Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1109255
 


 



French Optical Telegraphy, 1793-1855: Hardware, Software, Administration


Alexander J. Field


Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business - Economics Department


Technology and Culture, Vol. 35, pp. 315-347, April 1994

Abstract:     
French optical telegraph represented a highly refined blend of software and hardware generating performance levels in long distance communication which were, given the limitations of the hardware, quite remarkable. Had the electromagnetic telegraph not become available, French optical telegraphy, or a variant, would have served increasingly as an imperfect substitute, particularly in the transmission of price data on commodity, stock, and bond exchanges. This affirmation of the commercial viability of optical telegraphy does not, however, significantly reduce our estimate of the contribution of electromagnetic telegraphy to economic growth. The more substantial economic payoff to the electromagnetic device came from its use by firms to reduce inventory holdings and raise fixed capital utilization rates in sectors with large minimum efficient scales. Here optical telegraphy's vulnerability to disruption by the weather, limited channel capacity, and restriction to daylight use would have made it a very imperfect substitute in an age of rail speed communication.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: Communication, Asset Markets, Stock Trading, Telegraph, Stock Exchange

JEL Classification: E44, N23, O16

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: March 20, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Field, Alexander J., French Optical Telegraphy, 1793-1855: Hardware, Software, Administration. Technology and Culture, Vol. 35, pp. 315-347, April 1994. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1109255

Contact Information

Alexander J. Field (Contact Author)
Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business - Economics Department ( email )
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA California 95053
United States
408 554 4348 (Phone)
408 554 2331 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 639
Downloads: 61
Download Rank: 215,049

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.312 seconds