JF Ptak Science Books Post 2295
This fine bit of welcome-to-the-future technology appeared in the notice "A Real Telegraph", in Nature, 6 February 1879. It is a quick report on the invention, occupying one scant paragraph of text but was accompanied by a full-page illustration of a sample of the telegraphic writing, which must have seemed in 1879 like a touch of the future--the telegraph was forty years old, but the recording telegraph was relatively new, and the idea that you could read a series of spaces and dots and dashes as though it were handwriting must have seemed like seeing color photographs in 1935.
The "real" part of the title of the note meant in this case that rather than have a key operator tap out the message in Morse Code, the sender would be writing out the message in long hand, and the receiver would gather up the message so that it appeared in recognizable letters and words rather than dots and dashes. The inventor's name was E.A. Cowper, and he brought to the telegraphic art something as "startlingly" as the "marvels" of the telephone, which had been invented just three years earlier.
The author describes the appearance of the script on the receiving end seeming as though to have been guide by a "spirit hand", such as the highly unexpected result even to the trained scientific reporter.
A somewhat longer article appeared in the New York Times a few weeks later, the full text of which is here.
According to William Maver jr. American telegraphy and encyclopedia of the telegraph: systems, apparatus ... By William Maver (jr.) this was the first successful attempt at producing susch a machine.