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.
|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 use of homing pigeons used to send message - the winner of the Olympic Games to the Athenians.|
|530 BC||The Greeks start the very first library.|
to 170 BC
|Papyrus rolls and early parchments made of dried reeds - first portable and light writing surfaces.|
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 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 sound box - 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 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.
|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.
First television broadcasts in England.
Warner Brothers releases "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 rpm.
Transistor invented - enabling the miniaturization of electronic devices.
|1949||Network television starts in U.S.
45 rpm record invented.
|1951||Computers are first sold commercially.|
|1958||Chester Carlson invents the photocopier or 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 a computer on a chip.
|1972||HBO invents pay-TV service for cable.|
|1976||Apple I home 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 public.
Computer mouse becomes regular part of 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 internet and WWW is born - making communication at lightspeed.|
History of Communication - Inventions
History of Communication - Related Timelines
Listings in A to Z order: