the reason for saying "Wheatstone suggested" rather than invented. Hope that's clear. SpinningSpark 14:09, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
    • Coolio. I'll check. scope_creepTalk 16:01, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  • In 1846 the Electric Telegraph Company (the Electric), the world's first telegraph company, was formed by Cooke and financier John Lewis Ricardo.
Seems to be lot of commas. Could be something like In 1846 the worlds first telegraph company, called the Electric Telegraph Company (the Electric) was formed by Cooke and financier John Lewis Ricardo. That is just a suggestion. I'm not keen on a huge number of commas, mostly due to my English teacher in primary school telling me they means taking a breath. They do break up the flow.
There are actually only two commas, and some style gurus insist that a comma-interposed clause should be bracketed by commas at beginning and end. There is thus only one comma-delimited clause here. Note that a second comma is required in your construction just as much as it is needed in mine if that convention is followed. (Spinningspark)
I had a comment about this but I lost it in an edit conflict. I think as long as it cogent, applied equally across the article which it is and common nomenclature, it will be fine. Close this. Green tickY
  • Electric Telegraph Company Should that not be quotes as its a name?
  • Many competing companies arose; chief amongst them was the Magnetic Telegraph Company (the Magnetic) formed in 1850 I would remove chief its domain is people, not orgs. Change to something the most prominent or the largest
    • Changed to "most important". SpinningSpark 14:35, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • Good choice. Green tickY
  • The Electric and Magnetic companies soon formed a cartel to control the market When? Within a year, two years, two months, two weeks?
    • Not essential information for the lead and in any case, I don't think we could put a date on it with any precsion. There was no formal agreement until 1865, but they were clearly cooperating to block competition long before this. It took the UKTC ten years to get off the ground (1850 to 1860) and the cartel was already putting legal obstacles in the way of its formation. 1850 was also when the Magnetic was formed, so cooperation started somehwere in that ten-year period. It was probably a gradual process of mutual understanding, but how much was written down in archives for modern historians to assess I couldn't say. SpinningSpark 14:35, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • That is a reasonable explanation. I couldn't do better. Green tickY
  • bill to cost is done. Green tickY
  • Submarine telegraph cables You have started a new paragraph unrelated to the previous clause. It needs an introduction e.g. To enable transatlantic communications submarine telegraph cables were laid or To enable intercontinental signals/communication submarine telegraph cables were laid
  • Scottish military surgeon William Montgomerie This is the intro bit I was talking about above. You have introduced the person here.
    • See general comments. SpinningSpark 14:57, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • Already detailed. Green tickY
  • synthetic plastics link this, And Gutta-percha, And was ideal Was ideal for what?
    • Synthetic plastics linked. Gutta-percha was already previously linked. I don't understand the last comment, the page already says ...was ideal for making underwater cables.... SpinningSpark 14:57, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • Done. Green tickY
  • Pender. Pender I would perhaps link these two sentences. entrepreneur I would suggest a change to businessman. I don't know if that would be in use.
    • Rather than link two sentences to make one rather long one, I've split off part of the previous sentence.
    • That is done and reads much better. Green tickY
On entrepreneur, I agree that modern concepts should not be imposed on historical events, but entrepreneur is not a modern concept, although it might have been modern then. Using a word that properly describes the concept is perfectly ok even if the word did not exist at the time, as long as the concept existed. If we limited ourselves to contemporary language only then Geoffrey Chaucer's page would be hard to read. In any case, it would appear that the word would have been known. The earliest citation in the OED is to 1762, and this book (reprint from 1863) says that the "modern" sense of the word is due to Jean-Baptiste Say (1767-1832). That's all well within the period we are discussing. Without doubt, it is right to describe Pender as an entrepreneur rather than a just a businessman. He was not running a shoe shop; he organised massive investments in some highly risky ventures on a scale only exceeded by the railways in that period. SpinningSpark 16:14, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
It is a well used word and well understood. It is minor. Green tickY
  • inland ?? were The second one, not needed. eat reduce is better.
    • It's hard to follow what your problem with "inland" is. It is being used in a perfectly normal sense for those companies doing business within Britain as opposed to companies running international submarine lines
      • Mostly because I don't understand it and it doesnt chime. Inland means the in the middle of the country. I would have used terrestrial. Unfortunately no other word for it, so it is either one. It is really minor but terrestrial more accurate and it is a geographic term.
        • Inland does not (necessarily) mean in the middle of the country. See wikt:inland senses #2 and #3. I doubt that the Inland Revenue would accept the premise that I don't have to pay taxes because I live in Brighton! Overland is a possible replacement and actually appears in a proper name, Australian Overland Telegraph Line. I don't like that term so much; inland implies a domestic sense, whereas overland can be applied to international lines crossing borders. SpinningSpark 09:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
          • I was thinking about this last night and combined with your rationale/dictionary. First time Ive seen as a stand-alone word. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 11:41, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
"were", done Green tickY
"eats into" done. SpinningSpark 16:34, 31 August 2019 (UTC) Green tickY
  • The telegraph was never profitable under nationalisation because of government policies. Prices were held low to make it affordable to as many people as possible and the telegraph was extended to every post office issuing money orders, whether or not that office generated enough telegraph business to be profitable
Should it possibly not be: The telegraph was never profitable under nationalisation due to government policies that kept prices low to make it as affordable to as many people as possible as well as extending telegraph to every post office issuing money orders, whether or not that office generated enough business to be profitable The whole context is still telegraphing. Does it still have the same meaning?
It might have the same meaning, but it is a horribly long sentence and difficult for the reader to parse. I think a better solution is simply to semicolon splice the two sentences. SpinningSpark 16:44, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
Yip, it a huge and unbalanced compared to the other short sentenced. Semicolon would be ideal in that situation.
Yes. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 11:44, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • resource That is modern statement. important for military communications.. I don't know.
    • Pretty much the same response as with "entrepreneur". I'm confident that they talked a great deal about resources in both world wars. SpinningSpark 16:44, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • Entrepreneur is a very specific meaning as a person who want create value as profit via a company. Resource is completely generic and I never use. When I started my career, HR used it to mean a group of folk, now it generic meaning is: a group of something. I saw go from a group of folk to group of computers, group of protocols, software dll's, group of configuration items and so on. You also see it software system to group non related items. Its not the correct word I would change it. scope_creepTalk 11:47, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
        • I really don't understand the objection here. It is intended to be a generic term. It was important not just for strictly military purposes, it was much wider than that. And I don't care that HR have been misusing the term for years. SpinningSpark 12:09, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Post Office Telecommunications was separated from the Post Office as British Telecom in 1981 to enable it to be privatised (which occurred in 1984) Reorder.
    • You haven't said what the problem is with the current order. SpinningSpark 16:44, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • It is not a readable sentence. Too much in one in block. I'll give it a go tommorrow
        • Split into two sentences. SpinningSpark 09:54, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
          • That is better and more readable.Green tickY
Early development[edit]

This text on these sections have a much better flow.

