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The Invention of the Telegraph and Morse Code Essay

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The telegraph was the first major advancement in communication technology. In 1838, Samuel Morse perfected and demonstrated the first telegraph machine. His machine used Morse code to send electronic currents along a wire, allowing the first high speed long distance communications. By the 1850s, the telegraph was widespread. In 1861, Western Union installed the first trans-continental line and by 1866, the first trans-Atlantic line was completed. At this time, telegraphs were all keyed by hand and transcribed from Morse code to English by ear. Fredrick Creed invented a way to convert Morse code into text in what became known as the Creed Telegraph System. That was in 1900, and by 1914, these automatic transmissions handled twice what a person could. Western Union developed multiplexing in 1913, allowing a single wire to simultaneously transmit eight messages. With the invention of the teleprinter in 1925, machines almost entirely replaced humans in the telegraph industry.
The invention of the telegraph was monumental in American society. Businesses could open branches across the country and communicate quickly and efficiently with their separate locations. During World War II, the telegraph was magnificently valuable. It made instantaneous communication between commanding officers, even other armies, a possibility. On an individual level, the telegram made communication between family and friends around the world feasible. For the first time in history new could travel around the world in a day. Because of this availability of new information, people stayed more informed and were in return more involved in national issues.
Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray both independently designed a telephone in the 1870s. However, Bell ...


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...nly terminals attached to a common system were able to communicate with each other, but it was still far easier than a telegram. By the late 1970s and 1980s, the growth of personal computers led to major advancements in email technologies. Since the mainstreaming of the Internet around 1995, email communication between personal computers has become increasingly available.
The ability to send electronic mail influenced American society in a variety of ways. Unlike the telephone, email made communication less personal, but more convenient. Both parties could now send and receive information whenever they desired. There was no longer a need for expensive, long distance phone calls to communicate with people around the world. It nearly supplanted postal mail. Email shrank the world even further; instantaneous worldwide communication became both simple and inexpensive.



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