Most of us would consider the emergence of large-scale communication networks to be a 20th century phenomenon. Yet, the first nationwide data networks were built not in this century but almost 200 years ago. Well before the electromagnetic telegraph was invented, many countries in Europe had fully operational data communications systems, with altogether close to 1,000 network stations.
This book gives a fascinating glimpse of the many documented attempts throughout history to develop effective means for long-distance communications. The oldest attempts date back to millennia before Christ, and include ingenious uses of homing pigeons, mirrors, flags, torches, and beacons.
The book then shows how Claude Chappe, a French clergyman, started the information revolution in 1794 with the design and construction of the first true telegraph network in France. Another chapter contains the first complete English translation of a remarkable document on the design of optical telegraphs networks, originally written in 1796 by the Swedish nobleman Abraham Niclas Edelcrantz.
This book records the growth of telegraphy over two centuries, depicting the discoveries and ingenuity of the experimenters and engineers involved, the equipment they designed and built, and the organisation, applications and effects on society.
This brilliantly conceived biography is the very American tale of a quiet man, raised by religious zealots, who became a gifted and prolific painter (more than three hundred portraits and historical canvases), became the first Professor of Fine Arts at an American college, and founded the National Academy of Design. A classic overachiever, this was simply not enough for Samuel F. B. Morse; he subsequently ran for Congress and mayor of New York. Lastly, in his most famous life's work, he invented a machine that was to transform commerce, communication, transportation, military affairs, diplomacy, and the course of the modern world. What invention could be so revolutionary? The telegraph, of course-and the eponymous Morse code. Here is the story of an incredible invention, and an engrossing life, by a Bancroft- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
Abraham Lincoln's two great legacies to history--his extraordinary power as a writer and his leadership during the Civil War--come together in this close study of the President's use of the telegraph. Invented less than two decades before he entered office, the telegraph came into its own during the Civil War. In a jewel-box of historical writing, Wheeler captures Lincoln as he adapted his folksy rhetorical style to the telegraph, creating an intimate bond with his generals that would ultimately help win the war.
Telegraphy in the nineteenth century approximated the internet in our own day. Historian and electrical engineer David Hochfelder offers readers a comprehensive history of this groundbreaking technology, which employs breaks in an electrical current to send code along miles of wire. The Telegraph in America, 1832-1920 examines the correlation between technological innovation and social change and shows how this transformative relationship helps us to understand and perhaps define modernity.
The telegraph revolutionized the spread of information--speeding personal messages, news of public events, and details of stock fluctuations. During the Civil War, telegraphed intelligence and high-level directives gave the Union war effort a critical advantage. Afterward, the telegraph helped build and break fortunes and, along with the railroad, altered the way Americans thought about time and space. With this book, Hochfelder supplies us with an introduction to the early stirrings of the information age.
In the 1850s, American entrepreneur Perry M. Collins envisioned a world connected by an overland telegraph line. Western Union shared his vision, and, with Russia and England willing to be partners in the venture, it seemed possible to complete the massive undertaking. This is the story of how Collins helped to deploy a telegraph army to British Columbia, modern day Alaska, and Siberia. Supported by a telegraph navy, these men surveyed, explored, and operated in dangerous--sometimes even life-threatening-- environments to build the line from 1865 to 1867, only to have their attempts made obsolete by completion of the Atlantic cable in 1866.
Dwyer examines the geopolitical context, notions of manifest destiny, and the spirit of entrepreneurial adventure that motivated telegraph army commander, Col. Charles S. Burkley and his men. This story focuses on firsthand accounts by expedition participants and excerpts from ship's log to fill this important gap in the history of communication. These men braved possible starvation and risked their lives in an ultimately futile attempt to make their vision a reality.