  • His source The source of power.
    • What is the issue? SpinningSpark 17:49, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • His source of power. The devices source of power. Minor really.
        • It is the device that is being powered not him. scope_creepTalk 14:29, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
          • Understood. Changed to "The source of power he used". SpinningSpark 14:39, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • static electricity Link it. Its two clicks to get to it.
    • I deliberately did not link static electricity because I did not think it was terribly helpful to the reader in this context. What the reader really needs to understand what is going on here is an article about static generators (already linked). Take another look at the article and if you still think it is helpful, I'll put the link in. SpinningSpark 17:49, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • I noticed it is described in friction machines Was that term that was in use? It is introduced before the static electricity generator term. I think it is ok. Close that. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 12:12, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
        • Friction machine is a specific sub-class of electrostatic generator. SpinningSpark 12:18, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
          • Yip. Its mentioned in that article bringing it too only click away. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 16:38, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • batteries of electrochemical cells batteries, perhaps arrays or shelves
    • Batteries is absolutely the right term here. The term electric battery means one or more cells (originally, a single cell was not considered a battery – and still isn't by language pedants). SpinningSpark 17:49, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • Took me a substantial amount of time to get my head around what you were saying. It is an excellent statement that fits together perfectly.Green tickY scope_creepTalk 11:43, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • surgeon Edward Davy I don't think he is a surgeon.
    • According to his article, he was certainly trained as a surgeon by profession but does not seem to have spent long practicing it. Kieve describes him as a surgeon, McDonald & Hunt describe him as a chemist (meaning pharmacist), Beauchamp describes him as a surgeon, Morus (not a source in this article, but in C&W article etc) describes him as a surgeon. I wouldn't want him doing a heart bypass on me, but there is plenty of grounds in sources for that description. SpinningSpark 17:49, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • I must have read the top sentence in the lede. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 12:12, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • electromagnet Not linked, although linked below
    • Done, but I couldn't find a second link. SpinningSpark 17:59, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • Thats fine. Green tickY
  • Davy began experimenting in telegraphy in 1835, demonstrated his telegraph system in Regent's Park in 1837 over a mile of copper wire,[7] and held an exhibition in London, but after his marriage broke down he abandoned telegraphy and emigrated to Australia
Split up the sentence. Davy began experimenting in telegraphy in 1835 and two years later demonstrated a telegraph system that used over a mile of copper wire in Regent's Park and this led to an exhibition in London. However after his marriage broke down he abandoned his experiments and emigrated to Australia Does it really need the marriage bit? It is muddled.
Split into two. I think the reason for Davy abandoning telegraphy is important. Some sources think Davy's system was very promising and he had a number of railway companies interested. Cooke and Wheatstone were worried enough to mount legal challenges and the ETC thought it important enough to buy up his patents to stop rivals from using them. His system could easily have become the leading system in the UK instead of C&W, so yes, his walking away was significant. SpinningSpark 10:43, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Its better.Green tickY
  • Commas before and e.g. ,and. Grammerly states as it is two linking clauses the comma is not needed. I don't know what your thoughts are on it. I no longer put them in, as you don't breath at that point.
    • I try not to think about commas at all if I can help it (but see the quote from Lynne Truss on my user page!). Rules you learn at school (like the one about breathing) often turn out to be oversimplifications of the real world and not absolutes. Where "and" is a conjunction of two clauses, I don't think a commma is right except where it is used to put emphasis on the second clause (", and she had the cheek to criticise my hat) or avoid confusion. Where "and" marks the final item in a list, MOS:SERIAL does not either prescribe or proscribe a comma, but an article should be internally consistent. Americans have occasionally told me that they were taught in school that serial commas are mandatory, but this article is not in American English and that sounds like another school invented rule to me for the purpose of simplifying teaching. Where specifically do we have a problem in this article? SpinningSpark 11:23, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Yip. It could be a bit of work and its not driven by rules although it would be good grammar. Close it. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 14:29, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The driving force in The person who was the driving force

  • Cooke initially made a telegraph with a clockwork detent mechanism operating electromagnets Why? What is detent? Ive never heard of it.
    • Are you asking why he used clockwork? Not possible to ask him now being as he is dead, but he probably found mechanical systems much easier to understand than the new electrical technology. Clockwork was a very familiar technology and was adapted for all sorts of things in the Victorian age whereas electrical systems were entirely new. Detent is wikilinked for those that need an explanation. SpinningSpark 00:35, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Lol. He made telegraph with clock mechanism that consisted of an arresting wheel that activated electromagnets. The second half of the sentence is not there, explaining why he was doing it. scope_creepTalk 14:37, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
        • You are asking me a question about Cooke's motives that I can't answer. Maybe he thought he could make money out of it. Or maybe he wanted the world to have a fast, easily accessed form of communication. Or maybe he just liked tinkering. I can give you my opinion on his motives, but without a source explicitly saying what was driving him, nothing can be written in the article. SpinningSpark 15:03, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
      • [1], [1] There is a fairly long discussion about it. scope_creepTalk 14:48, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
        • The Science Museum exhibit is Cooke's alarum, not his telegraph. Although related, the telegraph is necessarily more complicated. You seem to be requesting a deeper explanation of the device. I don't think that that is appropriate for this article, especially as it is not in the mainstream of telegraph development. SpinningSpark 15:03, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
          • Thats fine, but still doesn't make sense. It just stops. It states: The person who was the driving force in establishing the telegraph as a business in the United Kingdom was William Fothergill Cooke. He was initially inspired to build a telegraph after seeing a demonstration of a needle telegraph by Georg Wilhelm Muncke in March 1836. He built a prototype shortly afterwards, but did not pursue this design.[9] Instead, he looked for mechanical solutions because he believed that the needle telegraph would require multiple wires, each driving a separate needle.[10] Cooke initially made a telegraph with a clockwork detent mechanism operating electromagnets then it is The first mechanical apparatus was built in 1836 If it was cooke that built the first mechanical apparatus, then the previous sentence should something like: Cooke initially made a telegraph with a clockwork detent mechanism operating electromagnets but was unsuccessful. It essentially comes to a halt and then moves onto another subject, which is the first mechanical apparatus.
            • Is the problem here that you think the clockwork mechanism and the mechanical telegraph are two different things? They're not. If that's the problem I'll try to clarify it. SpinningSpark 17:25, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
              • No its not that. Looking at it: He built a prototype. Looking looked for mechanical solutions as thing needed multiple wires. He built a telegraph.
It states Cooke initially made a telegraph with a clockwork detent mechanism operating electromagnets ... that was unsuccessful. Initially suggest the beginning of something and something to follow. That bit, something to follow is missing. That section doesn't gell. I'll take a look at the sources and see what say as I can't heed or tail of it. scope_creepTalk 23:40, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── He made a clockwork mechanical system, unsuccessfully pitched it to the railways, then abandoned it in favour of needles after scientific advice. The basic facts are quite clear, you don't need to look in the sources. No doubt my description needs some work, but it is all in sources. I am still struggling a bit to understand the problem. The bit that follows the initial mechanical system is the needle telegraph system. SpinningSpark 09:09, 4 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ William Fothergill Cooke (21 March 2013). Extracts from the Private Letters of the Late Sir W. F. Cooke: Relating to the Invention and Development of the Electric Telegraph. Cambridge University Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-108-05274-0. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
Then it should be Cooke initially made a telegraph with a clockwork detent mechanism operating electromagnets then abandoned it in favour of needles after scientific advice or Cooke initially made a telegraph with a clockwork detent mechanism operating electromagnets then abandoned it after scientific advice
That suggestion is putting things out of historical order again. This edit was made to put the events in historical order as a result of the point raised below. The original version was actually much closer to what you are now asking for. Can I ask you to revisit that version which may be a better starting point. SpinningSpark 22:04, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
It is really decent of you to rewrite the section. I did have quite a substantial paragraph laid but I had a look at some sources and it seems to reflect the structure you have already. I think the work shouldn't be here, but in the Cooke article, which is sadly lacking. When taken in light what I have read it and the linking in section context, for want of a word, it seems to ok. I still don't like the way it is structured, but at least the reasons for it and once the Cooke article is updated I will be better. Close it. Green tickYscope_creepTalk 17:05, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Cooke had initially been inspired to build a telegraph after seeing a demonstration of a needle telegraph Inspired. Ok sentence but why is mentioned now when it is already stated built a device and spoke to people.
    • It was to keep the discussion of the choice of needle telegraphs in one place. If it hadn't been for Wheatstone recommending that path, Cooke would never have gone down it and the early playing with needles would hardly have been worth mentioning at all. But I've reorganised the whole para and historical order works just as well. SpinningSpark 00:35, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • five needles Was that not because the Baudot was 5 characters groups?
  • Both applications were for signalling with rope-hauled trains and both railways rejected electrical telegraph signalling in favour of steam-driven whistles Should it not be but
  • The first success came in 1838 when a five-needle telegraph was installed by the Great Western Railway from Paddington station to West Drayton and used on the stations between Paddington and West Drayton
    • I don't think so. In "the M1 was built from London to Birmingham" we wouldn't necessarily add "...with junctions at every intervening town." SpinningSpark 11:53, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The cables were originally laid in underground conduit in an
  • The profession of telegraph operator had been created for the first time Possibly The new profession of telegraph operator known as a Telegraphist was created for the first time.
  • This extension was done at Cooke's own expense, the railway company was unwilling to finance a system it still considered experimental This extension was done at Cooke's own expense as the railway company was unwilling to finance a system it still considered experimental
  • A flat rate of one shilling was charged regardless of message length, unlike later pricing schemes, but many people paid this just to see the strange equipment I would unlike later pricing schemes It is very early days and they wouldn't have known their pricing or what the real price should be for profitability, so no real comparison could be made with future price plans.
    • Done. Obviously, that wouldn't have been a consideration for Cooke, but I don't see anything wrong with making the comparison for the reader. Kieve certainly notes this explicitly. Anyway, I don't think it's essential to keep it, the point is implied in any case. SpinningSpark 14:50, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Telegraph companies[edit]
  • that is It is seemingly working as i.e. and it shouldn't as its not asking for another explanation. To make it work as that is and connect it to he proceeding clause take out the comma.
  • Between 1846 and 1868 Does it need a comma?
Electric Telegraph Company[edit]
  • Electric Telegraph Company (ETC) In the lede you were calling it the the Electric. Should there be a common nomenclature?
    • This is a difficult one that I don't think I have a complete solution to, or at least, if I do, I haven't implemented it very well. I want to say somewhere that the names of the Electric and the Magnetic were counterposed to each other in that abbreviated way, and I guess the lead is actually demonstrating that comparison directly. I've generally used ETC in the bulk of the article to avoid frequent repetitions of the full name. I don't want to use Electric, partly because its possible to confuse with other companies who have Electric in their name when not talking in the context of the Magnetic/Electric duopoly, and partly because a major source, Kieve, uses ETC. Although even he occassionaly slides into the alternative term. Another issue is that I would like to be consistent and use initials for the Magnetic as well, but their change of name makes that difficult without being either confusing or inaccurate. Using the full name of the Electric throughout might be a solution, but they had a name change also in 1854, so there is no easy answer to this. SpinningSpark 21:39, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • It was formed without Wheatstone. Cooke and Wheatstone had had a serious falling out over who should take credit for the invention Link them together, something like It was formed without Wheatstone as he and Cooke had had a serious falling out over who should take credit for the invention.
  • was reached with them both taking some credit was reached with both of them taking some credit It a much of a muchness. Eithers good.
  • I notice that some sentences are very short. I suspect that is possibly to give space for the reference number, e.g. The ETC bought out Wheatstone's patent interest in exchange for royalties.[32] They also acquired Davy's relay patent.[33] This is logically one sentence.
    • Done. When a passage is constructed from different references, it tends to lead to the information being placed in separate sentences, but that has not been done to "make space" for references, they can be placed in the middle of a sentence if necessary. SpinningSpark 12:00, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The wayleaves gave the ETC exclusive use It is muddled. Wayleaves is not an entity, it is a byelaw. I don't think it can be spoken about in the first person. I can't make sense of it.
    • You've confused me as well now. First of all, a wayleave is not a byelaw. It is a right granted to an entity to enter the property of another. In the modern era, wayleaves most often refer to rights granted in statute law to a utility company, but wayleaves can also be granted by private companies or individuals. Here we are talking about wayleaves granted by one private company (a railway company) to another private company (a telegraph company) as a private agreement. I'm also struggling to understand in what context you think this is first person. It certainly isn't grammatically. SpinningSpark 12:54, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Could you not say something like The railways gave exclusive use of the wayleaves to the ETC, shutting out competitors from the most economic way of building a telegraph network.
  • Supply of news to newspapers and stock exchange information to the financial sector were profitable too as its a quantity?
    • What? SpinningSpark 22:07, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
      • It think is too. A countable noun so it 'too as you are supply a quantity of something so it too. I looked up to and too as I using to all the time and was wondering what too meant.
        • Which "to" do you think should be "too"? There are two in the clause and neither seem appropriate to me. Neither does adding "too" to the end of the sentence. SpinningSpark 19:18, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • A major user from the beginning was the insurer Lloyd's of London, and they had telegraph instruments installed directly in their London offices in 1852 as Don't know.
    • If you mean they were a major user because they had instruments installed, then no, that is not the intended meaning. SpinningSpark 13:08, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • because prices were high due to high prices

