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The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the… (original 1998; edition 2014)
by Tom Standage (Author)
The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-Line Pioneers by Tom Standage (1998)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425171698, Paperback)Imagine an almost instantaneous communication system that would allow people and governments all over the world to send and receive messages about politics, war, illness, and family events. The government has tried and failed to control it, and its revolutionary nature is trumpeted loudly by its backers. The Internet? Nope, the humble telegraph fit this bill way back in the 1800s. The parallels between the now-ubiquitous Internet and the telegraph are amazing, offering insight into the ways new technologies can change the very fabric of society within a single generation. In The Victorian Internet, Tom Standage examines the history of the telegraph, beginning with a horrifically funny story of a mile-long line of monks holding a wire and getting simultaneous shocks in the interest of investigating electricity, and ending with the advent of the telephone. All the early "online" pioneers are here: Samuel Morse, Thomas Edison, and a seemingly endless parade of code-makers, entrepreneurs, and spies who helped ensure the success of this communications revolution. Fans of Longitude will enjoy another story of the human side of dramatic technological developments, complete with personal rivalry, vicious competition, and agonizing failures. --Therese Littleton
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:11 -0400)
A new paperback edition of the first book by the bestselling author of "A History of the World in 6 Glasses"--the fascinating story of the telegraph, the world's first "Internet," which revolutionized the nineteenth century even more than the Internet has the twentieth and twenty first. "The Victorian Internet "tells the colorful story of the telegraph's creation and remarkable impact, and of the visionaries, oddballs, and eccentrics who pioneered it, from the eighteenth-century French scientist Jean-Antoine Nollet to Samuel F. B. Morse and Thomas Edison. The electric telegraph nullified distance and shrank the world quicker and further than ever before or since, and its story mirrors and predicts that of the Internet in numerous ways.
(summary from another edition)
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