" One if by land, two if by sea And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm. . .
In other words, digital communications were in use a lot earlier than the telegraph. Much, much, slower throughput, though.
(For that matter, you can go back to fires on mountaintops and to smoke signals).
_____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key firstname.lastname@example.org [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]