Green tickY scope_creepTalk 17:36, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

  • The ETC remained by far the largest telegraph company until nationalisation Is that in Britain or Europe?
    • The context of this article is telegraphy in the UK so I don't think there is a need to explicitly state that. But to answer your question, Siemens may have been a bigger company, but I have no figures to hand on that so not sure. However, that is not a valid comparison for two reasons. Firstly, by the time of UK nationalisation, Siemens was no longer just a telegraph company. They made many other things and telegraphy may even not have been the majority of their business. Secondly, the continental companies, including Siemens, were not companies running there own telegraph service as the British companies did. They were suppliers of equipment and services to state-run telegraph services. SpinningSpark 22:07, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
      • The article context sets it. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 17:36, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • This company was merged back with the ETC in 1854 merged back into the ETC in 1854
  • Other subsidiaries created which Subsidiary is not mentioned in previous sentenced. Something Other subsidiary companies that were created laid
Magnetic Telegraph Company[edit]
  • Change in nomenclature from abbreviation to magnetic in the section.
    • What action are you requesting? We probably should have a discussion on nomenclature in the general section below as multiple companies are involved here. SpinningSpark 13:34, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
      • This is the thing mentioned about chopping and changing from UKTC to magnetic and so on. So far there is three companies that have a long name and some have a acronym. Discuss below. scope_creepTalk 16:41, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
        • Discussed below so this can be closed. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 23:27, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • initially to initially possibly.
    • The intended meaning of the sentence is not to make the first connection (although that was the intention of the company), but rather that this was the first task of the company. SpinningSpark 13:34, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The first attempt at this failed, as did Comma is not needed. It is a conjunction describing several failures, not a failure and something else.
  • The Magnetic finally succeeded in 1853, allowing Ireland telegraphic connection for the first time to Britain and to mainland Europe Slightly muddled. Possibly In 1853 the Magnetic finally succeeded in connecting Ireland to Britain and mainland Europe with a telegraphic connection.
    • I've rewritten this somewhat, but I still feel we should lead with the Magnetic success rather than the date as this follows on from the previous sentence. SpinningSpark 13:34, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The Magnetic was the largest competitor to the ETC, the two of them forming a virtual duopoly The Magnetic was the largest competitor to the ETC with the two of them forming a virtual duopoly
  • That was the British Electric Telegraph Company (BETC, later to change its name to the British Telegraph Company to avoid confusion with the ETC[51]) founded in 1849 I would split this as the, founded in 1849 is hanging off the end of the sentence. It is confusing on several reads. Something like That was the British Electric Telegraph Company (BETC) that was founded in 1849. It had to later change its name to the British Telegraph Company to avoid confusion with the ETC[51]..
  • They wrongly believed that Parliament would force the railway companies to allow them to have lines Doesn't make sense at the end. access to lines The wayleave context is complex as its a right to access.
  • The whole ETC, BETC nomenclature is very confusing. From The to reference 57 is muddled. I can't understand the section at all. I'll stop here, for fresh reading tommorrow. It not clear at all. It makes more sense now. scope_creepTalk 12:53, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
London District Telegraph Company[edit]
  • The area of the District was to be within four miles of Why was? The area of the District only encompassed an area less than four miles from Charing Cross, with a plan to later expand it to twenty miles.
    • I've changed it to "was limited to..." This was a statutory limitation, not simply the plans of the company. They could apply to increase this to 20 miles, but the decision to allow it was not theirs. SpinningSpark 14:30, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Rooftop telegraphs Is that not roof top cabling?
    • Technically, cabling is the wrong term. In this era bare wires were used, not cables. SpinningSpark 14:01, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
      • May be singular possibly. Were the called that? Might be worth calling it rooftop conducting wire for telegraph possibly.
        • Changed to "Rooftop wires". SpinningSpark 17:19, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
          • Links to the mention of the wires in the lede. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 16:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The cheap prices of the District stimulated a much more casual use of the telegraph. In 1862 the company transmitted a quarter of a million messages. These should be joined.
United Kingdom Telegraph Company[edit]
  • UKTC You have created the acronym without telling the reader.
  • The UKTC, founded by Thomas Allan The UKTC that was founded
    • Fine as it is, and that construction is clunky and ungrammatical. SpinningSpark 22:24, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Act in 1862 Is it not possible to find the act. They are all online now or to give it a name?
    • Probably could be found but I've played this game before and it's not so easy. I don't believe the statutes are online prior to 1988 (if you know different, let me know where). There are tables and indices on gbooks, but they are hard to interpret and often omit the private bills. I don't think it's tremendously beneficial to have it; there were many such Acts concerning telegraph companies and if we have one, why not have them all? These are primary sources and for Wikipedia we need the secondary sources to interpret their significance, which we already have. SpinningSpark 12:37, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
      • That acts are all coming onto Wikipedia, which I'm surprised at as there is a mountain of them. This is the holding list: List of Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, 1860–1879. Eventually they will be linked in although I notice some of them are redirects at the moment. It is minor really and could be a bit of a time waster. You could spend donkeys on it, or put a redirect in . Your gig. scope_creepTalk 16:50, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Universal Private Telegraph Company[edit]

Thats ok scope_creepTalk 15:27, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

