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Ray Norton, John Werner and Betty Ells are the winners!

Heliograph is the answer for Week 284 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: Early communication

Tuesday: Done with a code

Wednesday: No wires to connect the parties

Thursday: Used the sun

The heliograph is a "solar telegraph" used to send Morse code flashes of sunlight reflected by mirrors. The flashes are produced by briefly pivoting the mirror or interrupting the bean with a shutter. It is a simple, but effective instrument for optical communication.

It was widely used in the U.S. by the Forest Service which had a portable heliograph with a single-tripod and shutter with the mirror. However, there were drawbacks with the mode of communication if it was night, cloudy or smoky. It could also take a lot of time to send a message. Due to these drawbacks, the Forest Service set out to establish a telephone system to link lookouts and ranger stations in the Clearwater area.

For further information and photos, see the Wikipedia info at:

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