The Bourbon government began building its first telegraph lines in 1852. The first line starting in Naples headed northward, in order to reach the town of Terracina, a border station in the Papal State as well as a junction point with the papal telegraphic lines leading to Rome. At the same time, other telegraph lines headed south in order to reach the regions of Puglia and Calabria, and in particular the city of Reggio (Calabria), which would then allow Sicily to be connected as well, by means of a submarine cable. Intentions were not immediately followed by facts and the Naples- Reggio line was only completed with some delay, in 1856. At the beginning of 1857 the Bourbon central government appointed a highly skilled specialist, Ernesto D’Amico, as Royal Director (Delegate) in charge of the development of the electric telegraph network service in Sicily. The complex technical-administrative work started promptly and the first “temporary provisions for the performance of the service” were enforced. In December 1857, an Electric Telegraphy Directorate-General and a Scientific Committee formed by physicists, chemists and mechanics were each established in both Naples and Palermo. In Palermo, both the Directorate-General and the Scientific Committee dealt with many crucial matters, from the training of the Royal Telegraphic Corps and of local staff, the dispatch taxes and tariffs, the choice of equipment and materials, up to the classification and organization of telegraphic stations. As for the layout of the network lines, coastal routes were chosen. The reason was that the coastal routes had been used until then for visual or optical telegraphy, an ancient, well-organized and well-established coastal communication practice that had allowed for a good defence of the island against raids from the sea. The first Palermo-Messina line was opened in June 1857, and by the end of September, the entire telegraph network was completed, all along the coastal perimeter. At the same time, in January and June 1858, two submarine cables were laid along the Reggio-Messina Strait. After ups and downs related to break-downs, malfunctions, inadequate performance and new cable-laying works (nineteen in total!), the connection with the mainland, until then managed by sea, was finally achieved by cable in 1863.

Jacopo Bozza and the electric telegraph in Sicily

MANTOVANI, ROBERTO
2016-01-01

Abstract

The Bourbon government began building its first telegraph lines in 1852. The first line starting in Naples headed northward, in order to reach the town of Terracina, a border station in the Papal State as well as a junction point with the papal telegraphic lines leading to Rome. At the same time, other telegraph lines headed south in order to reach the regions of Puglia and Calabria, and in particular the city of Reggio (Calabria), which would then allow Sicily to be connected as well, by means of a submarine cable. Intentions were not immediately followed by facts and the Naples- Reggio line was only completed with some delay, in 1856. At the beginning of 1857 the Bourbon central government appointed a highly skilled specialist, Ernesto D’Amico, as Royal Director (Delegate) in charge of the development of the electric telegraph network service in Sicily. The complex technical-administrative work started promptly and the first “temporary provisions for the performance of the service” were enforced. In December 1857, an Electric Telegraphy Directorate-General and a Scientific Committee formed by physicists, chemists and mechanics were each established in both Naples and Palermo. In Palermo, both the Directorate-General and the Scientific Committee dealt with many crucial matters, from the training of the Royal Telegraphic Corps and of local staff, the dispatch taxes and tariffs, the choice of equipment and materials, up to the classification and organization of telegraphic stations. As for the layout of the network lines, coastal routes were chosen. The reason was that the coastal routes had been used until then for visual or optical telegraphy, an ancient, well-organized and well-established coastal communication practice that had allowed for a good defence of the island against raids from the sea. The first Palermo-Messina line was opened in June 1857, and by the end of September, the entire telegraph network was completed, all along the coastal perimeter. At the same time, in January and June 1858, two submarine cables were laid along the Reggio-Messina Strait. After ups and downs related to break-downs, malfunctions, inadequate performance and new cable-laying works (nineteen in total!), the connection with the mainland, until then managed by sea, was finally achieved by cable in 1863.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2641540
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