  • The District, with low prices and a troublesome rooftop system to maintain showed a loss every year of its existence except 1865 Should be The District, with low prices and a troublesome rooftop system to maintain suffered a loss every year of its existence except 1865
  • The UKTC had come late to the party May be better as as a late competitor
    • This is somewhere I fundamentally disagree with the practice of many Wikipedia copyeditors. Flattening all colourful phrases into boring blandness does not make for the "brilliant prose" that FA talks about. It is not POV, it is not unclear, and it is not against guidelines. Flat language does not make the article memorable or interesting. I daresay someone will remove it eventually (they always do), but I'm not going to do it. SpinningSpark 14:20, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
      • I don't have a thing about florid or colourful language and I never meant it in that context as this is my first review, but the correct word is competition. That's the only thing companies do between themselves unless one of them is a charity (NGO). I agree with fact about flattening it into boring language, tell me about it. Pisses me off severely sometimes but its your call. scope_creepTalk 17:07, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
        • Makes sense to the user in a roundabout way. Green tickYscope_creepTalk 12:25, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

  • agreeing a common price structure, thus destroying their original business model agreeing a common price structure that eventually destroyed their original business model
    • No, their original business model was entirely and immediately dumped by this agreement. It might have taken some time for the consequences to work through, but the change was immediate. SpinningSpark 14:20, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Then it should be agreeing a common price structure that immediately destroyed their original business model
        • Thus means consequently so that is fine. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 22:18, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 1s You refer to one shilling rate above. Should that not convert all the writing as opposed to numerics, e.g. as 1 shilling instead of 1s. 1/6d Might be worth changing it to one and a half shillings.
    • I think that at the point any amount other than whole shillings is introduced it is necessary to start using Lsd nomenclature. It can be introduced earlier if you like, but it can't be omitted. I don't like the idea of using some ahistorical bastardised system of our own devising with decimal shillings. Alternatively, we could state all amounts in words (one shilling and sixpence). SpinningSpark 14:20, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Yes I agree with that but there must be a better way of presenting it to the user, unless its linked or converted to a common value, e.g. shilling. See below.
        • I'll replace the abbreviated annotation which is mostly responsible for confusing people. SpinningSpark 17:23, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 1/6d Is there a conversion for this. It is one and a half shillings.
    • Is that not the same point as above? SpinningSpark 14:20, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Different standard of presentation across different parts of the article dependent on the source of information. If it was ship article convert template to equalise it all across the article but I don't know if such a thing exists for old money. I'll post a help question to try and make it easier for the reader.
        • No, that was just never done. As I said above, it's ahistorical. Americans never understood this system when it was current. Fat chance of getting them to understand it now however easy you try to make it. SpinningSpark 17:23, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
          • I have left a help request. Somebody else must have faced a similar problem.
            • User:John of Reading has come back with {{Pounds, shillings, and pence}} template. It converts the pre-1971 subunits of Pound Sterling to its modern decimal subunits. What's your thoughts? The template has never been used, potentially indicating its not well liked. It can convert based on a flag to pence and that would be my ideal situation. That would rationalise the whole article down to modern pence as a standard value, making the value understandable by the majority of the UK population.
              • Personally, I think conversions of all sorts in any article are clutter that gets in the way of the flow of the text. But I can see that this is likely to keep coming up so I'll give way on it. I don't think that templates are necessary, it is easy enough to convert manually, and too many templates clutter the edit window making editing more of a chore than it needs to be. SpinningSpark 22:58, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
News service[edit]
  • In places where the office was in line of sight Remove in
    • Why? I think a preposition is needed when line of sight refers to the relation between two objects. Gbooks shows "is in line of sight" is a common construction. The results for "is line of sight" are infinitive constructions, words-as-words, or else have a preposition elsewhere in the sentence for at least the first two pages of results. SpinningSpark 16:56, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Submarine cables[edit]
  • To connect the telegraph to anywhere outside of Britain submarine telegraph cables were needed To connect the telegraph to anywhere outside of Britain, submarine telegraph cables were needed
  • The solution came with gutta-percha, a natural latex from certain trees in the Far East The ideal material came with the discovery of a natural latex from the gutta-percha (Palaquium) tree in the Far East
    • Partially done. It would be incorrect to describe gutta-percha as ideal. It was just the best material available at the time, and there were still some situations when it was better to use something else. SpinningSpark 18:12, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Gutta-percha sets harder than rubber when exposed to the air, but will become plastic, and hence mouldable, in hot water. On cooling, gutta-percha hardens again Gutta-percha sets harder than rubber when exposed to the air but when soaked in hot water it become plastic and mouldable. On cooling it hardens again.

  • The material was brought to attention after William Montgomerie, the head of the medical department in Singapore, sent samples to the Royal Society in 1843 Reverse it as The material was bought to the attention of the Royal Society in 1843, when William Montgomerie, the head of the medical department in Singapore sent samples of Gutta-percha to them.

  • In the damp conditions of the tropics rubber deteriorated raidly Is this needed? Seemed to have went to the tropics?
    • I think so because it explains why Montgomerie was interested in it. I've combined it with the previous sentence which gives it better flow. SpinningSpark 09:51, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

  • In 1844–5 he tested, probably short lengths, of cable in Swansea Bay In 1844-1845 Wheatstone tested short lengths of cable in Swansea Bay. Was it short lengths? link Swansea Bay.
    • Done dates and link. It's unclear how long Wheatstone's samples were. It is the sources assessment that they were probably short, not mine. The logic is that if he had had long samples then he must have had a method of applying gutta-percha to long runs of cable. Since it is known that he could not do this, the conclusion is that they were probably short. SpinningSpark 09:51, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Cable manufacturing companies[edit]
  • The rival India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Company was founded in 1864 as an offshoot of S. W. Silver and Co. of [Silvertown]] There seems to be new context. Their main competitor was the India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Company that was founded in Silvertown, London in 1864 as an offshoot of the clothiers and outfitters S. W. Silver and Co..
    • You seem to be introducing new stuff there that is not from the sources. I'm not at all sure about "main competitor". The Gutta Percha Co was taken over by Telcon in the same year as India Rubber was formed, so if they were the main competitor, it was not for long. It seems to me that they had more problems from an internal split company in West Ham (later absorbed into Silver's company). If we are going to talk about Silver's activities, we need to add a source for that (won't be hard to find). The germane thing here is that they made waterproof clothing, the reason they were interested in these rubber materials. SpinningSpark 10:33, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Yip, add another reference for them. The main standout for me is that it is left on the end of the sentence and is not linked. You must give the reader something to tell them what it is. Substituting waterproofing company or waterproof clothing company or something along those lines. And link Silvertown and add London.
  • These were not very successful, they were easily damaged and some attempts to lay cables failed because they would not sink Should be something in context like, Using only the insulation was not successful as they were easily damaged and some attempts to lay cables failed due to them not sinking
    • That seems like unnecessary repetition to me. The context has already been established. SpinningSpark 11:00, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Yip. The first i.e. not successful and easily damaged. Have you informed the reader why they were damaged. I couldn't see it, unless updated.
        • There are many reasons cables can be damaged, not least, by the cable ship's own cable handling gear. I don't think we need to go into that here, there are plenty of other articles for those details. It's enough to say unprotected cables are vulnerable. SpinningSpark 16:02, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The construction found to work well was to twist the cable cores together, bind with tarred hemp, wind tarred cord around the whole group of cores, and then protect the assembled cores with iron wires twisted around them The method of construction that was found to work well...
    • Why is that better? It is less succinct, adding more words without adding additional information. SpinningSpark 11:00, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
      • A construction is final event so you always the method of construction. Your performing an action which is a method.
        • There is no sense of construction which means event. I think you probably mean process which is wikt:construction sense #1. But it can also mean a "thing that has been constructed" (sense #2). Even more relevant in this case is sense #6, "the manner in which something is built". SpinningSpark 22:18, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
          • You have a series of actions, twists, binding, tarring and assembling and you don't think they are methods. I think it will be changed by somebody else at some point. It is not bad. Green tickYscope_creepTalk 17:21, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Exports were a large part of the business, well over £2 million in 1873, 1% of total British manufactured exports Could be Exports were a large part of the business totalling well over £2 million in 1873 and 1% of total British manufactured exports.
Ocean cable companies[edit]
  • The first ocean cable anywhere in the world Remove the anywhere. Anywhere is the world
  • After several failed attempts, the Brett's company, the Submarine Telegraph Company (STC), succeeded in connecting to France in 1851 After several failed attempts, the Brett's company known as the Submarine Telegraph Company (STC) finally succeeded in connecting to France in 1851
    • We don't need to say "known as". That is what the company was called. The word "finally" adds nothing, and this was only the following year, so not a long struggle over many years like the Atlantic cable. SpinningSpark 17:35, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
      • You have the company, the company, two the's. It gives a space for better flow.
        • This is very minor. Close it. Green tickYscope_creepTalk 14:21, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • From about 1857 the Magnetic had an agreement with them that all their submarine cables were to be used only with the landlines of the Magnetic were only to be connected.
    • "Connected" is wrong. In all probability, direct connections between stations in England and France didn't happen much, if at all. The cable company employed operators to retransmit the messages, not just because of the distance involved, but because the codes used in the two countries were different. Morse did not become the international standard until 1865, and neither country was using it in this period (1850s). Automatic code converters were beyond the capabilities of the technology available. SpinningSpark 17:35, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Newall was prone to fall out with his customers and was often involved in litigation. The company slowly moved away from the telegraph cable business Should be joined.
  • UKTC laid a cable... extended it on to Russia.
  • ...monetary guarantees providing
    • That would end up with a repetition, "...provision of...monetary guarantees" is already in the article. SpinningSpark 17:35, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • the Red Sea to India cable in 1859 laid by the Red Sea & India Company It is worth mentioning why it was failure. Is that the Indian Mutiny?
I've changed the requested quote template above, I'm assuming that was a typo. No, the failure had nothing to do with the Indian Mutiny, but the fact that the urgent request for help from India had taken forty days to arrive in London had everything to do with the British Government prematurely placing a contract for the Red Sea cable before properly analysing the reasons for failure of the Atlantic cable. The Red Sea cable failed in multiple places for multiple technical reasons, all boiling down to not yet having a full understanding of what was needed for really long, deep ocean cables. A little more might be said here, but only in general terms, it's a story in itself and could go way off topic for this article. SpinningSpark 17:59, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
That's done. Much clearer. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 14:49, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • was achieved} was finally achieved?

