Post and Telegraphs Department

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Also known as Posts and Telegraphs Department.

Tea District Post and Telegraph Department photographed by Samuel Cleland Davidson


Related Articles

External links

Historical books online

Probable 1903 edition, (although not cataloged as such), Public Library of India Collection. Generally poor quality print.
Henry S. King & Co.'s Hand book for homeward-bound travellers from India, Australia and the East 1893 National Library of Australia. Includes the telegraph code to be used, (from page 12) as words or phrases more than ten letters are charged double.
Word Code For Foreign State Telegrams, compiled for the Government of India. Part II-Code Phrase by J H Lane Indian Government Telegraph Department. 4th Edition prepared under the direction of J J Allen. Another file, easier to read in parts but some pages towards the back are scanned/printed upside down. Elsewhere 4th edition was published 1903 (3rd edition 1890 in two volumes Part 1 Phrase, Code]
Article "Compression, Correction, Confidentiality, and Comprehension: A Look at Telegraph Codes" by Steven M. Bellovin "Preliminary version – March 25, 2009".
Article government and colonial administration codes

Indo-European Telegraph

Telegraph Office , Calcutta

Indo-European Telegraph Department

  • Indo-European Telegraph Department Encyclopaedia Iranica. Construction commenced 1863. While the IETD was an autonomous department for much of its existence, between February 1888 and April 1893, it was under direct auspices of the Director General of Indian Telegraphs. The IETD was dissolved in March 1931. There was significant intermarriage with Iranian Armenians.
  • An India List post indicates the IETD was sold to Cable and Wireless in 1931. Also includes some names of employees c 1930.[1]
  • 1859 Suez - Aden - Karachi Cable
    • HMS Retribution assisted in laying the first submarine telegraph cable to India, in the section between Karachi and Aden in 1859.Memories of the Sea, page 155 by Admiral Penrose Fitzgerald 1913
  • Indian Cables by Bill Glover includes
    • Persian Gulf cables of 1864
    • 1869 Duplicate Cable
The through line to London opened to the public in March 1865
"Wires of Discord: England, the Indo-European Telegraph Line and Ottoman-Iranian Border Conflicts" by Soli Shahvar, Iran Namag Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 2016. Article In Persian with Google Translate English version , or if link is unstable use Google Translate.
Historical books online
  • "Report on the line of Telegraph from Ras Jashk to Basrah" by Lieutenant A. W. Stiffe, Indian Navy. (Read before the Society, March 17th, 1864), page 208 Transactions of the Bombay Geographical Society, Volume 17, January 1863 to December 1864 Google Books
  • Telegraph and Travel: a narrative of the formation and development of telegraphic communication between England and India, under the orders of Her Majesty's government, with incidental notices of the countries traversed by the lines by Frederic John Goldsmid, late Chief Director of the Government Indo-European Telegraph 1874. File 1, easier to read, Asiatic Society of Mumbai, Granth Sanjeevani Collection. File 2, with Map and perhaps better images, mirror from Central Secretariat Library, Government of India. Map

The Indo-European Telegraph Company

Bombay - Aden – Suez Cable


British Library

  • Birth/baptismal certificates in Indian Telegraph Department candidates' application papers 1877-1878 IOR/L/PWD/2/220
  • Birth/baptismal certificates in Indian Telegraph Department candidates' application papers 1865-1869 IOR/L/PWD/8/6
  • Also see L/F/10 Records of Service 1702-1928
  • Civil Lists IOR/V/13, V13/246-276. 1866 to c 1954. A researcher found a December 1929 death in Civil Lists Indian Posts and Telegraph Department May 1930 to April 1932, IOR V/13/260. This death was not recorded in the records on findmypast.


Selections From the Records of the Bengal Government No.VII Report On The Electric Telegraph Between Calcutta And Kedgeree by W B O’Shaughnessy MD, Superintendent of the Electric Telegraph 1852 Google Books
Memoir of Surgeon-Major Sir W. O'Shaughnessy Brooke ... in connection with the early history of the telegraph in India by M Adams 1889 . The subject assumed the name of Brooke by Royal Licence in 1861.
As part of the Telegraph Department, he played a significant role in the Indian Mutiny. He left England, at the close of 1863, to superintend the laying of the Indo-European sea-cable along the coast of Beloochistan and Persia. He died 16 January 1865 having just accomplished the most difficult part of his task by the completion of the telegraphic line from Bagdad, to Bushire.
John Isaacson, who at the time was described as a "Sergeant, RE", arrived in Persia on 11 November 1863 and was posted to the Persian section of the IETD. He died in Bushire in 1892.


  1. Fuller, Tony. Photograph with a lot of names - IETD Station at Bushire, 1930 Rootsweb India List 5 August 2012, now archived
  2. Image of First Day cover, Centenary of the Indo-European Telegraph Service, archived.