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The Communication Revolution

Introduction to the Communication Revolution

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During the nineteenth century a series of technological innovations dramatically reshaped the way people communicated at a global level. New means of communication speeded the pace of life, and increased trade and the exchange of ideas.

The Major Technological Innovations

Postal System

A schoolmaster from England, Rowland Hill invented the adhesive postage stamp in 1837, an act for which he was knighted. Through his efforts the first stamp in the world was issued in England in 1840. Hill created the first uniform postage rates that were based on weight, rather than size.

Telegraph

At the end of the century the wireless telegraph became a standard safety device on oceangoing vessels. At the height of it use, telegraph technology involved a worldwide system of wires with stations and operators and messengers, that carried messages and news by electricity faster than anyother invention before it.

Improved Newspaper Presses

When the telegraph was invented, The New York Herald, The Sun, and the Tribune had been founded recently. The proprietors of these newspapers saw that the telegraph was bound to affect all newspapers profoundly. How were the newspapers to cope with the situation and make use of the news that was coming in and would be coming in more and faster over the wires?

Phonograph

An instrument for recording sound and reproducing it was the phonograph (record-player).

Photography

The last half century of the 1800s saw great advances in photography and photoengraving.

The Birth of Motion Pictures

When the motion picture was shown in the United States, the audiences were amazed.
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