Green tickY scope_creepTalk 21:47, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

  • shorter distance in ocean muddled.
    • Do you have a suggestion? SpinningSpark 18:24, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Kind of makes sense when you read the paragraph and that is how it is structured. Green tickY
    • The 25 nautical miles of the English Channel cable was a long cable. Likewise the Irish Sea cable. This was a cable on a whole different scale, orders of magnitude longer. We need something to differentiate it. I know really is an overused word often unnecessarily inserted (but surprisingly not in WP:WTW) but in this case we need something more than the bare adjective. SpinningSpark 22:46, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
      • I think you need clarify what was considered a long cable possibly linked in section how difficult it was, possibly. If it order of magnitude the reader needs to know.
        • Well here's the issue, there is no official definition of "really long" like there is for very high frequency or extra low voltage. The article is clearly saying that 1,450 miles was really long, a claim supported by the source. The reader can assume from that that no other cable anywhere near this length was in use up to that time since the article says that this was the first, also supported by the source. For us to put an arbitrary figure on it would be WP:SYNTH. I don't think it's truly needed, but I've added "...many times longer than any other submarine cable at that time" which I hope addresses your concern. SpinningSpark 13:46, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
        • That's fine. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 14:21, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • achieved in 1866 achieved by 1866 indicating work was done in the interim.
  • India that went most of the distance that covered most of the distance
  • the political and other risks of an overland route the political and other risks associated with an overland route.
  • Falmouth was originally intended as the landing site in England, but in the event, the tiny village of Porthcurno became the largest submarine cable station in the world after numerous other cables were landed there muddled.
    • I've looked up in the event which in that sense means a future event. Now make sense where is didn't yesterday. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 15:10, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Eastern and Associated Cable Company Possible link or mention of Cable & Wireless plc that it eventually became
    • Eastern Telegraph Company is already linked, and is currently a redirect to Cable & Wireless plc, also already linked. Eastern Telegraph Company may have its own article one day, but Eastern and Associated Cable Company is just a name change of the Eastern Telegraph Company and is never going to have a separate page. There is no point in annoying the reader with a third link that goes to exactly the same article that potentially they have already followed twice. SpinningSpark 17:25, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • best compete worldwide Remove best.
    • No, they were already competing worldwide. They wanted to compete better. Amusingly, WP:PEACOCK uses "best" in exactly this adverbial sense, showing that there are non-peacocky uses for the word. SpinningSpark 17:25, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • carried multiple telephone channels by frequency division multiplexing by using the technique of frequency division multiplexing
    • This is more words that add nothing to meaning. SpinningSpark 17:36, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
      • They carried it using electricity. It doesn't make sense in this manner. FDM is a technique and so says so of the first of FDM article. Please change it.
        • I'm not denying it is a technique, but we still don't need all those words. I'd settle for "using frequency division multiplexing". SpinningSpark 14:27, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
          • That's fine it make sense where before it didn't. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 14:42, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Maintenance and technical problems[edit]
  • This solution is not open to submarine cables and the very long distances maximise the problem Seem to be unlinked concept. Muddled possibly. Seems to be first person.
    • The two things are linked in that it is this combination (need for insulation and long distance) that make the problem severe for submarine cables. This is the second time you have used "first person" in a sense I don't understand. SpinningSpark 18:16, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Your using This and is not rather than The solution was not meaning in first person. I can't understand the sentence at the moment. I'll read it tomorrow. scope_creepTalk 22:08, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
        • You have made two changes in your example text, neither of which is a change of person. Both constructions are third person. A first person construction would be "my solution is..." or "our solution was..." The first change is replacing the determiner this with the definite article the. Determiners fill the same grammatical place as articles and are perfectly acceptable to use in formal writing. In this case, the meaning of the determiner is wikt:this#Determiner sense #2. That is, indicating the solution just mentioned. Using an article is less clear to the reader what solution is being discussed. The other change is a change of tense, replacing the present tense is with the past tense was. The present tense is not incorrect, the solution can no more be done now than it could then. Further, the preceding sentences are also in present tense so a change in this sentence would look odd and be confusing. You may possibly have been referring to active voice and passive voice, but both constructions are active voice and it would be awkward to recast in the passive voice. SpinningSpark 15:39, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
        • It makes a kind of sense but I find even now that it is step change from the previous sentence when you read it. It doesn't chime but the detail is definitely there. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 17:48, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  • ..with heat flow after the fiasco with first the transatlantic cable fiasco is introduced. with first??? Can't make sense of it.
    • That's a typo (now fixed), should be "...with the first...". The fiasco is described earlier in the section when Whitehouse destroyed the hugely expensive cable with a junk theory. SpinningSpark 18:16, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • transmission lines which showed which described.
  • but he was a maverick outsider as he was a
    • That doesn't work. He didn't propose it to the Post Office because he was a maverick outsider. SpinningSpark 18:36, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  • added loading coils to a telephone line for the first time in 1900 Possibly more explanation? Is that inductors that is spoken about.
    • The sentence already says that Campbell implemented the idea [of adding inductance] by adding loading coils. I don't think we need any further expansion when the loading coil article is available for readers who are interested. SpinningSpark 18:36, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
      • The is a link to the inductor in loading coils. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 22:57, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Employment of women[edit]
  • early on No date or decade perhaps
    • I don't have a firm (or even approximate) date that can be sourced as a general statement. The article already says the ETC started in 1855. Another source says the Magnetic was one of the first. Since the Magnetic was founded in 1850, that puts it in a five year window. I can't say exactly when one company doing it became many companies doing it, but competition usually ensures good ideas spread rapidly. I suppose we could say "...early on in the companies period." That is more on-point than an exact date. SpinningSpark 17:37, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Similar with the Magnetic
    • Is that the same point? SpinningSpark 17:37, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Yip I'd say so. Close this. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 19:13, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 10s and 30s. Not change to 10shillings
    • Done. I've now gone through the whole and added conversions as well. SpinningSpark 17:37, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • when it started up began operating
  • New recruits were unpaid until they completed training (typically six weeks) at the end of which they were expected to achieve a minimum transmission speed (10 wpm at the Magnetic[136] and 8 wpm at the ETC) I think this is too long. recruits were unpaid until they completed training that typically lasted six weeks. At the end of the training the recruits were expected to achieve a minimum transmission speed, defined as 10 wpm at the Magnetic[136] and 8 wpm at the ETC.
  • 3d a day Nobody know what it is and doesn't compare on the same scale. On the first scale your a week. On this sentence per day. And you have also changed from shillings to d's meaning pennies. Working seven days a week, it would 1.75 shillings per week.
    • There is now a conversion to p on all currency figures. We can't convert daily pay to weekly pay for WP:SYNTH reasons. We don't know that they both had the same working week, or the same working hours. They probably didn't, with a telegraphist having significantly better terms than a seamstress. It is unlikely that either worked a seven-day week. SpinningSpark 07:50, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
      • You cant compare on two scales. I'll do a bit of research and maybe get a ref. scope_creepTalk 19:13, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
        • It has been cleaned and much much clearer. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 19:07, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Holding down pay and the fact that women were not organised into unions were the primary reasons the companies preferred to employ them Possibly The fact that women were not organised into unions combined with their smaller pay [requirements] were the primary reasons the companies preferred to employ them
    • I've restructured the sentence to make the companies the subject of the sentence. SpinningSpark 09:05, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
      • That is much better flow and assuming it still makes sense. scope_creepTalk 19:13, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Public take up[edit]
  • The ability of the telegraph was first brought to the attention of a wider public on 6 August 1844 when the birth of Alfred Ernest Albert to Queen Victoria was reported in The Times only 40 minutes after it was announced. The ability of the telegraph to deliver news to a wide audience was first brought to the attention of the public on 6 August 1844 when the birth of Alfred Ernest Albert to Queen Victoria was reported in The Times only 40 minutes after it was announced
    • I would say that it was the speed of delivering news that caught people's eye, not the ability to deliver news per se. Besides which, the topic of this passage is the public attention to the telegraph generally, not just its news capability. Public notice was caused by a variety of other reasons as well. SpinningSpark 13:54, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • This was an unprecedented ability in international communications This ability was unprecedented...
  • later price control under nationalisation later price controls after nationalisation' nationalisation should be linked about somewhere. Multiple price controls.
    • Done. I've wikilinked it twice, once on first occurrence, and a second time in the section actually discussing nationalisation since there is a large amount of intervening text and that's where the reader is most likely to want to look it up. SpinningSpark 13:54, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
      • That fine. They know what it is but not what it involved. Green tickYscope_creepTalk 04:50, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • intensive usage of lines and the economic case for building new lines and provide the economic
  • This could only come about, according to Allan According to Allan this could only happen if
  • This could only come about, according to Allan, if the Post Office ran the network as a unified whole, comparing his proposal to the effect of the introduction of the Penny Post. Big sentence
  • A more surprising, and more influential, advocate was John Ricardo, free trade campaigning Member of Parliament, railway entrepreneur, banker, and cofounder of the ETC Bit of a comma overkill. A surprising and influential advocate was the Member of Parliament John Ricardo who co-founded the ETC. Ricardo was a free trade campaigner as well as a railway entrepreneur and banker. I know you should avoid two links together, but some articles need to link to it.
    • I've restructured it along those lines, but not exactly as you wrote. SpinningSpark 15:13, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Much better with a wee bit of introduction. I like those introductions as they smooth the article out and makes it easier to read. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 04:57, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • government tool tool? utility maybe.
    • But it isn't (yet) a government utility, it's a private utility. Besides which, importance as a utility is not the same as importance for diplomacy, military, and political government activities. SpinningSpark 15:17, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Another Act. Here is the list of List of Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, 1860–1879 For this block they are in there, and article being created now.
    • It's being created? Where? I can't find it. SpinningSpark 15:26, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
      • I meant like over 6 months time span possibly, the WP equivalent of being created now. I will be linked later I suppose. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 04:57, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
        • Not all Acts are notable. As this is not my department, I am guided by what articles legal editors have created. SpinningSpark 11:07, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
          • I think it will be put in eventually as it is notable, but it will be a good while. In the meantime it is out of scope.

