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150 Aniversario del telégrafo en España

  • Issue date: 26/04/2005
  • Printing Process: Huecograbado
  • Paper: Estucado engomado fosforescente
  • Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm. (horizontal)
  • Sheet effects: 50
  • Postal value of the stamps: 0,28 €
  • Print run: 1.000.000

On the 22nd April 1855 the enactment of a bill authorised the government to put forward “a complex system of lector-telegraphic lines that may reach the borders of France and Portugal and would communicate the Court with all province capitals and maritime departments would” . This date, of which we commemorate the 150th anniversary , is considered to be the starting point of the electrical telegraphy in Spain and philately commemorates it with the issuing of a stamp depicting a Morse machine; the most emblematic and universal of all systems of transmission.


Amongst the great inventions of the XIX century stands out the electric telegraphy, a definite milestone in the history of communications for the immediacy it meant in transmissions of news. In the first half of the century the optic telegraph was of exclusive use of the Government and Army , on the following fifty years electric telegraphy was used all over the country and by society as a whole. In politics, it was a time of upheavals that needed quick communication to control public order, thus the different governments did not hesitate to support a policy of investments which began in 1852 with the approval of the construction of the Irun-Madrid line.The project was entrusted to brigadier José María Mathé, manager of the telegraph unit and it was finished by the end of 1854. The first telegram to be launched was the transmission of the speech of Queen Elisabeth II in the opening of Parliament . It was then for official use only and reached Paris. On the 1st March 1855 the telegraph was inaugurated as public service and on the 22th of April of the same year a law was passed which authorised the instalment of five big lines which, leaving from Madrid and in a Radial shape, would communicate all the province’s capital and the most important cities. The second construction phase was extended to the Balearic Islands, Ceuta and many transversal lines so in 1865 there was a network of more than 11,000 km of lines and a total sum of 215 offices. It was the beginning of telegraphy, an event of vital importance, according to the magazines of the time, for society and commerce, banquers, manufacturers, ship owners and insurance companies, for lawyers and for the press which become more dynamic and could count on more information.

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