Queensland - Colonial: 1861-1900.
Report on the first days.

The Moreton Bay Courier
Saturday 13 April 1861.

"THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. - On Thursday last, the current of communication with Ipswich was completed, and the first message was sent through. Yesterday (Friday) the line was further tested and found to work satisfactorily and it will be opened this morning for public accommodation.

The office used temporarily in Brisbane is in the upper story of the old Commissariat Store, the inclemency of the weather having delayed the prosecution of the alterations in course of progress at the head station. A visit to the office yesterday was well repaid, as Mr. Austin kindly explained the 'modus operandi' of  the apparatus and made his visitors thoroughly acquainted with the main principles of the telegraphic system, although they may not have been able in one inspection, to master all the details. The lecture to be delivered by Mr. Austin on Wednesday evening next, will go far towards the enlightenment of the public and we cannot venture - while such an explanation of the science of telegraphy is pending - to sound the mysterious depths of battery cells, to speak of the electric circuit, of indicators, of magnetisation and demagnetisation, of magnetic coils and all the other paraphernalia which go to makeup the " fixins" of a telegraph office, and add to the bewilderment of the uninitiated.

While we were present yesterday, the manipulator at Ipswich informed us that the weather was fine and the wind south, that there was no news of importance, and that he was not cognizant of the cause of the detention of the Ipswich papers, although he knew they had made their appearance in due course.

The office will open at 10 o'clock this morning for public business, and we would suggest that the Worshipful the Mayor should exchange a pleasant word or two in a friendly conversational style, with his brother Mayor of Ipswich or that somebody else should congratulate somebody else on the opening of the line and hail the event as an earnest of the advent of that unity which is one day to come about when Brisbane shall no more vex Ipswich or Ipswich be cantankerous with Brisbane, - and when the citizens of the two towns shall realise some at least of the prophesies relating to the long expected age of Peace.

We may observe that, for the present, the office will open at 10 am and close at 5 p.m., on every day of the week except Saturday, when it will close at 1 p.m. not, of course, being opened at all on the Sunday. The Lyton line will be opened as soon as the state of the intermediate country will permit the contractor to complete it.

The tariff at present will be 2s for the first ten words, and 2d for every additional word, but the reader may gain all requisite information by referring to the published regulations, which have already appeared in our columns".