One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A form of facsimile telegraph invented by Giovanni Caselli in 1856 for transmitting images along a line connecting two isochronously oscillating pendulums, one of which guides an iron point over the original (written or drawn in non-conducting ink on metallic paper), so setting up equivalent motions in the other, which carries a pencil to reproduce the image.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Littell's Living Age. From pan- + telegraph, after Italian pantelegrafo or French pantélégraphe.
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