Green tickY 19:05, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Frank Ives Scudamore the post office reformer Frank Ives Scudamore
Telegraph Act 1868[edit]
  • much parliamentary time significant parliamentary time
  • had the wayleave. had access to the wayleaves tense changes mid sentence
    • A wayleave is a right that gives one access to something, having access to a right to access is repetition. SpinningSpark 16:18, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
    • There is no change of tense; "...did....have..." is still past tense. To be present tense we would write "...does...have...".

SpinningSpark 11:05, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

  • The resulting opposition from the telegraph companies had been expected The resulting opposition from the telegraph companies had been expected by the government
  • In June, the companies started to negotiate In June, the companies started to negotiate with the government
    • Not really necessary, there is no one else to negotiate with. SpinningSpark 16:26, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Fair enough. I must admit I'm not keen on it. People sometimes only read parts of an article and when you provide as much means and information in the sentence they don't need read whole sections to get a context. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 05:08, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
        • The preceding sentence and the following sentence make it clear that the discussion was with the government. Even within the sentence, who else could impose a settlement on them? It would be a spectacular misreading of that para to come to any other conclusion. SpinningSpark 11:00, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
          • Indeed, that kind of paragraph context you could call it.Green tickY scope_creepTalk 14:28, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Comment Again the problem of acronyms. It mentioned STC's cables Resolved. scope_creepTalk 10:52, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The solution arrived at, in a great hurry and afterwards admitted to be not ideal, was to purchase Reuter's cables and lease them back to the STC, together with other continental cables acquired by the Post Office. A bit muddled. In a great hurry the government arrived at a what they considered an imperfect solution and that was purchase Reuter's cables and lease them back to the STC, together with other continental cables acquired by the Post Office

Coolio. scope_creepTalk 13:47, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Post Office Telegraphs[edit]
  • ETC building Expand the ETC here. Minor. I think getting rid of one would benefit the article.
    • Why that one in particular? SpinningSpark 16:39, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
      • It reminds people in a big article what it is. It is minor.
        • It minor. Green tickY for completeness. scope_creepTalk 11:01, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • On the other hand, the Post Office overall remained profitable throughout Muddled. However, the Post Fffice remained profitable throughout this period
    • added "...the period" but I'm not sure of the reason for the other changes. SpinningSpark 16:39, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 6d rate Need rationalised.
  • Its done. Green tickY for completeness. scope_creepTalk 11:01, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment That's a solid chapter.
  • There is no link for the Telegraphers' Association but there is an American association.
    • It could be redlinked, but I'm not seeing enough material (virtually none) to justify a standalone article and there is no target for a redirect. I'm guessing it was rapidly merged, most likely into the Amalgamated Society of Telegraph and Telephone Construction Men which also doesn't have an article. That union merged into the Electrical Trades Union (United Kingdom) and then the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union and then the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union and then Amicus (trade union) and finally Unite the Union after merging with the T&G. A redirect to the current incarnation or any of the intermediates would baffle the reader; only the earliest one would make sense and that is unverified information in any case. SpinningSpark 18:09, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
      • An indicator for an article. scope_creepTalk 19:02, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
        • Only potentially notable subjects should be redlinked because only potentially notable subjects should have articles created. There is virtually no information on this organisation from which an article could be written. SpinningSpark 11:12, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Their pay was still less than the pay in cable and maintenance companies; more Their pay was still less than the pay in cable and maintenance companies resulting in more
  • In 1868 Charles Monk got In 1868 Charles Monk introduced ... that became law. In the next sentence I see. In 1868 Charles Monk introduced a private member's bill in parliament that would extend the vote to Post Office workers and other civil servants. Link to voting.
    • A lot of additional text with no additional information. "Voting" is an everyday word understood by most readers in context. SpinningSpark 18:09, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Please take a look at the voting article. That is the UK process. Sure it is better than got through parliament. You have already got the It became in law in the second sentence. So it is In 1868 Charles Monk introduced a private member's bill through parliament which is the genuine parliamentary nomenclature.
        • I've made the change from got → introduced, but sorry, voting is not a sensible thing to link. Everybody knows what it is, it has no special relation to this article, and the voting article is not even specific to the UK. Did you read OVERLINK? In particular the bit about 2/3 of links on Wikipedia not even clicked once? SpinningSpark 22:16, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
          • I've not read OVERLINK, somebody spoke to me about years ago and by now it seems to be common sense. I wouldn't link it in similar situation. I think it is a pity though. Some common article are often exceedingly different to what you think they're going to be. That's fine. Green tickYscope_creepTalk 19:13, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Exchange Telegraph Company[edit]

Is this not in the wrong location?

