The CHADBURN TELEGRAPH SOCIETY   was established  in 1998  -   100 years  after the  Company  had
become a Public Limited  Company (PLC)  on the stock exhange in London.  (see sample share certificate  below )  . The  great innovator , William Chadburn  assisted  by his father, Charles and  a skilled   team of engineers,  soon created  market domination .  When the  first patents expired  in 1890s,   the  'code'   used
in attractive graphics  style on the dials,  had become  the accepted standard  for other competitors .   In order
to distinguish  a 'chadburn'  - as an often  used  generic term  -  from  the  other famous  means of  'passing
the word' ,  i.e.  morse code and marconi  wireless  telegraphy,   a contemporary  shift  was deemed essential and  the  business then traded with  ' (Ship) '  added.    Another feature, they were not   only  the  original   Patentees , but also became  Manufacturers  on a massive scale.  Since  prototypes had been tested during the 1860s on early Steam ships around  Liverpool, the telegraphs soon reached an advertised 3000 installatons !  The foundation  for  safe and  effective SHIP's  MANOEUVERING  was thus achieved.


Copyright © 2012 Chadburn Telegraph Society / Midhage


Copyright © 2012 Chadburn Telegraph Society / Midhage

This  Society seeks to create a more comprehensive historical record of the Brass Pedestal Telegraphs, which were used for communicating orders, mainly between the wheelhouse and the engine room. We need your help to achieve this aim.

CHADBURNS of LIVERPOOL were the system pioneer from 1870, taking out many patents. The Chadburn name was then, and still is, synonymous with good design and high quality instruments.

OUR OBJECTIVES ARE : to preserve Telegraph history - enhance global facilities for the collector - coordinate research and artefacts - provide a database for educational use - promote interest via museums and the media.

Complete Transmitter/Receiver sets remain the most desirable pieces, but are rarely found. If you have information about ship stations with commands in any language - Ahead/Astern - Heave To - and other docking orders, we would like to hear from you. We are particularly interested in supporting photographs or images, together with all information about location and background to the treasure(s)  you have located.

In the 1950 to 1960 period, the Chadburns Group was enlarged with the addition of Mechans, A. Robinson & Co.  and Bloctube Controls. Details about these companies'  Telegraphs, together with mailed information and copies made in other countries, would be most welcome in our database. We want FUTURE  GENERATIONS  to benefit from your archived knowledge.   Do not   allow   CHADBURN'S   name to  vanish into obscurity.

The Maritime Museum in Albert Docks, Liverpool exhibits  a  Chadburn Electric Telegraph.  A few other  good specimens are on display as 'loans'  in UK museums .  It is estimated that  in excess of 50 maritime  museums worldwide , whether land based or afloat,  have  these beautifully polished   telegraphs.  The Society owns similar examples, and further information and advice can be obtained by contacting  :

      click here  
Charles H. Chadburn
1815 - 1890
-established  a  branch
in Lord Street, Liverpool.
in the 1840's
Family company originated in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
      click here
William Chadburn
1844 - 1927
-apprenticed as  'Optician'
to his Father .  Inventor  and
Founder  of  the product  that
carried his name  and
became well renowned worldwide  !

click here

The listing on the London Stock Exhange in 1898 brought in extra working capital and enabled the firm to buy more plant & machinery. By 1903 they also acquired a much larger factory. 
The  predecessor was   Chadburn & Son Ltd.,  and the  roots  as  Instrument  makers/Opticians  go back at least a century . 
( <  click   to  enlarge  this  certificate, and portraits above  )

The Society is a non-profit organisation. All material in this website is for information only, carefully researched; but no factual guarantee can be given, due to loss of records caused by war damage in 1941 and subsequent intermittent records up to the late 1990s. The Society is indebted to many volunteer contributors - a list of whom is available on request.    To view  other important data  - use  INDEX BAR  above !