The History of Communication


Chinese online retail giant Alibaba CEO Jack Ma (C) waves as he arrives at the New York Stock Exchange in New York on September 19, 2014. Alibaba is poised for a record-breaking stock market debut on September 19, with shares priced at $68 in a public offering that could be valued at $25 billion. The company will step into the spotlight on the New York Stock Exchange, priced at the top of the $66-$68 per share range announced earlier this week, according to documents filed with US regulators. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SamadJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

3500 BC
to 2900 BC     The Phoenicians develop an alphabet.
The Sumerians develop cuneiform writing – pictographs of accounts written on clay tablets.
The Egyptians develop hieroglyphic writing. The History of Communication
1775 BC     Greeks use a phonetic alphabet written from left to right.
1400 BC     Oldest record of writing in China on bones.
1270 BC     The first encyclopedia is written in Syria.
900 BC     The very first postal service – for government use in China.
776 BC     First recorded the use of homing pigeons used to send a message – the winner of the Olympic Games to the Athenians.
530 BC     The Greeks start the very first library.
500 BC
to 170 BC     Papyrus rolls and early parchments made of dried reeds – first portable and light writing surfaces.
200 BC
to 100 BC     Human messengers on foot or horseback common in Egypt and China with messenger relay stations built.
Sometimes fire messages used from relay station to station instead of humans.
14     Romans establish postal services.
37     Heliographs – first recorded the use of mirrors to send messages by Roman Emperor Tiberius.
100     First bound books
105 BC     Tsai Lun of China invents paper as we know it.
305     First wooden printing presses invented in China – symbols carved on a wooden block.
1049     First movable type invented – clay – invented in China by Pi Sheng.
1450     Newspapers appear in Europe.
1455     Johannes Gutenberg invents a printing press with metal movable type.
1560     Camera Obscura invented – primitive image-making.
1650     First daily newspaper – Leipzig.
1714     Englishmen, Henry Mill receives the first patent for a typewriter.
1793     Claude Chappe invents the first long-distance semaphore (visual or optical) telegraph line.
1814     Joseph Nicéphore Niépce achieves the first photographic image.
1821     Charles Wheatstone reproduces sound in a primitive soundbox – the first microphone.
1831     Joseph Henry invents the first electric telegraph.
1835     Samuel Morse invents Morse code.
1843     Samuel Morse invents the first long-distance electric telegraph line.
Alexander Bain patents the first fax machine.
1861     United States starts the Pony Express for mail delivery.
Coleman Sellers invents the Kinematoscope – a machine that flashed a series of still photographs onto a screen.
1867     American, Sholes the first successful and modern typewriter.
1876     Thomas Edison patents the mimeograph – an office copying machine.
Alexander Graham Bell patents the electric telephone.
Melvyl Dewey writes the Dewey Decimal System for ordering library books.
1877     Thomas Edison patents the phonograph – with a wax cylinder as a recording medium.
Eadweard Muybridge invents high-speed photography – creating first moving pictures that captured motion.
1887     Emile Berliner invents the gramophone – a system of recording which could be used over and over again.
1888     George Eastman patents Kodak roll-film camera.
1889     Almon Strowger patents the direct dial telephone or automatic telephone exchange.
1894     Guglielmo Marconi improves wireless telegraphy.
1898     First telephone answering machines.
1899     Valdemar Poulsen invents the first magnetic recordings – using magnetized steel tape as recording medium – the foundation for both mass data storage on disk and tape and the music recording industry.
Loudspeakers invented.
1902     Guglielmo Marconi transmits radio signals from Cornwall to Newfoundland – the first radio signal across the Atlantic Ocean.
1904     First regular comic books.
1906     Lee Deforest invents the electronic amplifying tube or triode – this allowed all electronic signals to be amplified improving all electronic communications i.e. telephones and radios.
1910     Thomas Edison demonstrated the first talking motion picture.
1914     First cross-continental telephone call made.
1916     First radios with tuners – different stations.
1923     The television or iconoscope (cathode-ray tube) invented by Vladimir Kosma Zworykin – first television camera.
1925     John Logie Baird transmits the first experimental television signal.
1926     Warner Brothers Studios invented a way to record sound separately from the film on large disks and synchronized the sound and motion picture tracks upon playback – an improvement on Thomas Edison’s work.
1927     NBC starts two radio networks.
CBS founded.
First television broadcasts in England.
Warner Brothers released “The Jazz Singer” the first successful talking motion picture.
1930     Radio popularity spreads with the “Golden Age” of radio.
First television broadcasts in the United States.
Movietone system of recording film sound on an audio track right on the film invented.
1934     Joseph Begun invents the first tape recorder for broadcasting – first magnetic recording.
1938     Television broadcasts able to be taped and edited – rather than only live.
1939     Scheduled television broadcasts begin.
1944     Computers like Harvard’s Mark I put into public service – government-owned – the age of Information Science begins.
1948     Long-playing record invented – vinyl and played at 33 pm.
Transistor invented – enabling the miniaturization of electronic devices.
1949     Network television starts in the U.S.
45 rpm record invented.
1951     Computers are first sold commercially.
1958     Chester Carlson invents the photocopier or the Xerox machine.
Integrated Circuit invented – enabling the further miniaturization of electronic devices and computers.
1963     Zip codes invented in the United States.
1966     Xerox invents the Telecopier – the first successful fax machine.
1969     ARPANET – the first Internet started.
1971     The computer floppy disc invented.
The microprocessor invented – considered the computer on a chip.
1972     HBO invents pay-TV service for cable.
1976     Apple I home the computer invented.
First nationwide programming – via satellite and implemented by Ted Turner.
1979     First cellular phone communication network started in Japan.
1980     Sony Walkman invented.
1981     IBM PC first sold.
First laptop computers sold to the public.
Computer mouse becomes a regular part of the computer.
1983     Time magazines names the computer as “Man of the Year.”
First cellular phone network started in the United States.
1984     Apple Macintosh released.
IBM PC AT released.
1985     Cellular telephones in cars become wide-spread.
CD-ROMs in computers.
1994     American government releases control of the internet and WWW is born – making communication at lightspeed.

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