Royal Exchange -“Paul Julius Reuter”

On a quick trip to the Bank area of the City today I saw this bust of Paul Julius Reuter (1816 – 1899), the founder of the eponymous news organisation.

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This monument honouring Reuter this memorial was set here by Reuters (the company) to mark the 125th anniversary of Reuters Foundation & was inaugurated by Edmund L de Rothschild, TD. It is made from granite and was unveiled in 1976.

Reuter was born Israel Beer Josaphat in Germany, but changed his name to Paul Julius Reuter upon his conversion to Christianity in 1845, a prerequisite to marrying the woman he loved. While working in a bank as a young man, he became a friend of local physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss, who was conducting experiments with the groundbreaking electric telegraph. Later Reuter became involved in the Revolutions of 1848, challenging the authority of the German Confederation with protests demanding freedom of the press and a national assembly, and after the movement was suppressed he fled to France and later England, where he worked as a reporter.

The Reuters News Agency which he founded originally used carrier pigeons to send dispatches, but later, combining journalism with the telegraph, it became a “news-wire service”, using the telegraph to send news stories to subscribing newspapers. Over the following decades, his agency became the leading source for breaking news across Europe, with wire connections to Asia and North and South America.

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