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Reuter, Paul Julius Reuter, Paul Julius (1816-1899)

Paul Reuter pioneered the use of the telegraph to build a news distribution empire.Reuter, born in Germany, was originally called Israel Beer Josaphat. Working as a bank clerk, he spotted a gap in the market for delivering financial information and prices and set up a news delivery service.

He believed in using the best technology, and information was delivered by both telegraph and carrier pigeon. The pigeons delivered to areas where telegraph had not yet been installed. They were still four times quicker than sending messages by train!

Moving to England in 1851, Reuter expanded his business and used the Dover-Calais underwater telegraph cable to receive share prices from Paris. Reuter's belief was 'follow the cable' and wherever the telegraph extended he opened a new office. This led him to invest in building new telegraph lines himself.

Reuter was made a baron in 1871. He retired from the business aged 61, and moved to the warmer climate of Nice, in France.

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Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

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