This volume is the first of a series comprising new editions of early books on the subject of the Electric Telegraph. Anyone researching the technology, development and operation of telegraphy, or persons simply wanting an absorbing read, will find these works of the greatest historical interest. This particular book, An Illustrated Handbook to the Electric Telegraph, by Robert Dodwell, was originally published at London in 1862. Dodwell, a telegraph engineer and electrician, who was at one time District Engineer to the Magnetic Telegraph Company in Manchester, here presents a non-technical but very readable account of the Electric Telegraph, from the earliest days up to the mid-nineteenth century. By this time most of the essential features of telegraphy had been invented and patented, experimentally tested and then either discarded or put into operation somewhere or other in Europe or the United States of America. Dodwell deals mainly, but not exclusively, with telegraphy in Britain. The three broad topics covered are, first, the Galvanic Battery, the means to generate the ‘electric fluid’ (as electricity was then called), the newly discovered and wonderful agency that made long-distance communications possible. Secondly, the various Sending and Receiving Instruments used for communicating by telegraphic signals are discussed. Thirdly, the Line Wire, the medium by which signals are carried across country and around the world, either overground, subterranean, or submarine, are examined. Dodwell also relates many amusing anecdotes about the misapprehensions, misconceptions and misunderstandings of the telegraph by his Victorian contemporaries.