The History of Communication: What Was Before The Telephone and The Telegraph?

The History of Communication:  What Was Before The Telephone and The Telegraph?
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The 19th Century - Age of Inventions

During the nineteenth century, the history of communication saw a surge of devices, ith the introduction of signal lamps and a hydraulic telegraph system developed by the British. This utilized the use of water pressure through pipes and was accordingly limited by the pressure generated. Probably the two most influential arrivals were the radio and the telephone.

Communication in The Ancient World

Have you ever contemplated the history of communication? It is a fascinating journey back in time - to a prehistoric beginning when man blew animal horns and beat drums. The advent of fire enabled beacons and smoke signals to be sent. It is estimated that in the fifth century a system of “airmail” was devised by the use of pigeons. The fourth century saw a hydraulic telegraph system developed in Greece. It involved the use of fire signals and was limited to a line of sight” distance only.

Communication and Television

During the year of 1927, an invention was patented that was to bring the world into homes and lives of ordinary people. Television had become part of the history of communication and from this moment, the world remained no longer a place of mystery and became an even smaller place to live in! From the distorted images in black and white, it did not seem to be too long until color television came onto the scene. Now the demand was for more visual communication. Following the introduction of the “Picturephone, it was the turn of the “Video Telephone” and thereafter the “Videophone”.

Mobile Phones


The mobile or cell phone owes its existence to radio technology and can be directly associated with two-way radios used in police and other vehicles. Bulgaria developed a mobile phone in 1960’s and with one base station, could service a maximum of six users. Not only does it permit a voice inter-action, but the additional facility of “SMS” messaging has enabled personal and business users, to have extended communication abilities.

The Internet

An important development in the history of communication is the “Internet”. It originated from protocols implemented in 1982 and was the result of a concept involving a Global Network. The introduction of independent service providers, created a huge expansion process. During the 1990’s, this almost immediate communication facility impacted dramatically on all aspects of the world’s commercial and individual everyday lives. The instant sending and receipt of mail, has created a flow of information and learning, which has opened new avenues of communication to anyone.

Conference Calls

The time and monetary savings as a result of Conference calls is huge and are less stressful and effective, than the traveling of sometimes vast distances for meetings. With the advent of Pod-casting, new types of inter-action patterns developed. Larger participation was permitted with the live streaming of conference calls. Call organizers are able to arrange for participants to access the call without the need of dialing into a conference bridge. In certain situations, those who wish to participate may dial a number which has been displayed with the audio stream.

Communication has been an important part of business-making and understanding the history of communication helps one develop an appreciation for the impact communication has on society today. Technological developments in the field of communication, allowed business focus to share from local markets with limited number of customers toward “global village” concept that we are observing today, causing switches and adjustments in marketing strategy, project management etc.

References and Image Credits

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