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The paper describes the invention of the electronic telegraph and shows how it fundamentally and drastically changed the mode of communication. The paper looks how the telegraph was used in warfare and in the world of business, but relates that messages were limited by the speed of the telegraph operators. The paper then turns to the development and invention of the telephone and outlines the controversy surrounding Bell's claim to invention. The paper discusses the more recent invention of the cell phone and how today, cell phones are a culmination of many technologies that have been developing in tandem over the past century. The paper explains that now that information can be delivered in smaller packets, and there is increased cooperation between companies, the abilities of cell phones are almost without limit.
From the Paper:"Most American schoolchildren learn--and promptly forget--that the telegraph as we think of it (when we so rarely do) was invented by Samuel Morse, who also developed the system of dots and dashes that bears his name and which was used over radios long after its usefulness on the telegraph had worn out. Few recognize, however, that telegraphic systems have been around since ancient times. Signal fires were often used to warn of an approaching enemy or other danger; these beacons could be seen for miles, and if a series of them were set up, messages could be relayed great distances very quickly. For instance, the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China "has 67 watchtowers along 11 kilometers of the Great Wall" (ThinkQuest). These towers and their signal fires could transmit messages across these eleven kilometers of mountainous terrain in a matter of minutes, when it might have taken a messenger days to carry the same message. The use of smoke signals by certain cultures made more detailed communication possible, and semaphore towers improved the detail and reliability of distance communication even more. All of these early methods of communication over large distances depended on visibility, however, which made them dependent on weather , terrain, and other factors. The advent of the electronic telegraph fundamentally and drastically changed the way we communicate."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Abel, J. (2002). "Entry into regulated monopoly markets: The development of a competitive fringe in the local telephone industry." Journal of law & economics, vol. 45, issue 2, pp. 289-316.
- Briggs, Charles. (1858). The story of the telegraph. New York: Rudd & Carleton.
- Casson, H. (1911). The history of the telephone. Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co.
- Ferderer, J. (2008). "Advances in communication technology and growth of the American over-the-counter markets 1876-1929." The journal of economic history, vol. 68, issue 2, pp. 501-34.
- Hounshell, D. (1975). "Elisha Gray and the telephone: On the disadvantages of being an expert." Technology and culture, vol. 16, issue 2, pp. 133-62.
Cite this Term Paper:
History of the Telephone (2010, December 24) Retrieved June 17, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/history-of-the-telephone-146238/
"History of the Telephone" 24 December 2010. Web. 17 June. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/history-of-the-telephone-146238/>