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The History of Communication: What Was Before The

Telephone and The Telegraph?

The 19th Century – Age of Inventions

During the nineteenth century,


the history of communication
saw a surge of devices, ith the
introduction of signal lamps and
a hydraulic telegraph system
developed by the British. This
utilized the use of water
pressure through pipes and was
accordingly limited by the
pressure generated. Probably
the two most influential arrivals
were the radio and the telephone.

Communication in The Ancient World


Have you ever contemplated the history of communication? It is a
fascinating journey back in time – to a prehistoric beginning when man
blew animal horns and beat drums. The advent of fire enabled beacons
and smoke signals to be sent. It is estimated that in the fifth century a
system of “airmail" was devised by the use of pigeons. The fourth
century saw a hydraulic telegraph system developed in Greece. It
involved the use of fire signals and was limited to a line of sight"
distance only.

Communication and Television


During the year of 1927, an invention was patented that was to bring the
world into homes and lives of ordinary people. Television had become
part of the history of communication and from this moment, the world
remained no longer a place of mystery and became an even smaller
place to live in! From the distorted images in black and white, it did not
seem to be too long until color television came onto the scene. Now the
demand was for more visual communication. Following the introduction
of the “Picturephone, it was the turn of the “Video Telephone" and
thereafter the "Videophone".

Mobile Phones

The mobile or cell phone owes its existence to radio technology and can
be directly associated with two-way radios used in police and other
vehicles. Bulgaria developed a mobile phone in 1960’s and with one base
station, could service a maximum of six users. Not only does it permit a
voice inter-action, but the
additional facility of “SMS"
messaging has enabled
personal and business
users, to have extended
communication abilities.

The Internet

An important development
in the history of
communication is the
“Internet". It originated from protocols implemented in 1982 and was
the result of a concept involving a Global Network. The introduction of
independent service providers, created a huge expansion process.
During the 1990’s, this almost immediate communication facility
impacted dramatically on all aspects of the world’s commercial and
individual everyday lives. The instant sending and receipt of mail, has
created a flow of information and learning, which has opened new
avenues of communication to anyone.
Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922( was


a Scottish-born scientist, inventor, engineer, and innovator who is
credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. He also
founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in
1885.
Bell's father, grandfather, and brother had all
been associated with work on elocution and
speech and both his mother and wife were
deaf, profoundly influencing Bell's life's
work. His research on hearing and speech
further led him to experiment with hearing
devices which eventually culminated in Bell
being awarded the first U.S. patent for the
telephone in 1876. Bell considered his
invention an intrusion on his real work as a
scientist and refused to have a telephone in his
study.
Many other inventions marked Bell's later life, including groundbreaking
work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils, and aeronautics.
Although Bell was not one of the 33 founders of the National Geographic
Society, he had a strong influence on the magazine while serving as the
second president from January 7, 1898, until 1903.