Term Paper: History of Communication Timeline

Pages: 14 (6119 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] This is important in the history of communication because the rise of urbanization that would accompany the birth of capitalism is overall responsible for a certain measure of social organization that would result in overall technological innovations, in addition to the invention of a new social category: the bus driver.

SOURCE: Nicholas Hammond (Editor), The Cambridge Companion to Pascal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz -- co-inventor with Sir Isaac Newton of mathematical calculus -- works on Pascal's designs to create a cylindrical gear calculator. This is important in the history of communication for the same reason as Pascal's computation machine was. (See above.)

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz"

Leibniz first describes binary mathematics, which will become the basis of contemporary computing. This is important in the history of communication because without the ones and zeros of binary mathematics doing something on an infinitesimally small level in my computer right now, I would not be able to type the words that I am currently typing.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz"

The Montgolfier brothers invent the hot-air balloon. This is important in the history of communication because now aerostation and manned flight is possible for the first time, and soon the possibility of balloons being used as a means of military invasion was explored by Napoleon.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Montgolfier Brothers"

The modern bicycle first invented. This is important in the history of communication because the profession of bicycle messenger would follow soon, thus proving the usefulness of bicycles in the context of communication.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Bicycle."

French army forces in Egypt discover the Rosetta Stone. This is important in the history of communication because the parallel Greek, Egyptian demotic, and Hieroglyphic texts on the Rosetta Stone implied that hieroglyphic inscriptions were linguistic rather than religious in character, and might potentially be deciphered (as they soon would be).

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Rosetta Stone."

Richard Trevithick tests the first full-sized steam locomotive in England. This is important in the history of communication because developments in transportation affect the speed of communication.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Richard Trevithick"

Robert Fulton builds and tests his first experimental steamboat on the River Seine in France. This is important in the history of communication because Fulton's launch soon afterward of the first commercial steamship lines would help to facilitate commerce across longer distances.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Steamboat"

1803-4.

The Jacquard Loom is built by Joseph-Marie Jacquard, which employed punch cards to alter the complex patterns woven on industrial cloth looms -- it is an early example of a programmable device. This is important in the history of communication because programming represents a way to communicate with complicated machinery.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Jacquard Loom."

Champollion deciphers the Rosetta stone, marking the modern rediscovery of the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphs. For why this is important in the history of communication, see the comment above on the invention of Egyptian hieroglyphs. SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Francois Champollion"

Charles Babbage begins production on a "difference engine," a machine that would theoretically be able to keep track of complicated mathematical calculations through the use of gears. This is important in the history of communication because Babbage's researches would establish a solid engineering foundation for the modern computer.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Charles Babbage."

The first typewriter is invented by W.A. Burt. Burt also invented devices for maritime use, which seems to have been his primary focus. Burt was a Freemason, a state legislator, and a territorial judge. His importance in the history of communication was in demonstrating the possibility of an operable typewriter, thus putting printing directly into the hands of the masses, for better or for worse.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "William Austin Burt"

Yale University alumnus Samuel F.B. Morse invents the "basic sense" of his Morse code for use by telegraph operators. Sterling and Kittross note that five years after this, Morse will apply for a patent on his telegraph invention. They additionally note that three years after the application, Morse will receive his patent. This presumably demonstrates the appalling slowness in communication which made inventing the telegraph an utter necessity.

SOURCE: Sterling and Kittross, Stay Tuned.

Babbage abandons the "difference engine" and begins design for the "analytical engine," a much more complicated device which would be capable of programming much like a modern personal computer. This is important in the history of communication because it marked Babbage's recognition of the central fact of modern computing -- the capacity for storing information in abstract numerical format.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Charles Babbage."

Louis Daguerre's first daguerrotype, the first visual image taken from light that was fixed and did not fade, was made. The precursor to the modern photograph, the Daguerrotype represents a first step forward towards the ready availability of porn in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Louis Daguerre"

Isambard Kingdom Brunel develops the first trans-Atlantic steamship, which soon enters into regular usage. Brunel -- who was a Victorian engineer -- built lots of other things which stayed put, like bridges. But the steamship enabled trans-Atlantic communication, commerce, and immigration to transform the later history of the nineteenth century and beyond.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Isambard Kingdom Brunel"

First electric telegraph lines in commercial use come into operation in July of 1839. Operating with use on the Great Western Railway, the telegraph makes more or less instantaneous written messaging possible across long distances. In 1839 the distance only ran for thirteen miles, but soon telegraph wires would criss-cross the globe and would contribute to the rise of modern journalism through the ability to offer written reports more or less instantaneously.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Telegraph"

Tauchnitz markets the first commercially mass-produced paperback book. Reprints of great English and American authors produced continentally (where they escaped copyright restrictions) made these Tachnitz books the direct ancestor of the modern mass-market paperback. These are important in the history of communication because it represents a greater spread of literacy and knowledge unto the proletariat.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Tauchnitz"

Ada Lovelace Byron publishes her account of how Babbage's (unbuilt) difference engine could be programmed mathematically; this gives Lady Byron (herself the daughter of the "mad, bad and dangerous-to-know" poet Lord Byron) the honorific title of "First Computer Programmer," and her birthday is accordingly celebrated by hackers as their annual holiday, Ada Lovelace Day (March 24).

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Ada Lovelace"

George Boole develops the system of mathematical operations known as "Boolean Logic," later the basis for computer operating systems. This is important because he is thought of in retrospect as one of the founders of computer science, and thus the means whereby most communication occurs in the twenty-first century, although he hardly realized it at the time.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "George Boole"

Charles Babbage develops a method for breaking polyalphabetic ciphers and uses them the next year to break the Vigenere cipher during the Crimean war. Babbage, as an early father of the computer, will not be the last Englishman to make contributions in the fields of both mathematical cryptography and the development of computing technology -- see Alan Turing, below. This is important in the history of communication because I am writing this on a computer, and would not be without Babbage's contribution to its development.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Charles Babbage."

The first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable is laid. Sterling and Kittross note that this is the third attempt to lay the cable, but the first success. This is important in the history of communication because at this time London is the financial and banking center of the world -- as well as the imperial center -- but America, just emerging from Civil War, is a great source of raw materials. Communication between these two economic titans will drive technological innovation in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

SOURCE: Sterling and Kittross, Stay Tuned.

The attachment of a Perreaux commercial steam-engine to a Michaux commercial iron-framed bicycle results in the first steam-powered velocipede. Patents filed four years later to copyright the idea make the Perreaux-Michaux steam velocipede the official first invention of the motorcycle, although steam-power rendered it a technological dead-end.

SOURCE: Guggenheim Museum, The Art of the Motorcycle (1998)

Alexander Graham Bell makes the first transmitted statement over a telephone. Ironically Bell came to the telephone after a career in educating the deaf. Tragically, he could never teach them how to use the telephone properly. Bell's first sentence spoken over the telephone -- "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you" -- did not strike contemporaries as the faintly homoerotic come-hither it resembles today. Nonetheless, the telephone was successful in giving people another means of communication.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, "Alexander Graham Bell"

William S. Burroughs (ancestor of the heroin-addicted novelist) invents the adding machine. His novelist grandson would later write Naked Lunch, a novel in which he describes hallucinating a giant talking anus on one of his illustrious forebear's adding machines. The invention of Burroughs the elder is important in the history of communication because the computation of numerical data became vastly easier, and could be done by unskilled laborers; how the younger… [END OF PREVIEW]

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