In the foreground is part of the quayside of George's Dock, which was completed in 1771. The low white building in the centre of the picture is the old Merchant's Coffee House, a very popular meeting place for the exchange of news in the 18th century. Dominating the background is the Telegraph Tower, part of Tower Buildings. Surmounting the tower is the semaphore signalling apparatus which with nine intermediate signalling stations, connected Liverpool with Holyhead, a distance of some 72 miles. Efficiently managed, the shortest time recorded for the transmission of a message from Holyhead to Liverpool was eighteen seconds.

Image details: Wm Herdman