Optical semaphore telegraph

Francisco António Ciera1807 - 19th century

Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações

Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações
Lisboa, Portugal

A model of a semaphore telegraph using paddles or shutters (miniature). The object has a wooden base painted to look like stone. On the base is a wooden structure painted black consisting of three rectangular sections, the middle one of which is higher than those at the sides. Each section comprises a “shutter” to which a rope is attached. The rope is used to move the shutter into different positions. This type of telegraph was developed by Francisco António Ciera for use in the telegraphic network of the Portuguese Royal Household. The system had a vocabulary of 60,000 words and phrases which, depending on the position of the shutters (vertical or horizontal), allowed diverse combinations of code to be transmitted.


  • Title: Optical semaphore telegraph
  • Creator: Francisco António Ciera
  • Date Created: 1807 - 19th century
  • Location: Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 72,5 x 54 x 15 cm
  • Subject Keywords: Optical/visual telegraph
  • Type: Optical/ Visual Telegraphy
  • Rights: Collection: CTT Correios de Portugal/Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações.
  • External Link: Catálogo Digital Da Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações
  • Medium: Wood, rope

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app


Google apps