Rare 1899 Eastern Extension Telegraphic Company ‘page turner’ with maps, calendar

$545.00 AUD

Interesting Victorian advertising ‘Page Turner’, the well-crafter wood body overlayed with printed & lacquered maps of the world, with red networks of lines showing the routes of the Internationalal Telegraphic cable network, the handle with gold on black printing of a calendar for 1899, with large company logo consisting of 2 roundels with various pictorial motifs, inscribed “THE EASTERN EXTENSION TELEGRAPHIC COMPANY LIMITED / THE EASTERN TELEGRAPHIC COMPANY LIMITED / 50 & 11 OLD BROAD ST., LONDON, E.C.

Dated 1899


33cm long


The Eastern Telegraphic Company was formed in 1872, merging 4 smaller concerns into one: it was to go on to become the largest cable management company in the world within a few years.
The second name on this interesting piece of communications history is the ‘Eastern Extension’ company; this was actually fully titled the “Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company”. As the name suggests, it was concerned with the far east and the Pacific region cables. This was formed by the merging of 3 companies: the British India Extension Co., China Submarine Telegraph Co., and the British Australian Co. Their insignia includes the two hippocampus (seahorses) either side of a globe, with the sun above.  These bring to mind the ‘Merlion’ of Singapore; indeed, Singapore became a vital hub in this essential communication network that linked the British Empire.

The firm that printed this was ‘Waterlow & Sons,Limited,  London Wall, London’.  They were a well-respected firm, having started printing legal documents in the early 19th century, and stamps in the 1850’s. It exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition, with numerous printing machines it had developed including a machine for folding envelopes. It became the provider of stationary for the Eastern Telegraphic Company company, and no doubt a good part of the equipment needed to run the vase cables network.

This curio is essentially a Japanese or Chinese ‘page-turner‘, overlaid with the Cable map & calendar. It appears they produced them as a novelty throughout the 1890’s. This example is in superb condition.




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