Communication Timeline

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    Communication Technology

  • First Book Printed on Recycled Paper

    In 1801, the first book was printed on recycled paper. This made printing books easier because the material was stronger. This also allowed books to last longer.
  • First Photograph

    Joseph Niepce achieves the first photographic image. This eliminated the need for professional artists to hand paint portraits of families, etc. Later, news sources would use photography for newspapers, television broadcasts, etc.
  • First Microphone

    Charles Wheatstone successfully reproduced sound in a sound box. This was basically the first microphone. Microphones are used heavily in today's society in telephones, radio, television, and internet broadcasts.
  • First Telegraph

    Joseph Henry creates the first working telegraph. This was a device that sent electrical signals through wires over long distances, where the signals would be converted into a series of beeps or buzzes. While primitive in today's society, the telegraph was a revolutionary event that eliminated the need for physical letters to be sent through the mail.
  • First Fax Machine

    Alexander Bain patents the first fax machine. This is a device that would be used in office buildings for a long time.
  • Pony Express

    In 1861, the United States started the Pony Express as a mail delivery system. Back in the day, the postal system was the primary means of exchanging letters and packages.
  • First Modern Typewriter

    Sholes, an American company, creates the first successful and modern typewriter. The typewriter allowed personal documents to be created quicker and easier than handwriting.
  • First Wireless Telephone Call

    Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant successfully established a wireless phone call at a distance of 213 meters
  • Gramaphone

    In 1887, Emile Berliner invents the gramaphone; a system of recording which could be used over and over again.
  • First Telephone Answering Machines

    In 1898, the first telephone answering machines began to appear. These machines allowed voicemail messages to be recorded to be played back later to the inteded recipent of the call.
  • First Magnetic Recording

    Valdemar Paulsen was the first person to make a magnetic recording. He used magnetized steel tape to store his recording. This was a great discovery and the same principles would be used later on for mass computer data storage.
  • First International Radio Broadcast

    Gluglielmo Marconi successfully sent radio waves over the Atlantic ocean in 1902. This was a big step in radio technology.
  • Electronic Amplifying Tube/Triode

    Lee DeForest creates the first electronic amplifying tube/triode. This allowed electronic signals to be amplified to travel greater distances. This was especially useful in telephone and telegraph lines.
  • First Transcontinental Telephone Line created

    In 1914, the first transcontinental telephone line was created. Created by AT&T, the line stretched from New York City to Wendover, Utah.
  • First Radios with Tuners

    The year 1916 was the year tuners became available in radios. This made it possible to listen to different stations on the same device. Today, tuners are in every radio on the market, which provides us access to many different radio stations in the area.
  • First TV Broadcast

    In 1930, the first TV broadcasts began to appear in America. While England had beaten them 3 years earlier, television broadcasts in America would launch an entertainment revolution.
  • TV Recordings

    In 1938, television broadcasts were then able to be taped and edited. This meant that not all TV programs would be live broadcasts. The ability to edit content before airing allowed stations to perfect their content.
  • First Publicly-owned Computers

    In 1944, computers such as the Mark I were put into service by the government. This began the age of Information Science.
  • Transistor invented

    The transistor chip was invented. This allowed electronic components to be made much smaller than they were before the transistor.
  • Microprocessor Invented

    The microprocessor was invented, which led to huge advancements in computer technology. The microprocessor made it possible to put a lot of computing power on a relatively small piece of silicon.
  • Floppy Disk invented

    In 1971, the floppy disk was invented. It was a small disk capable of storing about 1 and a half megabytes of data. It was slow and cumbersome by today's standards, but it was a breakthrough in data storage devices.
  • Paid Cable TV services invented

    HBO was the first to launch a paid cable TV service. Back then only the rich people used it, but now pretty much everyone with a TV has some form of cable television in their home, which allows dozens of exclusive channels.
  • First Cellphone Network

    In the year 1979 in Japan, the first cell phone network was created. 25 years later, cell phones would become perhaps the most common means of voice communication.
  • Sony Walkman invented

    The Sony Walkman was the first successful portable music players. It played cassettes as well as radio.
  • Computer Mouse

    In 1981, the computer mouse becomes a standard component of a computer system.
  • Apple Macintosh released

    The Apple Macintosh computer was first released in 1984. It was perhaps the first computer to utilize a graphical interface, allowing the user to interact using a keyboard and mouse. While some disagree, the Apple Macintosh set the standard for the next era of personal computing as we know it.
  • Government releases Internet

    In 1994, the US government released its strict control of the Internet. This quickly gave way to the World Wide Web, which allowed instant communication to virtually anywhere in the world.