Smoke signalsSmoke signals
is an early form of the optical telegraph
, developed by the native North Americans
(as in the towers of the Great Wall
.) By covering an open fire
with a blanket, and suddenly removing it for a short time, a puff of smoke
is generated. With some training, the sizes, shapes of, and intervals between these puffs can be controlled in a way that can be observed from a long distance, and used to carry information
Apparent to anyone within its visual range, the smoke signal is not a standardized code that can be easily translated. Like other forms of communication, the signals are often of a predetermined pattern discerned by sender and receiver. Still, the smoke signal can abide by other universal patterns of communication. For example, as in other distress calls, a pattern of three would indicate a call for help.