I don't think so. First of all, Extel was not a general telegraph company offering a telegraph service to the public, rather, it was a news service that happened to use telegraph technology. Secondly, it wasn't doing much during the companies period, only becoming important in the nationalisation period (probably suppressed by the companies news monopoly). And thirdly, this is where the Kieve source puts it, who similarly devotes a section of the book to the companies and a section to the Post Office era. After all, British Telecom became a telegraph company when it was privatised, but it wouldn't be sensible to describe it under the earlier section. SpinningSpark 08:07, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
That makes sense. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 12:16, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • very minor player very minor competitor
    • Who are we saying they are a minor competitor with? That is out of context with this passage. SpinningSpark 11:32, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Your already saying it. Player means your playing against somebody so it is a competitor. It must be an industry if it is a player. scope_creepTalk 12:20, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
        • Second comment. It is minor really. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 12:20, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Competition from the telephone[edit]
  • You a kind of introduction to William Preece, Post Office Chief Electrician (chief engineer) Does it need it or it provided by the references?
    • Preece was an important figure in the Post Office and I think we should say who he was. Looking at the article, He is mentioned surprisingly little. He had a long running feud with Heaviside (who considered him a technical incompetent – and I kind of agree with Heaviside). His refusal to listen to Heaviside's ideas on loading seriously delayed development of long lines in telephony and gave the Americans the lead. Perhaps we should mention Preece was behind the Post Office rejection in the passage on loading. SpinningSpark 11:32, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • There then followed the founding of a string of private telephone companies; the Telephone Company had the rights to Alexander Graham Bell's patent and the Edison Telephone Company had the rival patents of Thomas Edison, the two later merging as the United Telephone Company (UTC) Split this giant sentence. You could start with There then followed the founding of a string of private telephone companies.
    • I've split off the last part as a separate sentence. The semicolon is used to indicate a run-on sentence of two independent, but related, clauses. In this case it indicates that the companies mentioned in the second sentence are part of the "string" mentioned in the first. They still should be read in two separate parts, so I think that is ok. SpinningSpark 12:25, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • serious damage could be done to the telegraph business serious damage to the telegraph business would have occurred Taken out present tense and reordered.
    • This is a future-in-the-past verb form, for which we do not have a tense in English, but still legitimate and perfectly clear in my view. It is not the same as a grammatically proscribed change of tense. SpinningSpark 14:07, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • monopoly of telephones on?
    • Doesn't sound right to me, on works better with abstract ideas like "monopoly on suffering", or "monopoly on violence". SpinningSpark 17:13, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
      • I think your right. It sounds odd. Green tickYscope_creepTalk 16:18, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • the blind Henry Fawcett I would take out blind, particularly when he a polymath.
  • Lancashire & Cheshire No mentioned of the Lancashire & Cheshire anywhere.
    • No reason why there needs to be. This is the story of telegraphy, not of telephony. We only need to talk about the telephone companies as significant competition to the telegraph, the suppression of telephone companies by the Post Office to support telegraphy, and their final acceptance of telephony in favour of telegraphy once they had control of it. SpinningSpark 17:13, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
      • I think it is just bit rough just to plump them down without some explanation, particularly when National and Lancashire & Cheshire isn't linked, just out the blue. Also National Telephone Company was created in 1881. So it should be into the instead of as the
        • No sorry, you can't cite dates from another Wikipedia article, especially as it is unsourced. Kieve presents it as three companies merging into a completely new company. Sure, The National name is carried through to the new company, but we need to go with the sources here. This book presents it in exactly the same way, with the same date, and with equally little information on the L&C. What exactly is it you want to say about this company, do you have a source for it, and what relevance is it to telegraphy. SpinningSpark 17:17, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
          • There is a mismatch between the articles and is out of scope. According to [1] it is called the Lancashire and Cheshire Telephone Exchange Company. The National is the National Telephone Company Ltd. Is it possible give them their full names. That will give the reader a nod that they are telephone companies. scope_creepTalk 19:22, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Railway block signalling[edit]
News service[edit]
  • Prior to World War I, the telegraph rates charged to news services was much discussed By who?
    • The answer, of course, is politicians and newspapermen (and no doubt angry letters from members of the public). Changed to "...became a political issue." SpinningSpark 18:13, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 1s, 2d again. I've not looked at your comment above but it might putting a small glossary in. I think this has been fixed. Already done.
  • 60/80 could this be 60 to 80
    • Not really, it's following the convention of in/out of office hours established earlier in the paragraph. SpinningSpark 17:21, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
      • It is pretty minor but when most people now look at it, it looks like 60 divided by 80 which since it is a range and it is not automatically obvious that it is a range. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 15:51, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • 3d Also done.
  • Some of the London press Some London newspaper proprietors
  • Harold Harmsworth (Lord Rothermere) After you become a peer, you start using the name and your old name is no longer used. He was created a baronet in 1910 and from that point on he was referred to Lord Rothermere and it is reflected in his own article.
    • Done SpinningSpark 21:59, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Quite surprised at find that out. I have a couple of article I need to look at. Green tickYscope_creepTalk 15:51, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
        • To my mind, the justification for it is WP:COMMONNAME and Rothermere was much talked about in the press. Generally, WP:HONORIFICS suggests that we should not be doing it. SpinningSpark 16:58, 9 September 2019 (UTC)

Fine.scope_creepTalk 23:47, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

  • got telegraph connections were connected to the telegraph
    • Do you have a problem with the word got? That's the second time something similar has come up. SpinningSpark 14:49, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Emergency services[edit]
  • Because traffic. As traffic
    • Too easy to misread the meaning of as in that context. SpinningSpark 16:28, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
      • According to the grammar rules in a formal written article it is not ideal. Informal, but for starting it with conjunction isn't particularly readable. How about converting Because traffic was declining in the 1920s, it was not worthwhile to automate many less busy lines into Traffic was declining in the 1920's because it was not worthwhile to automate many less busy lines. That puts the conjunction where it should be.
        • First of all, the word as in this context is just as much a conjuntion as because, see wikt:as#conjunction. Secondly, the claim that beginning a sentence with a conjunction is informal is usually said in the context of a coordinating conjunction (and, or, etc) where the clause being coordinated with is in the previous sentence or missing altogether. In this sentence, because is a subortinating conjunction and both clauses are in the same sentence. This is yet another rule used by teachers to improve the writing of children that has been inappropriately broadened out by unqualified self-appointed pedants into a universal proscription. There is no basis for this in any major style guide, let alone the MOS. The MLA Style Manual is widely used in scholarly writing. The MLA Style Center says is not incorrect. They cite Oxford Dictionaries saying’re not being ungrammatical. Merriam-Webster] says It's perfectly acceptable to begin a sentence with "And," Nunerous other style blogs say much the same thing eg [2][3][4]. Many writers of great stature have used this construction; I could quote Shakespeare at length if you like. And by the way, your suggestion has the clauses entirely the wrong way round. SpinningSpark 17:10, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
          • That is a bit of rant. I don't think there is anything I can say that will change your mind. It is an ugly word. Close this. Green tickY scope_creepTalk 17:08, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The code used was the Baudot code, invented by Émile Baudot. The code used was the Baudot code that was invented by Émile Baudot It should really to be accurate as you have a code and an action. The Baudot code that invented by Émile Baudot was used to encode to message.
    • I think that construction just makes it clunky with unnecessary words. SpinningSpark 16:28, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Apparently it is not enciphering code but it an action and you have mentioned code twice. I think it is worth it and makes much more sense as the code encodes, its the concomitant adjective. The Baudot code that invented by Émile Baudot was used to encode the message..
        • We don't need to tell the reader that a code is used to encode messages. That is almost a truism. Do we really need to hack this sentence around just to comply with the arbitrary non-rule of not using the same word twice in a sentence? And what "action" are you talking about? Neither use of code is a verb in this sentence. SpinningSpark 16:25, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
          • It is very far from truism. Most folk do not know what a code is. The get it from e.g. James Bond films, films about Enigma and from the most part hav no clue what it means. But is minor. Green tickYscope_creepTalk 17:08, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
            • If the issue is that readers may not understand code in this context, then a link to telegraph code can be inserted. But it won't be in this sentence because it is not the first mention. SpinningSpark 17:49, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Decline and recovery[edit]
World War II[edit]
  • In 1941, in the City of London (the financial centre), messengers were stationed in the street to collect telegrams. Its a bit stilted. Possibly. In 1941, messengers were stationed in the street to collect telegrams in the City of London, the financial centre.
  • The Italian navy then cut the five British telegraph cables from Gibraltar to Malta and two of the five going on from Malta to Alexandria. The Italian navy then cut the five British telegraph cables connecting Gibraltar to Malta and two of the five connecting Malta to Alexandria.
    • The purpose of using the phrase "going on" is to emphasise that these cables were part of an important link to the UK, not just a local problem at Malta. SpinningSpark 16:33, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
Telex and private wires[edit]

Hi @Spinningspark: There are three entries left and it is completed for prose. scope_creepTalk 15:03, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

I think it is four entries. Take a look and see what you think. scope_creepTalk 15:04, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Please mark the items that still need attention with a graphic, or else break them out here. SpinningSpark 21:05, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
This one is the only one remaining: From about 1857 the Magnetic had an agreement with them that all their submarine cables were to be used only with the landlines of the Magnetic Is it possible to put something like : From about 1857 the Magnetic had an agreement with them that all messages sent on all their submarine cables had to be retransmitted onto the landlines of the Magnetic It makes it much longer and gives the reader an idea of what happening without a three sentence explanation. scope_creepTalk 18:19, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
I've thought about that for a long time (partially forcibly because my computer crashed and its taken all day to get it back up) and finally decided I don't want to do that. If we say that incoming telegrams have to be forwarded to the Magnetic, that could leave readers with the mistaken impression that other companies could send outgoing international telegrams via the STC, or at least, leave it unclear. So we would have to separately make a statement about outgoing telegrams as well. I think that is a lot of complication for what is really a very simple situation – STC agreed to work only with the Magnetic in the UK. SpinningSpark 16:14, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
That's cool. scope_creepTalk 17:05, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Hi @Spinningspark: I found the full names for the Lancashire and Cheshire. I don't know what you want to do with it. scope_creepTalk 10:57, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
Isn't that already done? SpinningSpark 16:14, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
That is much better. Prose is 99% better than it was so that is it done. scope_creepTalk 17:05, 12 September 2019 (UTC)


