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Note: My book is no longer available through me but there are some places on the Internet it can still be found.

  1. Vintage Rails Magazine Review March/April 1999  Click to open Review

  2. Morsum Magnificat Magazine (England)MM50 - February 1997 - Pages 22-24 - Reviewed by Tony Smith, Consultant Editor
    Mr Smith gives an excellent overview of the contents of the book and provides a number of images from the book.

    He concludes: "The book provides a wealth of information on the subject [telegraph]. With many fine illustrations, including photographs from the archives of the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways, it should appeal to all those interested in telegraph and railway history."

  3. RPM Historical Society (England) - AE Adams
    The reviewer provides a summative overview of the contents of the book, then concludes:

    "A highly specialised subject, uniquely explored & explained by this book so as to make it simple and easy to understand, and to appreciate that the electric telegraph played an equally pioneering role, together with the transcontinental railway, in binding Canada into a nation."

  4. Interview at CKTB Radio 610AM, June 27, 1996 - 0745-0759, by Host, Jim Martin
    "...a most interesting book...with a lot of interesting and new information in there..."

    "This country is a pioneer and a leader in transportation and communications technology, yet, until now, little has been written about the first device of electronic communication, the telegraph...until your book"

    "...'hadn't gone on-line with the idea'...that's such a terribly 90s phrase, on-line ... but it is appropriate today because the telegraph was the first 'internet' as you have pointed out..."

    "Why should we care about the telegraph? Because our origins are essential, especially our communications origins..."

    "[The telegraph] was hot stuff in those days...a fascinating part of Canada's telecommunications development."

    "Any town that had a telegraph office was a town to be on the map too - if you didn't have one you weren't there..."

    "There are some little passages in your book that really jumped out at me - one, some of the early misconceptions like packages being sent down the wire..."

    "We had the first Canadian Pony Express beating the Americans with that one too!"

    "It's been a treat talking to you. Good luck with it - you've got a lot in it."

  5. Canadian Railway Modeller - Issue T6T3, Page 26 by Jim Martin
    "Generally speaking, the arrival of the telegraph in Canada 150 years ago predated the development of our railways. Although the railways are often credited for pulling the country together, a good argument can also be made for the telegraph. Canada was among the first countries to embrace this forerunner of the Internet, and in areas of telecommunications and transportation we've been a leader ever since."

    "Amply illustrated, Canadian Railway Telegraph History is an easy and often fascinating read."

    "We learn, for example, that telegraphers' cases of 'glass arm' are among the first recorded instances of today's well known repetitive stress injuries."

    "An entire generation has now grown up neither sending nor receiving a telegram. However, today's young modellers surfing the net owe the telegraph a debt of gratitude."

    "Modellers will glean some visual information from this book, its real value is historical. As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."

  6. Rail and Transit Magazine - Upper Canada Railway Society
    May-June 1996 - Page 13 - by Art Clowes

    "...a book on an intriguing subject that was hand-in-glove with railways, their development, and operations."

    "...the many photographs bring back fond memories....the captions were very descriptive, and this descriptiveness also helped me straighten them out."

    "Overall, it looks like a worthwhile book for both the telegraphy and railway enthusiast."

  7. Mark Lauckner,Book Review, Canadian Insulator Collector, September/October 1996, Pages 14-15

    "...[this] book takes the telegraph and its development out of the patent drawings and places it in the communities of early Canadian settlements and cities."
    "...[it] picks up where the railway history books leave off. [It's not another locomotive picture book.] Robert Burnet's book makes up for it tenfold."

    "[the] book is stuffed full of tables and charts..."

    "All in all, this book is a great addition to the library of anyone interested in Canadian railway history, telegraph history, and collectors of Canadian railway insulators."

  8. Mark Lauckner,Book Review, Crown Jewels of the Wire, September 1996

    "This new book starts right at the beginning with a 50 page history of early telegraph companies in Canada. The topics weave together: pre-confederation Canadian history with the early electric telegraph."

    "From the telegraph lore and numerous photos, the reader can easily see how the telegraph was a fully integrated and vital part of these communities. The telegraph was said to be responsible for urban insanity and was even featured in dream analysis."

    "Every time I opened the book I realized just how important the insulators we collect were in facilitating this fantastic mechanical and cultural communications development."

    "In the hobby of insulator collecting, we don't really have much history about the telegraph itself."

    "...this book is a great addition to the library of anyone interested in Canadian railway history, telegraph history, and collectors of Canadian railway insulators."

  9. Librarian, A. Herwin
    " exciting book about Canada...full of special Canadian and Railway telegraphic insites..."
    "...easy to read in a well-organized text with excellent and accurate documentation..."
    "...fascinating new material never before published..."

  10. Retired Railway Operator, C. Page
    "'s about time someone recognized the telegraph in Canada this way - way-to-go Robert..."

  11. Retired, J. McCalpin
    "...informative...brought back a lot of childhood memories..."

  12. Teacher, J. Gooeld
    "...I'm going to use my book to educate my students about the telegraph and how it helped create and unite Canada..."
    "...I had NO idea the railway telegraph and the telegraph generally was so significant to [Canada]..."
  13. HAM Operator, E. Sieb
    "I've just received my copy of Canadian Railway Telegraph History, and spend most of my lunch hour perusing it! Fascinating and very instructive!"

    "...the book is a welcome addition to my library"

    "I appreciated finding the diagrams on pages 100 and 101....I always wondered about the correct way of wiring up a small "circuit" for two stations. Now I know; thanks!"

  14. Retired Railway Operator, V. Campbell
    "Thank you for sending my copy of your book, the Canadian Railway Telegraph History, inshort, IT IS WONDERFUL..."

    "I've been hoping someone would do a book about us and tell a little about our work on the railway - we've been forgotten by the railway and the railfans!"

    "I certainly appreciated the chapters on the OPERATOR and DISPATCHER - you got it right, we WERE the brains behind the trains. Thanks so much, 73s."

  15. Amazon Books
    Fascinating and well-written history of the Canadian Railway Telegraph. Covers the founding and complete operation of the Canadian Pacific Railway Telegraph Co. and the Canadian National Railways Telegraph Co. from 1846-1956, beginning with the Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara and St. Catharines Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Co. Illustrated throughout with black and white photos of every aspect (from machinery to personnel, from telegraph stations to telegraph franks) as well as detailed mechanical drawings explaining the technical aspects of telegraphy. Includes detailed footnotes. 239 pages with index.