History of Communications


Invention of the Amphitheater

Approx. 200 BC

In ancient Rome one of the first forms of communication was that people would gather in amphitheaters for people performing stories, use it in city forum settings, and for sporting events. Once they had this space to meet people could talk these stories they have heard and tell them to the masses. Which is why we now have things like The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Evolution in Illustrations in Books

Approx. 400 - 500 AD

Books have been around since the dawn of man. The earliest inclusion of illustration goes back to 50 BCE to an Egyptian book called The Book of the Dead, this was a guide for deceased people in the afterlife, but that was just the start. Later in the 4th and 5th century this is where illustrations weren't just used to be a guide. They started to use vivid colors and imagery, along with fancy lettering, gold trims.

Printing before the Press

Approx. 1041 AD - Approx. 1048 AD

While it is common knowledge that Gutenberg invented the commercial printing press, civilizations were printing centuries before his success. In China a man named Bi Sheng was making movable type by getting sticky clay and carving out a thin layer on one side to just have a character on it. Then he would put these in the fire and use them like a press.

Gutenberg Press


The invention of the Gutenberg Press.

First Paper Mill in America

Approx. 1690

In 1690 William Rittenhouse opened the first paper mill in America. This would start to make things easier in American culture like starting to create more commercial newspapers, and can pump out books a lot faster.

The Optical Telegraph

1791 - 1794

In 1791 Claude Chapper and his brother came up with the idea for a optical telegraph. Now when you say optical telegraph it isn't very self explanatory, so here is how it works. You have many towers set up so they can see each other from each tower, and with the invention optics and telescopes they could use these to hold up messages that would then get relayed from one tower to the next. It was basically a game of telephone on a grander scale but for a short time this provided messages to be delivered faster then on horseback.

Invention of Steel Engraving


In 1792 Jacob Perkins invented steel engraving for the purpose of using it for bank notes. While he didn't get the success he was looking for in America, there was a £20,000 contest to whoever could make a unforgeable bank note. This drove him to work harder and by 1819 he received his patent for the deign he created. Then 20 years later this same technology was applied to use the first mass produced adhesive mail stamp.

The Electrical Telegraph


The invention of the first electrical message was the telegraph, invented by Samuel Morse.

Movie Magic


In 1895 the first film screening happened in Paris by The Lumiere Brothers. They weren't as much of movies but animated pictures but at the time this astounded people. It wasn't until Georges Méliès saw these moving pictures that this new technology was used to tell stories. Georges is also the godfather of modern editing, he invented things like the jump cut (on accident), fading in or out, and many other techniques. Because of Méliès over the past 130 years people have sat to watch these moving pictures as a way to communicate and get ideas to the public.

The Radio


While moving pictures where becoming extreamly popular another man by the name of Guglielmo Marconi wanted to share is message in the form of audio instead of pictures. In 1895 he had proved that he could send a message through a wire and by 1899 he successfully transmitted a message wirelessly across the English Channel.

The Videophone


In 1964 AT&T revealed something it had been working on for a while, The Videophone. This was intended to be the first commercial video conferencing device for the modern age. This was huge in scale and a technology ahead of its time because the reason we don't talk about this technology often is because at the time it was a failure. To make a call from New York to Chicago it would cost you almost 200 dollars (2017 money) for 3 minutes, so while they wanted to appeal to everyone and make it commercial it was just to expensive to use.