Communication Systems/Communications History
This page will attempt to show some of the basic history of electrical communication systems.
1831 Samuel Morse invents the first repeater and the telegraph is born
1837 Charles Wheatstone patents "electric telegraph"
1849 England to France telegraph cable goes into service -- and fails after 8 days.
1850 Morse patents "clicking" telegraph.
1851 England-France commercial telegraph service begins. This one uses gutta-percha, and survives.
1858 August 18 - First transatlantic telegraph messages sent by the Atlantic Telegraph Co. The cable deteriorated quickly, and failed after 3 weeks.
1861 The first transcontinental telegraph line is completed
1865 The first trans-Atlantic cable goes in service
1868 First commercially successful transatlantic telegraph cable completed between UK and Canada, with land extension to USA. The message rate is 2 words per minute.
1870 The trans-Atlantic message rate is increased to 20 words per minute.
1874 Baudot invents a practical Time Division Multiplexing scheme for telegraph. Uses 5-bit codes & 6 time slots -- 90 bps max. rate. Both Western Union and Murray would use this as the basis of multiplex telegraph systems.
1875 Typewriter invented.
1876 Alexander Graham Bell and Elisa Grey independently invent the telephone (although it may have been invented by Antonio Meucci as early as 1857)
1877 Bell attempts to use telephone over the Atlantic telegraph cable. The attempt fails.
1880 Oliver Heaviside's analysis shows that a uniform addition of inductance into a cable would produce distortionless transmission.
1883 Test calls placed over five miles of under-water cable.
1884 - San Francisco-Oakland gutta-percha cable begins telephone service.
1885 Alexander Graham Bell incorporated AT&T
1885 James Clerk Maxwell predicts the existence of radio waves
1887 Heinrich Hertz verifies the existence of radio waves
1889 Almon Brown Strowger invents the first automated telephone switch
1895 Gugliemo Marconi invents the first radio transmitter/receiver
1901 Gugliemo Marconi transmits the first radio signal across the Atlantic 1901 Donald Murray links typewriter to high-speed multiplex system, later used by Western Union
1905 The first audio broadcast is made
1910 Cheasapeake Bay cable is first to use loading coils underwater
1911 The first broadcast license is issued in the US
1912 Hundreds on the Titanic were saved due to wireless
1915 USA transcontinental telephone service begins (NY-San Francisco).
1924 The first video signal is broadcast
1927 First commercial transatlantic radiotelephone service begins
1929 The CRT display tube is invented
1935 Edwin Armstrong invents FM
1939 The Blitzkrieg and WW II are made possible by wireless
1946 The first mobile radio system goes into service in St. Louis
1948 The transistor is invented
1950 Repeatered submarine cable used on Key West-Havana route.
1956 The first trans-Atlantic telephone cable, TAT-1, goes into operation. It uses 1608 vacuum tubes.
1957 The first artificial satellite, Sputnik goes into orbit
1968 The Carterphone decision allows private devices to be attached to the telephone
1984 The MFJ (Modification of Final Judgement) takes effect and the Bell system is broken up
1986 The first transAtlantic fiber optic cable goes into service