Telegraphic Codes with John McVey (Apr 2019)

Diamond Bay Radio : 2019-04-24

Listen to MP3 [39MB 50:47]

A conversation between Lex Berman and John McVey.

John McVey teaches graphic design at Montserrat College of Art, and is an expert on the history of telegraphic codes.

In this podcast, John McVey explains the historical technology and language of telegraphic codes.

John describes the code books themselves, how they were developed and printed, and how, as poetic artifacts, they provide a rich resource of intentional or unintentional literary value. Other subjects discussed include wireless telegraphy from the early 20th Century passenger liners (such as the Titanic), Dutch colonialism in Indonesia, and the telegraphic code system of Japan.

photo src: Tiarne Blackwell url

Recorded at Democracy Center, Cambridge, MA on 24th April, 2019.

Opening music clip: © Sertab Eraner, Stanboul src

Further reading:

telegraphic and signal codes


Ludovic Bauer, Telegram-schlussel (Leipzig: 1913)

japanese telegraph codes