Post and Telegraph

  • Roger Pethybridge


The telegraph was much more important than the post as an instrument of revolution in 1917. Two other technological developments of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the telephone and the radio, also played a minor role in Russia’s upheaval, and will be mentioned here. In order to grasp their political significance, it is necessary to consider the stage of technical efficiency they had reached just prior to the revolution. Then a comparison will be drawn between the ways in which the Provisional Government, the Bolsheviks, other left-wing parties and the technicians themselves made rival use of these devices, setting up conflicting communications channels to the rest of the country beyond the capital. These channels were manipulated by qualified, skilled men, who, as was the case with the railwaymen, often acted as a jamming or distorting element on the central policies of all parties when it suited their independent interests. Finally, the October coup provides us with a case study of the ultimate clash between the channels manipulated by the Bolsheviks and the Provisional Government.


Trade Union Post Office Postal Service Party Member Telephone System 
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© Roger Pethybridge 1972

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  • Roger Pethybridge

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