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Cromwell Fleetwood Varley (1828-1883)

Cromwell Fleetwood Varley

The renowned consulting electrician of the Atlantic Telegraph Company and of the Electric and International Company was first attracted to spiritualism in 1850. He investigated the hypothesis that table rapping is the result of an electrical force and demonstrated that this hypothesis was altogether unfounded. In later years he had many curious psychic experiences, discovered that he possessed mesmeric healing power and effected cures on his wife. Mrs. Varley had clairvoyant visions and spells of trance in which she foretold the exact course of her illness. After the birth of a son, Varley was one night aroused by three tremendous raps. He felt impelled to go into his wife's room where he found the nurse intoxicated and Mrs. Varley rigid and in a cataleptic state.

Another most interesting invention which was brought in by the old Electric Company was the chronopher, which may perhaps be described as the British Time Keeper. Its function is to automatically convey to all parts of Britain Greenwich mean time at 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. Cromwell Fleetwood Varley was the inventor of this intricate and beautiful piece of mechanism, which will probably continue to be used as long as the present system of telegraphy remains.

The basic concept of multiplexing frequencies was first conceived by Cromwell Fleetwood Varley, who patented the idea in Britain in 1870. His British Patent No. 1,044 described the superpositioning of "tone" signals on direct-current telegraph lines by means of rudimentary filters.