According to an article printed in 1909 in a local Iranian newspaper, the New Iran (Irān‐e Nau; Fig. 1), a telegraph operator at the remote desert town of Kermān in southeast Iran, using coils of a single wire with return circuit through the ground of his telegraph instrument, picked up the Earth’s movement as an unusual electromagnetic signal on the magnetic needle, which gave a few seconds warning of an earthquake. Apparently, the operator was using a Wheatstone/Cooke‐type needle magneto‐electric telegraph built in the late nineteenth century.

He first noticed this anomaly on his telegraph instrument during...

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