During the Vietnam war, many news organizations including AP leased international teletype circuits to transmit news stories at 50 baud, or about 50 words per minute. Dispatches were in capital letters because this type of circuit would not handle lower case.

The box below prints characters at 50 baud.

Urgent news photos were sent by shortwave radio. A five-by-seven inch black and white print with brief caption was wrapped on the scanning drum of AP's much-used Muirhead D-770-E Picture Transmitter, a kind of fax machine. Sending one picture took about 12 minutes, but unpredictable atmospheric conditions often degraded image quality. The transmitter and other equipment translated the image into a warbling tone, which distant receiving equipment translated back to an image.

This picture of AP's Muirhead picture transmitter was taken in January, 1973.
Click on the transmitter to hear the sound of a newsphoto being sent.

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Image © Neal Ulevich 2001.   All rights reserved.