1934 saw the first "Creed" teleprinter service between the Courier Mail newspaper in Brisbane and the Bulletin newspaper in Rockhampton. A teleprinter is much the same as an electric typewriter but can work on signals from a paper tape similar to the Murray system but no distributor is needed as there is just one machine at each end of the line.
Thus by typing a message on their keyboard the other newspaper had an immediate copy of what was typed and in fact an operator at the receiving end could type back immediately if the need arose. The use of teleprinters was also introduced between certain Post Offices and the GPO depending on the volume of traffic.
With the threat of Japanese invasion during world war 2 and the entry into the conflict by the US armed forces and their being stationed mostly in Queensland there was an enormous increase in telegram traffic, not just vital war messages but also telegrams sent by the soldiers themselves to families and friends.
The Americans came well equipped and brought with them a good supply of their teleprinters, namely the Model 15 Teletype. These were installed to help speed the flow of telegram traffic where required and continued to work side by side with the British Creed machines for approximately 30 years.
Why did telegrams disappear in the late 1980's? There were a number of factors. Even into the 1960's many homes did not have a telephone, so the telegram was generally the only way to contact someone urgently. Until STD (dial it yourself) long distance phone calls were introduced during the same decade long distance calls were expensive and often a line was not available until hours later and the call was sometimes restricted in length to allow other callers to get through. A telegram was thus often quicker and for a short message cheaper than a trunk phone call.
With many more homes having phones in the 70's and 80's demand for telegrams declined. Prices went up causing further decline and so ended almost 130 years of a service which was so very vital for nearly all its life.
Teletype Model 15 Teleprinter
This Teleprinter allowed the operator to select from three modes of working.
1: As a page printer
2: Preparint punched tape and producing a page copy
3: Producing punched tape only
The punched tape was transmitted through the Tape Distributor Transmitter.
The Teletype Model 12
The Teletype Model 12 or Morkum Printer was an early form of receive only teleprinter. it was used by the P.M.G. as the printer to receive telegrams sent through the Murray Multiplex System introduced in 1924.
Murray Multiplex Telegraph Equipment 1924
The sending position of the Murray Multiplex System. A Murray keyboard Perforator and the Murray tape transmitter used machine code. 5 unit Binary Code
The Murray Multiplex System
The Murray Multiplex system was built around two distributors one at each end of the line. These distributors increased the handling capacity of the line by dividing the line time between four sending units, each of which sent one character in turn.
The P.M.G. offered a picturegram service to newspapers which enabled black and white photographs to be sent over long distances. This is a portable picturegram transmitter. A photograph is attached to a rotating drum which steps 1/100 inch each revolution. A narrow light beam is reflected off teh photograph onto a photoelectric cell which covers the varying light intensity into electrical signals, suitable for transmission to a receiver.
The SAGEM Receive only Teleprinter T10
A receive only electronic teleprinter which could be configured to work at baud rates of 50, 76 or 100 and interpret 5 unit machine code or 8 unis ASCII code.
The SAGEM Teleprinter 2000
The SAGEM Teleprinter 2000. Early 1980's.
This machine introduced the VDU screen and the 5 inch floppy disc as the storage medium.
The SAGEM Teleprinter 2001
This last model teleprinter offered by Telecom. The configuration is similar to contemporary computers, with a monitor, keyboard, printer and electronics and a standalone 3.5 inch floppy unit. Mid 1980's and still used in small numbers of Telex Services.