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