Time and technology
Time and technology
How did telecommunications advance from the end of the 1800�s to the end of the 1900�s ?
Telecommunications have revolutionized business and communication between people.
Since the beginning of time communication has always been a crucial part in our societies for development. Without communication there was no or little development, people did not know what was out there, and what was available. It is communication that has developed our large and very intricate societies with different institutions communicating for the welfare of our people. People have always strived for contact with other people. Man wants to know his surroundings and with the arrival of telecommunications this became possible very quickly all over the world. Telecommunications is one of the reason we live in such a fast-pace and high-tech society today.
The first invention in the telecommunications field is the telegraph. It was invented by Samuel Morse and utilizes an electrical current to send signals in the shaped of dot and lines called the Morse Code. It was first used in 1844 and it was mainly reserved for companies which needed information quickly such as banks, this helped them grow and more efficient. With the telegraph one could pass a message across any distance almost effortlessly and it was cheap, so the need for this kind of communication was already there. This new medium also meant that even people which were not rich could send a message very far without having to pay incredible amount of money. The whole world began to expand their telegraph networks and soon Europe and the United States had connecting transatlantic marine lines under the Atlantic. Information has always meant power and wealth and it is no wonder that telegram traffic became an important economical as well as political tool. In earlier times it would takes days if not weeks for news to reach certain countries or other parts of our world and in some cases this proved to be disastrous for business and economy, but now the whole world could pinpoint every event that happened around the world in a matter of hours if not minutes. Business deal could be closed quicker and markets could grow with international influence.
Then in about 30 years or so in the mid 1870�s the telephone was invented. This was a new revolution because it could be used for both listening and speaking. The first major use for the telephone though was during the First World War when directives were sent to the front from distant headquarters. Certain battles were lost due to the rejection of this technology and the communication failed. It was not until after the war that the telephone was put in use privately. But the astounding thing is that the means of communication reached almost anybody, anywhere, if only they wished to pick up. This helped business a lot, and it allowed companies to grow, along with social structures within a society.
Then came radio, which allowed people to reach the masses. Whether or not it was propaganda, a weather warning or an advertisement it still reached millions of people, and this had a profound effect on the commercial sector. It also allowed society to organize itself for war or other national events, because these were issued on the radio, this was the most effective means to reach the population of a country, therefore it became a very powerful political and economical tool.
Then with the arrival of satellites, Television arrived where one could both view and hear. This is in fact one of, if not the most important medium we have today. People with a TV can stay up to date with events that happen in every part of the world, sometimes even as they are happening, that is in �real time�. The TV is the leading mass medium but it cannot stimulate our need to be interactive with the medium, only a few years ago a new communications revolution took place: the virtual space, Internet.
The Internet is the ultimate medium� so far. It is so large that it is almost unconceivable to the average person, but yet anyone and everyone can add to it. One can do most things on the internet, shop, pay bills, buy stock, do business, collect information of every kind, and it only takes a few seconds. The world is becoming smaller, one can make friends in China, and receive letters from them daily, just this would seem nearly impossible a hundred years ago. Economic markets have grown, because they are available to everyone big or small, in any country at any time, we have the world at our fingertips.
From the telegraphs small electrical impulses to the Internets bytes there has been a long road of development. The reason for the developments is the desire for information. Information has always been valuable. Each one of these inventions have been tools for political and economical resource in their time, and each have been surpassed by the next in efficiency and speed. Together with this development the world is becoming a smaller place. The question is what is next?
Never before have people communicated and done business as much as now, and as frequently as now. After researching about the telecommunications it is fair to say that telecommunications did have a huge impact on the way our society communicates, and in the way we conduct our lives. It was hard to find any contradicting evidence to my thesis statement and most of the information I found concluded that business and communications have been revolutionized by telecommunications. The outcome of wars, business transactions, relationships have changed and depended upon communications, and together with this great change of communications so did these events change.
1. Lorenz. D. �How the world became smaller�. History Today.
2. �Telegraph� Microsoft Encarta 95. Funk & Wagnalls Corporation (1994).
3. �Telecommunications� Microsoft Encarta 95. Funk & Wagnalls Corporation (1994).
4. �Telephone� Microsoft Encarta 95. Funk & Wagnalls Corporation (1994).