Communication has always been of the highest importance to members of any society. Without communication how would anyone know the days current events, know about jobs or know what is happening with ones 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 wouldnt 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 wasnt 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 couldnt 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. Peoples 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 distance.
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 didnt 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.