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"What television does is rent us friends and relatives who are quite satisfactory. This is quite something, to rent artificial friends and relatives right inside the house."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Planetary Telegraphing  
  A method for communicating with dwellers on other planets in the solar system.  

Here, in Wisconsin, is the Penokee Range of mountains, chiefly remarkable for its belt of iron ore, forty-three miles in length, unbroken and very magnetic. This deposit, averaging 300 feet in width, extends to an unknown, unfathomed depth.

"It occurred to us that we might convert the whole Penokee iron deposit into a gigantic magnet by winding wire around it. The Society of Futurity wanted to talk with other planets; and to do this we must produce on earth magnetic disturbances of great and decided violence. We must produce them periodically, too, so that by their force and their definite order of recurrence they would send a shock through vast distances, and compel the attention of dwellers on another sphere. Then they might respond with similar movements, which we could record on our magnetometers; and so we could start a conversation."

"See those telegraph poles?"

"There are five hundred turns of that wire," his new guardian went on; "and each turn is eighty-six miles in length. They encircle this whole mouton mass of iron, which is their core, and make it a colossal magnet, with which we do our planetary telegraphing."

From In the Deep of Time, by George Parsons Lathrop.
Published by Not known in 1879
Additional resources -

Compare to the method of communicating with extraterrestrials proposed in From the Earth to the Moon, the 1867 novel published by Jules Verne.

This is a very ambitious method for interplanetary communication.

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  More Ideas and Technology from In the Deep of Time
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