http://www.newmarketlhs.org.uk/shuttertelegraph.htm . A reminder that even in the days before radio, messages could be sent a long way. My thanks to John Mullins for sending me this link. Fascinating.
This system was set up by the UK Admiralty in the early 1800s, presumably to give early warnings of a French attack.
If memory serves me right, Morse came on the scene in the early 1840s. By the late 1800s most of the world was connected by telegraph - the Victorian Internet. We were better connected than I thought before radio.