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The founder of one of the world’s leading news agencies was born in 1816 to a little-known Jewish rabbi.

By Israel Heute Redaktion |
Photo: WikiCommons

 Born as Israel Beer Josaphat in Kassel, Germany, he was originally trained as a banker. But then he made the acquaintance of Carl Friedrich Gauss, a physicist experimenting with the transmission of electrical signals via wire, the precursor to the telegram. After moving to London in 1845, he converted to Christianity and officially changed his name to Paul Julius Reuter.

Not long after, in 1850, Reuter founded his eponymouslynamed news agency in Aachen, Germany. At first, he used carrier pigeons to quickly disseminate news stories. But a year later, Reuter switched to the rapidly developing technology of telegraphy.

News from across the ocean in America still arrived at a snail’s pace. Reuter had a scheme to speed it up. He established a telegraph link in Crookhaven, the farthest south-west point of Ireland, enabling ships arriving from America to drop barrels containing the latest news in the water as they passed by. Reuter’s team would then retrieve the barrels and transmit the information, meaning the...

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