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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 12/03/2004 08:44:58 EDT
Subject: Coston & Lilliandahl <> Henry J. Rogers

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I've come across a quote that made me sit up and wonder. the citation is from Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889.

It involves a line that sort of took me back as I was under the impression that when discussing pyrotectnic night signals using a code devised for colored lights (not rockets) the only two names I might have mentioned were Coston and Lilliandahl. the following from Appleton's may lead us in another direction or at least fill in some gaps.

Henry J. Rogers

ROGERS, Henry J., inventor, born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1811 ; died there, 20 August, 1879. He devised the code of signals by means of flags that is known by his name, which was adopted by the United States navy in 1846 and modified in 1861. Mr. Rogers also devised a code of signals by means of colored lights, which was the first pyrotechnic system in the United States. He was one of the practical advisers of Samuel F. B. Morse in the construction of the first electro-magnetic recording telegraph-line in tile United States which was established in 1844 between Washington and Baltimore. When the experiment had reached a successful issue he was appointed superintendent of the line, with his office in Baltimore, and there made numerous improvements in the system. Subsequently he invented several important telegraphic instruments, and he was one of the incorporators, on 15 March, 1845, of the Magnetic telegraph company. the first telegraph company in the United States. He was associated in 1848 in the incorporation of the American telegraph company, and had charge of its lines from Boston to New York. Mr. Rogers was its first superintendent, and was likewise superintendent of the Western union, Bankers and brokers', and Southern and Atlantic lines. During the civil war he was acting master in the volunteer navy, and he afterward returned to Baltimore, where he spent the remaining years of his life. Mr. Rogers published "Telegraph Dictionary and Seaman's Signal-Book" (Baltimore, 1845); "American Semaphoric SignalBook " (1847) ; " American Code of Marine Signals " (1854); and, with Walter P. Larkins. edited "Rogers's Commercial Code of Signals for all Nations" (1859).


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