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History of Communication

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Since the beginning of time, people have had the need to communicate with one

and other. The most common type of communication is speech, but you could not talk to

someone who lived 20 miles away. Then written language was developed, people marked

symbols on paper, stone, or whatever was available. Then hundreds of years passed, and

people who wanted to share their ideas with people had to do allot of writing, until

someone thought to make a writing machine. This machine is called the printing press.

Gutenberg's invention of the printing press is widely thought of as the origin of

mass communication-- it marked Western culture's first viable method of disseminating

ideas and information

from a single source to a large and far-ranging audience. The story of

print is a long and complax one. It may be too much to claim that print was the single

cause of the massive social, political and psychological changes it is associated with.

However, print did wield enormous influence on every aspect of European culture. Some

historians suggest that print was instrumental in bringing about all the major shifts in

science, religion, politics and the modes of thought that are commonly associated with

modern Western culture.

Gutenberg foresaw enormous profit-making potential for a printing press that used

movable metal type. Despite their rapid growth in numbers, secular scribes simply could

not keep up with the commercial demand for books. Gutenberg also saw strong maket

potential in selling indulgences, the slips of paper offering written dispensation from sin

that the Church sold to fund crusades, new buildings and other projects devoted to

expanding its dominance. In fact, press runs of 200,000 indulgences at a time were

common soon after the handwritten versions became obsolete.

There were many different innovations since the first hand operated printing press.

The Stanhope press, which was widely used for many years, still used a hand-operated

screw to press print and paper, but it could print up to 250 sheets an hour. A considerable

improvement was the Colombian press. In this press, the typical screw method was

eliminated, and replaced with powerful hand levers.

All of there presses, and variants of them, had two features in common: they were

manually operated, and the flat surfaces of print and paper were pressed together by a

screw or lever. A man names Fredric Koenig invinted the steam press, this press has a

cylinder which rolled the paper over the inked type. This press was much more efficient,

and could print up to 1000 sheets per hour. Since then the printing press has progressed

greatly, the fastest printing press in the world can print up to 110,000 sheets an hour.

The Morse system of telegraphy was invented by Samuel Morse in the 1840s in the

United Strates. "Morse Code" is essentially a simple way to represent the letters of the

alphabet using patterns of dots and dashes. A unique pattern is assigned to each character

of the alphabet, as well as to the ten numerals. These long and short pulses are translated

into electrical signals by an operator using a telegraph key, and the electrical signals are

translated back into the alphabetic characters by a skilled operator at the distant receiving


morse telegraphy became the standard method of electrical communication in both

the United States and Europe due to its simplicity and ability to work on inferior quality

wires. In 1851, countries in Europe adopted a new code known as "continental" or

"international" code. This new code was a modification of the original Morse. The new

code eliminated the characters using spaced dots which were found to cause errors in

transmission on undersea cables. The new code became the standard for all telegraph work

except in north america where the original Morse was used on all landline circuits (except

for undersea cable).

The applications of the Morse telegraph were many. Tha most well known of these

to the general public was the commercial telegram service. The railroads were an early and

enthusiastic user of the Morse system which improved the efficiency and safety of railroad

operations. The Associated Press was originally an alliance of Morse telegraph services

and operators dedicated to news dispatches. Industry found the telegraph indispensable


the transmission of business related communication including information on stocks and

commodities. The American civil war was the one of the first demonstrations of the

military value of the telegraph in the control of troop deployment and intelligence. Even

the flow of oil through pipelines was controlled by Morse telegraph.



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