What Differences and Similarities Existed between the Development and the Social Work of the Telegraph and the Telephone?
The 19th century developments of firstly the telegraph, and later the telephone, opened a gateway to a new, closer, more interdependent world. For a country as large as the United States, with a population now scattered from east to west, the implications were tremendous. The infamous tyranny of time and distance had been conquered.
Widespread acceptance and appreciation, however, were not immediate. Both inventions met with initial scepticism, ridicule, and even elements of fear. The wisdom of twenty-first century hindsight makes such reticence seem incredible and somewhat amusing, but the very magnitude of instantaneous communication was the source of anxiety in the first recipients as much as of excitement. In an era when any form of distance communication necessarily involved travel, the advent of the US telegraph in the 1844 represented a huge shift in reality. It is hardly surprising that it took a significant period of time before initial misgivings were surmounted.
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