But that aside, de Isla was an explorer, and I’m interested in the Patagonians because of his reports of their communication system.

Now I love communication networks. This is a French one from the 1800s. It’s the Chappe telegraph system based on mechanical flags doing semaphore and telescopes. There were hundreds of these stations all over France, and they were reaching all over Europe before electricity arrived.

[More about the Chappe telegraph]