telecommunication

The Mechanical Telegraph – a French Invention

The Mechanical Telegraph – a French Invention

On May 23, 1813, the first (modern) optical telegraph line following the mechanical telegraphy system of the French inventor Claude Chappe between Metz and Mainz was established. No, this wasn‘t the first of its kind, but it was the first to connect the former already in France established telegraphy system with a (now) German city. Long before the Days of Morse Code Early telecommunications included smoke signals and drums. Talking drums were…
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Germany’s First Radio Program Goes Public

Germany’s First Radio Program Goes Public

On October 29, 1923 the very first radio program in Germany was broadcast from the Vox-Haus in Berlin, Tiergarten. Funk-Stunde AG Berlin was the first radio station in Germany. The station was operated by the broadcasting company of the same name and broadcast its program from Berlin in the then northern German broadcasting district. Technical Background and Key Figures The history of the radio is long and for many years it was not…
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Johann Philipp Reis Demonstrates the first Telephone

Johann Philipp Reis Demonstrates the first Telephone

On October 26, 1861, German teacher and inventor Johann Philipp Reis, presented his telephone system at the ‘Physikalischen Verein zu Frankfurt am Main‘. Although it did not convince his contemporaries, his invention marks a milestone in telecommunications. Early Life and First Projects Philipp Reis was born on January 7, 1834 in Gelnhausen, Germany in a Jewish family as son of a baker. Reis’s mother died while he was an infant, and he…
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Dit dit dit da dit – The first Morse Telegram

Dit dit dit da dit – The first Morse Telegram

On May 24th 1844 the first Morse telegram went over the line. Samuel Morse and his colleague Alfred Vail knew that the very first phrase to be sent with the new telecommunication medium was to be remembered. So what should they transmit? Morse came up with a quote from the bible, certainly well chosen for an historic occasion like this: “What God had wrought” sent by Morse in Washington to Alfred Vail at…
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Oliver Heaviside changed the Face of Telecommunications

Oliver Heaviside changed the Face of Telecommunications

On May 18, 1850, English self-taught electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist Oliver Heaviside was born. Heaviside adapted complex numbers to the study of electrical circuits, invented mathematical techniques for the solution of differential equations, reformulated Maxwell’s field equations in terms of electric and magnetic forces and energy flux, and independently co-formulated vector analysis. Oliver Heaviside suffered from scarlet fever as a child and had to deal with a hearing impairment since then. He…
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Michael Pupin and the long-distance Phone Calls

Michael Pupin and the long-distance Phone Calls

On October 9, 1858, Serbian American physicist and physical chemist Michael Pupin was born, who is best known for his numerous patents, including a means of greatly extending the range of long-distance telephone communication by placing loading coils (of wire) at predetermined intervals along the transmitting wire (known as “pupinization“). Mihajlo Idvorsky Pupin was born in the village of Idvor (in the modern-day municipality of Kovačica, Serbia) in Banat, in the Military…
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The Legend of the Pony Express

The Legend of the Pony Express

On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express started delivering messages, newspapers, mail, even small packages from St. Joseph, Missouri across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento, California by horseback, using a series of relay stations. Although being an economic disaster, the Pony Express has become a U.S. national legend. In January 1848, Gold was discovered in California, but the poor communication between the east and…
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Merry Christmas or How the SMS was born

Merry Christmas or How the SMS was born

On December 3, 1992, the world‘s first SMS (Short Messaging Service) message was sent from Neil Papworth of Sema Group over the Vodafone GSM network in the United Kingdom. The text of the very first SMS message was simply “Merry Christmas.” For more than 20 years now we are using this messaging service. Annoyed by the tiny keyboard and by the fact that you have to keep your messages short, because you…
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Jon Postel – Editor in Chief of the Internet

Jon Postel – Editor in Chief of the Internet

On August 6, 1943, American Computer Scientist and Internet pioneer Jonathan Postel was born. He is known principally for being the Editor of the Request for Comments (RFC) document series, and for administering the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) until his death in 1998. If you are familiar with the internet, sooner or later you will have to do with so-called RFCs. RFCs are Request for Comments and are the basic documents that…
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Timing is Everything – Elisha Gray and the Telephone Patent

Timing is Everything – Elisha Gray and the Telephone Patent

Elisha Gray (1835-1901) On August 2, 1835, American electrical engineer Elisha Gray was born. Gray is best known for his development of a telephone prototype in 1876 and is considered by some to be the true inventor of the variable resistance telephone, despite losing out to Alexander Graham Bell for the telephone patent. But besides the telephone, Gray was a successful and prolific inventor. He is also considered to be the father…
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