Dating in the military
Codes were developed in the 16th century that were based upon the number and position of signal flags or lights or on the number of cannon shots.
In the 17th century the British admiral Sir William Penn and others developed regular codes for naval communication; and toward the close of the 18th century, Admiral Richard Kempenfelt developed a plan of flag signaling similar to that now in use. In his successful demonstration of electric communication between Washington, D.
Later Sir Home Popham increased the effectiveness of ship-to-ship communication by improved methods of flag signaling.telegraph by Samuel F. C., and Baltimore in 1844, he provided a completely new means of rapid signal communication.
The development of the flash signaling, adopted in the British navy in 1867, was an adaptation of the Morse code to lights.
This was probably due to the fact that the compelling stimulation of war was not present and to the fact that the development of long-distance telephone communication was not achieved for many years. This military use was not extensive, and it made little material contribution to the development of voice telephony.
Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar each developed an elaborate system of relays by which messages were carried from one messenger post to another by mounted messengers traveling at top speed.Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co.