Tom Scott

How The First Ever Telecoms Scam Worked

In the 1830s, two French brothers, François and Joseph Blanc, pulled off the first telecoms scam in history. The optical telegraph, a line of semaphore towers stretching from hilltop to hilltop, was for government use only: but something as simple as the law wasn’t going to get in their way.

Thanks to Victoria Harrison for all her research and translation skills! Pictures of the original documents are uploaded here:

CG effects by Mat Hill:

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