Years of research and experimentation by communications engineers and technicians have gone into the "varioplex," the Western Union Telegraph Company's latest devices for handling heavy traffic for large users of telegraph service with accuracy and speed. Here a panel of the complicated apparatus is being tested. The first telegram in history, "What Hath God Wrought!" was sent 100 years ago on May 24, 1844
In 1913 Western Union developed multiplexing, which it made possible
to transmit eight messages simultaneously over a single wire (four
in each direction). Teleprinter machines came into use about 1925.
Varioplex, introduced in 1936, enabled a single wire to carry 72 transmissions
at the same time (36 in each direction). Two years later Western Union
introduced the first of its automatic facsimile devices. In 1959 Western
Union inaugurated TELEX, which enables subscribers to the teleprinter
service to dial each other directly.
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