As early as 1856, Charles Todd had the idea to build an Overland Telegraph Line linking Adelaide to Darwin.
He hadn’t arrived in Australia yet, and the British still suspected an inland sea existed in the centre of the country.
Northern Territory historian Derek Pugh tells the story of Todd’s foresight and ambition to connect the colonies in Australia with each other, with Indonesia and with England.
The completed Overland Telegraph Line spanned more than 2,000km.
Workers used 36,000 poles, telegraph wire, and station masters at every stop passed messages along the line in morse code.
Before the line was constructed, news from London took two or three months to arrive.
Sent via telegram, they took seven hours.
Twenty to the Mile — The Overland Telegraph Line is self-published