Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

Monthly Lecture

Mr Todd's Marvel

Adam Courtenay

How one man telegraphed Australia to the modern world.  Mr Todd’s Marvel tells how Charles Todd managed to pull off an engineering miracle. It explains how he mustered, cajoled and manoeuvred men, animals and materials to a degree never before seen in the Australian colonies.

Talented astronomer and scientist Charles Todd left England for Australia in 1855 with a dream. He had been England’s “time lord” - the man who set England’s clock at Greenwich - and he wanted to ensure his new country would be connected to the world.

But South Australia’s new head of telegraphy would have to wait - it would take 15 years and multiple failures before America, Europe and Asia were voltaically connected by cable.

Adam Courtenay is a Sydney-based author and business journalist with 30 years’ experience in print newspapers and magazines and has worked for online platforms in both Australia and the UK, including the Financial Times, The Sunday Times, The SMH/Age and The Australian Financial Review. He is the author of the popular narrative history books The Ship that Never Was, The Ghost and the Bounty Hunter and Three Sheets to the Wind (ABC Books).

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Date and Time

21 March 2024
5:30 pm

Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building, State Library of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Members: $Gold coin
Non members: $10

Light refreshments available from 5:00 pm