The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Todd, Charles
Todd, Charles, C.M.G., M.A., F.R.S., F.R.A.S., Postmaster-General and Superintendent of Telegraphs, South Australia, was born in London in 1826, and was for some time assistant and calculator at Greenwich Observatory. In 1848 he was appointed assistant astronomer at Cambridge Observatory, and in 1854 he took charge of the Galvanic Department of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where he was also appointed one of the astronomers by the Lords of the Admiralty. In 1855 the Colonial Office nominated him for the position of Astronomer and Superintendent of Telegraphs, for South Australia. In 1870, on the amalgamation of the Postal and Telegraph Department, Mr. Todd was appointed Postmaster-General. Although when the project was first mooted Mr. Todd was somewhat dubious as to the desirability of constructing the overland telegraph line, his energy and resource in the superintendence of the undertaking contributed much to its success and to the despatch with which it was achieved. He therefore well deserved the honour of C.M.G., which was conferred upon him when the cable connection between the Australian colonies and the rest of the world was completed, on August 22nd, 1872. He afterwards laid out the overland line to Eucla, a thousand miles in length, connecting South and Western Australia. Mr. Todd, who is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and also of the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Meteorological Society, married, in 1855, Alice Gillam, daughter of E. Bell, of Cambridge. In 1886 the Universities of Cambridge and Adelaide conferred on him the degree of M. A., and he is a member of the Council of the latter university.