Blog 1: The Invention of the Telegraph

In our 2nd lecture, we learnt a lot of facts about the communication before the 19th century and how the telegraph was invented.

Ever wondered how it looks like having no means of communication? Before the 19th century, If you want to send a message to someone, the only option you have is to get on a horse and go directly to that person and tell him your message. However, the time it takes you to send a message depends on how far your receiver is. It may take up to days or months to reach the person. But what about in case of emergency? How are you going to send an instant message to let someone know about an emergency? Sadly, people before the 19th century, people were not able to pass around emergency messages instantly.

The first telegraph invented by Samuel Morse

In the 1830’s, a painter named Samuel Morse went through a big tragedy in his life when he was on a work tour and he heard that his wife was mortally ill, before he could reach home, his wife was already dead and buried. This incident gave birth to the new mode of communication as Samuel Morse was eager to design and invent something which can help them to communicate from a long distance in a short period of time. In 1938, it was a matter of time when he finally designed a device that can help to communicate with each other. He successfully send his first message from Wellington to Baltimore by using Morse codes in 1844.

Telegraph causes a dramatic shift in world perception as information can remain from physical material. Telegraph helped the militaries the most as they can get the messages faster. Moreover, the network of nerves of iron wire and it made the world a body. There were too many wires on he road. Information flows already understood how to allow coordination nd control.

How did the telegraph worked?

Telegraph operated by transmitting electrical signals between stations over a wire laid out. In addition to helping to invent the telegraph, Samuel Morse created a code “Morse codes” that allocated a collection of dots and dashes to each letter of the English alphabet and allowed complex messages across telegraph lines.

Not only did telegraph make people communicate with each other by a faster way, it also opened the gates for new inventions like telephone, television, radios and later the internet. After that the technology industry started to grow up gradually, smartphones and the internet replaces the telegraph, cars and planes have replaced the horses for travelling. As a result, today, we cant even imagine how people used to live and communicate before the 19th century,

Reference:

Alex, T. (2016). A Brief History of Long Distance Communication Retrieved from https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/blog/a-brief-history-of-long-distance-communication/

A&E Television Networks (2019), Morse Code & the Telegraph Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/telegraph

Published by Aqib Ali

Bachelors in Communication and Media

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