On January 6, 1838, Samuel Morse demonstrated his new communications device, known as a telegraph, for the first time. The telegraph converted a simple code alphabet (known as Morse code) tapped out on a single key into electrical signals. These signals were then sent along a cable and decoded on the receiving end. Anywhere a cable could be laid—across mountains or under oceans—telegraphic messages could be sent.
Within 30 years of its first installation near Morristown, New Jersey, the global telegraph network reached every continent except Antarctica. This made instant worldwide communication possible for the first time in history. Before the telegraph, information could only be transported over long distances by foot or on a vehicle. The telegraph made delivery of information nearly instantaneous, transforming industries from finance to journalism.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry cable Noun
strong set of cords or wire ropes.
electrical signal Noun
information or message sent by an electric charge or series of charges.
happening very quickly, in an instant.
series of links along which movement or communication can take place.
the science and technology of sending and receiving information over long distances using electric, radio, or light signals.
system of communication involving devices connected through electrical wires.
to move material from one place to another.