  • The lead section is pretty decent. scope_creepTalk 17:19, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Layout. Lede. You have short description. You have no hat-notes. No tags. No foreign characters. Very clean lede. scope_creepTalk 17:19, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Layout. Body. You have an intro section in early development. scope_creepTalk 17:37, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Layout. Appendices. Per the references, seems to pass MOS:NOTES but I notice the ref and bib entry are not linked. Why are you not using the full sfn template, so when a user clicks on a ref entry it automatically takes them to the bib entry. At the moment these are closer to dead bare urls. A script could be used to update the entries to full sfn templates but that is illegal per WP:CITEVAR, which means the article is going to be lower quality than other article.
  • Layout. Bottom matter. Nothing here. scope_creepTalk 17:37, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

That seems to be section finished. I couldn't identify any particular caveats. Hi @Spinningspark: have I made any mistakes in this section. I think it passes. scope_creepTalk 19:08, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Ref Layout[edit]

I have done a frequency analysis on the references, I will post it in the next couple of days. They are not standard. scope_creepTalk 23:25, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

General discussion[edit]

I notice that a lot of your comments are requesting additional information to be inserted in the lead. The lead is already quite lengthy, definitely at the upper limit of what a lead should be. In nearly every case the details requested are fully explained in the body of the article. The lead is supposed to be a summary of the article. It is not necessary to include many of these details. Largely, these comments are not issues that are GA requirements. Now, in this case, I don't have a problem with you addressing issues that are not strictly GA requirements since I intend to take this article on to FA. But because of the length issue, I want to resist making too many additions to the lead unless they are either matters of clarity (criterion 1a) or important content is missing (criterion 1b). I'll wait for a response from you before addressing those points individually. SpinningSpark 13:31, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Yip, it is understandable. It will make an excellent FA article. I've had problems with long leads before and consequences, e.g. Hans Globke. I thought it was slightly overly long already but not by much really but it is structurally sound, well laid out and it is closed meaning that it encompasses the concept. It ideal and don't want to unnecessarily expand it, if the information can be kept in the body. I'll take a look. Regarding 1a and 1b, will keep it in mind. I'll read the instructions again I think. scope_creepTalk 13:30, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Abbreviated company names[edit]

Can we have a general discussion of what to do about this issue here? I think it would be best to establish a general principle first and then apply it to the individual items. SpinningSpark 14:42, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Would it be possible to give them all a short name,for example the Universal Private Telegraph Company becomes the Universal per the lede. Much easier to understand the word rather than an abbreviation or an acronym and stays in the mind longer. It also makes certain sections more readable, as in quicker to read by reducing that acronym storm you get when your discussing their evolution. The only exception would be Universal Private Telegraph Company which has been identified already as Telcon. scope_creepTalk 17:28, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
At the moment I'm not using any abbreviated names that are not found in the sources. It would be good if we did not depart from that principle. I'm willing to change "ETC" to "Electric". I've shied away from that so far because electric is used so much adjectivally in this field that there is potential for confusion. Incidentally, the UPTC is definitely not Telcon, and was never any part of it. It is also not in the lead. SpinningSpark 17:57, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Could you not take a licence. It is plausible that the two big ones were named as such, the other ones would be named in the same manner. The Universal Private Telegraph Company would certainly be called by the populace, the universal. This author[2] seems to have take a licence. He/she doesn't provide a reason or states was known as. but assumes the reader would understand. scope_creepTalk 10:46, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
What about informing the user that they have slightly different meanings. For example, leave the (the Electric) as is, but for the other or the first one, state something like for brevity, the universal. Later - not brevity. For readability or something like that. scope_creepTalk 10:46, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I've been looking for several hours now but can't seem to see a ready solution. I think it would need some research. scope_creepTalk 10:46, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Found another book the writer is single quoting it e.g. 'universal' scope_creepTalk 11:16, 4 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ William Arthur Thomas (12 November 2012). Provincial Stock Exchange. Routledge. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-136-27302-5. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  2. ^ Ken Beauchamp (2001). History of Telegraphy. IET. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-85296-792-8. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  • So far we have, I think, decided this;
Electric Telegraph Company

Electric and International Telegraph Company

ETC → the Electric
English and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company

British and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company

the Magnetic
British Electric Telegraph Company

British Telegraph Company

BETC → ?
London District Telegraph Company the District
United Kingdom Telegraph Company UKTC → ?
Universal Private Telegraph Company UPTC → the Universal
Submarine Telegraph Company STC → ?

There are still a few unresolved question marks. SpinningSpark 15:02, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Cant see a thing on the STC, although discovered a Jstor document [5] on early telegraph submarine cables that describes Gutta-percha as forming a polymer of isoprene. scope_creepTalk 15:29, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
The ones that remain will not abbreviate in words very easily. So perhaps leave those ones as initialisms. Gutta-percha is a polymer of isoprene (or at least the active part is) but that's something for the gutta-percha article to discuss. SpinningSpark 17:02, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Yip good place for it. I don't know what we need to do. I would suggest taking the using British for the British Electric Telegraph Company and the other one. The reason for this is follows. British is known name, slips of the tongue easily and it would be see as patriotic. This was the time of the British empire after all. Next, people tend not to use long acronyms or abbreviations in normal speech. Its not a thing. So it would initially shortened to the British Electric and eventually British. Also no one would use the company. They don't care about it. I'm going down to the British to send a telegram. However, I can't find any evidence for it for obvious reasons. I'm sure that normal daily slang would reduce it to that. In the same vein for some folk it could have be BE. Can find anything on the United Kingdom Telegraph Company. I think you should take a licence on the British one. scope_creepTalk 17:25, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I really don't think we can do that (I mean call them the British, taking a licence is ok). That's just open to confusion saying "the British did this" or "the British did that". It's got even worse potential for being misread than the Electric. SpinningSpark 18:04, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes it is understandable and you can't look it up as it references on British people. I would suggest taking a similar move to United' for United Kingdom Telegraph Company. It has 23 entries on UKTC across several sections. The other two, the BETC has five entries and STC has six in much smaller sections. So I would suggest the United for BETC would be ideal. scope_creepTalk 18:54, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Sorry I meant the the United for the UKTC. scope_creepTalk 22:36, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I'd like to get a second opiniion on this. @Ian Rose: as FAC coordinator, how do you think this would go down at FA? SpinningSpark 17:46, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Well worth doing that I think as i'm out of ideas on it. scope_creepTalk 18:11, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
There is a MOS proscription against this at Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Do not invent abbreviations or acronyms which I think is a slam dunk for not doing it as it is not supported by sources. Which by implication also means we have to have a mixture of abbreviations and acronyms if we are not using the full company names. SpinningSpark 14:10, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Hi guys, sorry if I appear slow on the uptake but is my opinion being sought re. abbreviations or on the article's readiness for FAC? If the latter, a brief look suggests yes, though I'd recommend trying a Peer Review first and pinging a few project talk pages about it, even including MilHist as there are some editors there who work on technological subjects like this. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:46, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Yip. I think the onus is now the reader to keep track of the different companies. Close this. scope_creepTalk 14:38, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Ian Rose has come in and gave a couple of suggestions, so I have reopened this. I think it is worth a thought Spinningspark. scope_creepTalk 15:05, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

  • @Ian Rose: I was specifically asking about the issue discussed in this section. Firstly, the validity of editor made up abbreviations, and secondly, the inconsistency of a mixture of initialisms for some and abbreviations for others, but as noted above, the MOS is already explicit on this. SpinningSpark 16:36, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Scope_creep, I don't think Ian Rose was making those suggestions as part of this GA. Peer review and notifying Wikiprojects is a normal (and expected) preliminary to an FAC. SpinningSpark 10:55, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
    • I'm fine closing this. I thought he might have come with something else. A fair bit of time has been spent on it. The reason I reopened it is that I think parts of the MOS, the rationale that is delivered is specific for small articles and it starts to break down for large articles. If this was a professional manual or document for a commerical organisation, e.g. a licence would have been taken or a glossary sheet supplied to enable the reader to understand what has been said in place without refering to a previous section. Close this. scope_creepTalk 11:32, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

GA Progress[edit]

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