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21 October 1872 Overland Telegraph

 21 October 1872        Overland Telegraph

The completion of the telegraphic connection of Adelaide to Darwin and hence to many parts of the world gave rise to visions of grandeur in the eyes of some people. On 21 October 1872 the Mayor of Adelaide sent a telegram of congratulations to the Lord Mayor of London in recognition of this fast form of communication. The Governor, Sir William Jervois., stated that South Australia now possessed the key to the whole Australian continent because the centre of telegraphic communication must also mean the centre of the postal communication and as South Australia was already in control of the inland navigation of the continent and the centre of the railway connection between the eastern colonies and eventually the Indian Ocean, Adelaide must necessarily become the commercial centre of Australia. The writer, Thomas Worsnop, went on to say:

This is no wild speculation. It is a substantial fact which is gradually but surely in process of realisation. A very few years will sweep away the mist from the vision of jealous rivals and instead of endeavouring, as in times past, to ride rough-shod, by means of temporary riches, over what even recently has been called a ‘farinaceous village’ they will be glad to recognise her power, influence and resources ...

Thomas Worsnop, History of the City of Adelaide, 1878, pp.356-58.

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