The invention of telegraph and telephone an overview

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Anupama Nair


Would you believe me when I say the greatest innovations in communication technology was derived from electricity? Well, it is true. The electric telegraph was invented for use on the developing of British railway system by two British inventors, Sir William Cooke and Sir Charles Wheatstone, who worked together and took out a joint patent in 1837. Along the same time, the American inventor Samuel Morse devised the signaling code that was used all over the world. In the next quarter of the century the continents of the world were linked telegraphically by trans-oceanic cables, and the main political and commercial centers were brought into instantaneous communication. The telegraph system also played an important role in the opening up of the American West by providing a rapid aid in the maintenance of law and order.

The electric telegraph was followed soon by the telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 and adopted quickly for short-range oral communication in the cities of America and later in Europe and rest of the world. About the same time, theoretical work on the electromagnetic properties of light and other radiation was beginning to produce astonishing experimental results, and the possibilities of wireless telegraphy began to be explored. At the end of the century, Guglielmo Marconi had transmitted messages over many miles in Britain and was prepared the apparatus with which he made the first Transatlantic radio communication on December 12, 1901. The world was thus being drawn inexorably into a closer community by the spread of instantaneous communication.

Today, the telegraph is no longer used as e-mails and Whatsapp is popular. The cell phones have become so popular, it is impossible to imagine a life without them.

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