Life in Australia changed forever when Charles Heavitree Todd’s Overland Telegraph Line opened. An extraordinary engineering feat, the line stretched 2,839 km from Port Augusta to Darwin through unknown and hostile territory, on 36,000 poles.
This 2022 $1 Uncirculated Coin commemorates the 1872 opening of the line and Australia’s historic telegraphic connection with the rest of the world.
In 1872, the South Australian Government completed the Overland Telegraph Line from Port Augusta to Port Darwin, and from there connected to an undersea cable that led to Europe.
Postmaster-General Charles Heavitree Todd had promised it would be done in 18 months, despite arid central Australia being mostly unexplored. He mobilised three large workforces, led by engineers, surveyors, and explorers, to install 2,839 km of galvanised number 8 fencing wire on 36,000 poles.
The line was joined, seven months late, at Frew’s Ironstone Ponds, N.T. Then, at 12:10 P.M. on 22 August, Senior Telegraph Officer J.A.G. Little tapped Morse code into his handset, in Port Darwin. Fifty minutes later his message was read in Adelaide.
Soon after, electric communication through to London within 7 hours was a daily occurrence. The ‘tyranny of distance’ was conquered, and life in Australia was never the same again.
|Mint||Royal Australian Mint|
|Country Of Issue||Australia|
|Metal Type||Aluminium Bronze|