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Thank goodness someone invented the Aldis lamp.

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Old 20th January 2019, 18:20
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Thank goodness someone invented the Aldis lamp.

Things have moved on since 1868. I am reading an account of Sir Robert Napier's expedition to Abyssinia, and there is an account of the latest signalling methods. The provision for night time signalling seems a wonderful mixture of sheer insanity and inventiveness. The signals to be passed were from a numerical code book, not the chat about the weather.

"At night the signals are conveyed by means of flashing lights. These are extremely ingenious in their construction. The signaller, who is always accompanied by a companion with a signal-book, has a brass tube some eight feet long, at the extremity of which is a lantern; in this lantern a spirit-lamp burns; underneath this spirit-lamp is a receptacle in which is placed a powder composed of magnesium, resin, and lycopodium, very much like the mixture with which stage-carpenters produce lightning by blowing it through a candle. This lamp acts on precisely the same principle. A bellows is attached to the brass tube. This bellows the signaller works, either in short or in long pressures; and the air, as it passes up, goes through the powder and forces a small quantity of it through a pair of nozzles placed close to the spirit-flame. The result is a brilliant flash, which is long or short according to the pressure upon the bellows. This light can be seen at a very great distance, and two or three parties of signallers placed upon hill-tops could convey an order a distance of fifty miles in a very few minutes.

G. A. Henty. The March to Magdala. "

I hope the accompanying helper had a good training in first aid for burns. It is suggested that 12 stations would be able to pass messages from London to Edinburgh.
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Old 20th January 2019, 18:44
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12 stations and about 5000 acres of burned down forest
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Old 20th January 2019, 21:40
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Almost as good as Smoke Signals without the Blanket and daylight.
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