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In 1794, Claude Chappe developed a new means of communication via a practical system of semaphore relay stations. The relay line consisted of towers spaced between 12 and 25 kilometers apart, each fitted with a telescope. This made it possible to quickly transmit crucial information. And so, on September 1, 1794, in less than an hour, Parisians were informed of the capture of Conde-sur-L'Escaut from the Austrians, 220 kilometers away. *
* Of course, some of the nuances of the message were lost along the way. I imagine by the end they were under the impression that someone had caught a Condescending Leprechain in Australia.