tance to members ofany society. Without communication how would anyone know the day's current
events, know about jobs or know what is happening with one's family. Most
communication had been face to face verbal exchange. Then printed word
became a way to communicate especially at a distance. Information took
quite awhile to arrive at its destination. People were constantly in need
of faster and better communication. The invention of the telegraph improved
communication dramatically. Yet, the invention of the telephone brought a
breakthrough of the greatest advantage for society. It is an invention that
changed the way we communicate and impart information, and it continues to
evolve for better or worse.
The principle of combining voice and electricity brought about the
idea of the telephone in 1874. Alexander Graham Bell had a definite
interest and invented an apparatus in 1876. Had he not convinced his 2
partners of the potential of such a machine that could transmit voice, they
wouldn't have received their U.S. patent, "which now considered the most
valuable patent even issued."(1)
Bell exhibited his new invention at the Philadelphia centennial
exposition in 1876. A Texas newspapers publishes was interested in the
telephone. A line was later installed between his home and his newspaper
office in 1878. With subsequent demand for more telephones, a switchboard
and telephone exchange were opened in1879. Bell formed the Bell Telephone
Company in 1877 in Ontario. Other companies were unofficially opening up in
the same area. The idea soon spread. Telephone companies were officially
designated to service, maintain and operate the system.
At this time there was much interest in improving the telephone
system, but progress was slow for the telephone. Interest in using a
telephone grew. Not everyone had access to a telephone. Installations were
scattered throughout the country and not available every where.
As the need arose improvements and modifications were made. Some of
these were permanent outdoor wiring, commercial telephone service, a
workable switchboard, and operators, first boys, then women. Later came the
use of an alpha-numeric system for identification of customers instead of
using their names.
Stroger, from Missouri, invented the phone dial and installed an
automatic exchange in the United States. It wasn't licensed though by the
bell telephone system until 1924. At this time there were other telephone
systems beside Bell Telephone. There were problems that arose because of
there incompatibility. They could not be connected to each other. This was
a problem for the customers who couldn't communicate with one another. All
of the independent companies battled for providing services to customers.
There were also problems with interference from other uses of electricity,
particularly trolley cars and sheet lamps. Lightning also destroyed lines.
Later on the use of power from battery systems was established in1888.
The idea of the automatic dialing system was being patented so the "use of
operators could be eliminated." (2)
As the system improved, more people could connect and communicate
almost instantaneously. "Amplifying sound waves with the use of repeaters
was invented which allowed long distance service to the constructed between
New York and
San Francisco in 1913." (3)
In 1911 American Telephone and Telegraph took control of Western
Union. By 1918, ten million telephones uses were being serviced by the Bell
System. Many improvements for the good of the communication system
continued through the years. Some of these improvements are multiple calls
on a circuit, a single unit handset receiver, transatlantic service,
electronic switching and mobile service, by 1946. Innovations continued
with microwave transmission, all numeric calling, the first satellite in
1962, and the development of video phones in 1965. All of this leads us to
the status of modern communication in the new millennium.
The 21st century has seen the coming of "The Information
Superhighway". (4)This defines the ultimate objective of global
communication. The human race will be linked together for better or for
worse. Today more and more telecommunications are digital. Our network is
rapidly becoming digital. In some ways the revolution has only begun and
we have many years ahead to make the current system seem like Morse code.
Today in this century, the most important product is information.
People's needs are as such, that telecommunication is the key to this whole
process. Everyone needs to have the easiest and fastest way that we can to
communicate with other people. The information needs to be sent "from
place to place and from person to person" (5), almost instantaneously.
"Every aspect that affects our lives" (6) continues to improve. "We
want the best product and the best price," (7) easy access and simplicity.
In society we do not have the time to fumble through our every day lives.
"The demand from businesses and society" (8) alone, with scientific
discoveries and technological advances has made an increasing variety of
products possible.The variety of these products which are personalized
to individual taste brings people closer together.
From the invention of the telephone to telegraph the turn of the
century, we have come along way in communication. From the regular
telephone to walkie talkies, to fax machines, to mobile phones, pagers,
cellular phones to communicating through the internet. The technology for
communication today has made it easier for society. It has brought every
sense, of being right next to the person you are talking to.
The changes in communications had made progress through the years but
there were also the downfalls from each one.When the first telephones
was installed in homes, in order to call someone the operator would come on
the phone line and the operator would ask for the phone number, then the
call would be connected. This was fine, but there were times when the call
would connect to a different number. When this happened, you had to hang
up and ask the operator again to connect the number. This seemed fine, but
at times it was a hassle.
The fax machine was a good invention. This was geared mainly for
businesses. The fax machine would allow businesses to send information
directly to another business. The fax machine is used today in most
businesses and also in many homes.
The walkie talkies were also good to have. The power of each walkie
talkies would reach a certain distance. This was a form of a two way
conversation. The person would be able to hold the walkie talkies and
speak into them. Now a day, the walkie talkies have a better range of
Mobile phones were the start of telecommunication. This brought the
idea to be able to have a phone with you at all times. The only problem was
that it had to be plugged in your car. People were not able to carrier the
phone in your pocket. The mobile phone was rather large. The phone had to
be carried in a bag along with a battery and a plug. The battery was used
when you needed to make a call, when you were out of your car. Society felt
this was a good progress.
Then there was the answering machine. This product would be attached
to your phone and when the phone rang and you were not at home the person
calling would be able to leave a message.One advantage about having an
answering machine was that to screen calls. Another advantage is that the
answering machine would pick up your messages if you were sick and didn't
want to talk to anyone. Today the answering machine is still used. Now a
days the answering machine in built inside the telephone.
The cell phone has been a life saver for all of society in more ways
then one. Whether someone is in an emergency state and needs help, or if
an accident may happen to the person will be able to contact the police.
This also holds true for any one that needs to call some one right away. To
find a phone was hard to locate in an emergency. The advantage is the phone
is with you at all times, whether you are in a car or just walking. The
cell phone is made small that you can carry them easily. The cell phone
has helped many businesses. Some people carrier a cell phone with them at
all times. This makes it easy for business men and business women to call
there office when they go out. There is a disadvantage when using your
cell phone in the car. The cell phone can make anyone distracted, people
tend to slow your car down and not pay attention to the signs or here
sounds from other vehicles. The risk is getting into an accident or
causing one. In many states there has been a law that prohibits people
from using a cell phone while operating a car. In order to be safe using
the cell phone and while driving a car, pull over to the side of the road
or park the car.
Communication can be done through the internet. Anyone can e-mail
anyone that is set up to receive e-mail. E-mail is when people can send a
note or letter to someone in seconds via the computer. This aspect of
communication is versatile. Not only communicating with e-mail now you can
have a web cam. This is a camera that is propped atop of your computer.
This enables you to dial up and speak with the other person and see them at
the same time. The only way that you would be able to do this is if the
other person is also set up. There is also a delay in sending the
pictures. It some times seems that the picture and the voice do not go
together because there is a second delay.
The Information Superhighway is, "emerging technologies of modern
telecommunications. (9)" This is to have a wide public network that will
deliver a variety of services. Talking and writing is the only
communication we have with people. With out this the world would not go
round. The technology and advances that have been given to us will
supersede and is unlikely to stand still. Concepts on virtual reality are
already in the making.