Advances in Communication - Matt Tao

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Above is a steam powered printing press:

The Industrial Revolution led to some communication advances that would impact people today. The inventions that led to the biggest impact to modern society were the telegraph and the steam powered printing press. There were many electrical telegraphs in Europe made at the same time, but the first used one, invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone and William Cooke in 1837, used magnetic needles which were moved by electrical current and transmitted messages through a code which were determined through the intervals of not using the electrical current. The first operational telegraph line went from Euston Station and Camden Town in London. By the 1871, the telegraph became the most popular way of sending information that almost every post office, in major cities and some lesser cities had a telegraph, that the network of telegraphs went from the United States of America east to Australia and was received in a matter of minutes. The steam powered printing press was invented by Friedrich Koenig, who was a German printer, in London, England that used steam power to print letters onto paper instead of the old and laborious power printing press which was man powered.

Life during the time:
During the Industrial Revolution, the advancements of communication changed the lifestyle of the regular citizen. Great Britain had the best success with the new technology and the telegraph was the most popular used invention and the steam powered printing press, second. The reason Great Britain was the most successful was because more people invested on the projects which then became successful. Other European countries that had good success were France, Belgium, and Germany also because they were interested in acquiring new technology and take risks with the projects presented to them. The inventions in communication created a faster moving society where everything was better if it decreased the amount of work and allowed for more leisure time. Also with the steam powered printing press, it allowed for a normal citizen to learn how to read and be able to read an amount of books unlike before where only the richer could afford it. Also businesses could now commercialize to customers abroad now with the telegraph. The telegraph was a luxury item to even the upper class and only few private homes had them. They were mostly in post offices and in some businesses. The steam powered printing presses were usually only in publishing companies and newspaper companies.

Below is Cooke's and Wheatstone's electrical telegraph:
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Primary Source:
My Primary source is a clipping from the New York Herald in 1848 called "The Age of Miracles." In this article the author describes this the advancements in communication as the "miraculous age" calling it better than all the previous ages including "Moses and the Prophets." The author described the inventions as being "Heaven-born intellect" instead of seeing it as human's ability to think because all the inventions came out so quickly and surprised the world. Also the author says that "time is not only beaten, but it is annihilated" meaning that there was so much more time available never heard of before.

The electrical telegraph and the printing press has impacted society a lot since the Industrial Revolution. The telegraph has created the idea of a faster society because information could travel so much faster around the world so that people could create universal ideas on any topic than having to travel there in person or send a letter that could take months to go around the world. Also the idea of a faster moving society allowed there to be extra leisure time or knowledge being able to spread around much faster. The steam powered press has impacted our modern society's literacy rates because after the invention books and newspapers became cheaper which also allowed more people to read instead of it being a luxury item in a library. Along with the telegraph, it allowed knowledge to spread around the world and create universally accepted ideas.


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