Communication - History

Communication - History

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The largest cities had daily newspapers, which went to regular subscribers only, at the standard price of $.06 a copy. Each sheet had to be printed separately on a hand press; with the text set by hand, letter by letter. Newspapers were often used to give public officers a means of communicating with the general public. In a letter dated January 16, 1787, Thomas Jefferson asserted:"The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs through the channel of the public papers ...Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."In addition to educating the general public, especially the voters, newspapers were used as propaganda vehicles and venues for presenting political platforms. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay used the New York Independent Journal as the vehicle to present their pro-Constitution essays, known collectively as the "Federalist Papers." Hamilton also used his newspaper, The Gazette of the United States, established in 1789, to express his political views. Edited by John Fenno, whose salary Hamilton guaranteed, the paper moved with Hamilton from New York to Philadelphia in 1791. To respond to Hamilton's arguments, political rival Thomas Jefferson founded the Gazette of the United States in 1791, with Philip Freneau as editor. After Jefferson became President, Hamilton joined Jay and other Federalists to found The New York Evening Post in 1801, edited by William Coleman.Magazines were also popular, often centered on a theme or directed to a particular audience. Some were intellectual or literary magazines; while others functioned largely to show fashions of dress and lifestyle, drawn from European styles. There was even a Children's Magazine in Hartford, Connecticut.Americans communicated with other individuals through correspondence. In 1800, there were about 1,000 post offices in the United States. Many of these letters give modern historians a clearer picture of what life was like for Americans in the young nation. Some messages that needed to be rushed were sent by personal messengers. These messengers would ride on horseback, and waited for the responses to the messages.

Communication - History

All animal species have perfected a system of communication, but humans are the only species capable of spoken language. Effective communication is essential for a variety of reasons. It serves to inform, motivate, establish authority and control, and allows for emotive expression. For humans in particular, communication is also vital for creating a sense of social cohesion. Just as mankind has evolved over the centuries, our means of communication have followed suit. What began as primitive cave paintings and signed language has morphed into an endless variety of ways to express oneself to other humans.

Early Communication Methods
Communication has existed in various forms since man appeared on Earth. The methods, however, consisted of a disorganized set of signs that could have different meanings to each human using them. It wasn’t until three million years after man’s debut, around the year 30,000 B.C.E, that communication began to take on an intentional, manufactured format. The most well-known form of primitive communication is cave paintings. The artistic endeavors were created by a species of man that appeared around 130,000 B.C.E, the homo sapiens. The method involved creating pigments made from the juice of fruits and berries, colored minerals, or animal blood. These pigments were then used to create depictions of primitive life on the cave walls. The purpose of the paintings has been questioned by scholars for years, but the most popular theory states that the depictions were used as a manual for instructing others what animals were safe to eat.

Other forms of early communication existed, although they were less popular for a variety of reasons. Story telling was used to pass on important information in the days before the existence of the written word. However, since man still lived in separate tribes, this information could not be applied outside one’s own tribal community. Drums and smoke signals were also used by primitive man, but were not the most practical means of communicating. Both methods could attract unwanted attention from enemy tribes and predatory animals. These methods were also difficult to standardize.

    : A discussion of the advent of human language, and the various ways in which it evolved over the years. : A website describing early forms of cave painting and theories on why they came to exist.

Early Handwritten Documents/BooksThose with the proper education to do so were handwriting books and documents for well over 1,000 years before the invention of the printing press. The word “manuscript” is derived from the Latin term “libri manu scripti” which translates to “book written by hand”. Most handwritten manuscripts were written on vellum as paper was not widely available. The majority of books and documents written were of a religious nature. This was due to the fact that writing a religious piece was viewed as a form of worship, and also that most books were written by monks in monasteries. Literacy rates were incredibly low during the time of handwritten books, and few citizens had time for pleasure reading. Only the monks and the very wealthy were given the opportunity to become literate. Two important periods stand out when one is investigating early books. The time between the 7th and 13th centuries was considered the age of the religious manuscript. The 13th century, however, brought about exciting change in the realm of the written word. For the first time, secular books were produced for the sake of spreading knowledge not relating to religion. The catalyst for this change was the rise of universities in Italy, and the return of the crusaders from Byzantium. The Renaissance had begun.

Printing Press In 1448, a man named Johann Gutenberg revolutionized the way books were made forever. An inventor born in Germany, Gutenberg had a vision of a device that would utilized movable type using blocks with pre-printed text. This method, combined with the use of paper, ink and a printing press allowed for books to be mass-produced, and greatly reduced the price. Gutenberg made his first device by adapting a wine press to remove the water from paper after printing. Gutenberg’s initial project with his new invention was a reprint of a Latin speech book. When this was a success, he embarked on his most famous printing project- the printing of the Gutenberg bibles. His were the first bibles printed in Europe. Gutenberg’s invention took awhile to catch on as the bourgeoisie of the day still wanted to keep the peasants uneducated.

Letter Writing and the Postman Letter writing has been a means of communication for centuries. However, it was an inefficient means of communicating as one had to wait until another person was traveling before their letter could be sent. In addition, there was no guarantee when, or if, the letter would ever reach its destination. Given that most people never traveled more than 50 miles from the place of their birth until fairly recently, the need for an organized postal system was not a top priority for any country. As with all things, a project will not be funded if it is not deemed necessary. Enter the United States circa 1775. Ours was a nation with a rapidly expanding population and territory. The first United States Post Office was created in 1775, and Benjamin Franklin was named the first Postmaster General. The system caught on quickly and rapidly expanded. By 1828, the United States had 7,800 post offices which made it the largest postal system in the world. Mail was transported primarily by train, which ran on a schedule and was efficient and reliable. Letter writing also gained popularity as more Americans moved out west and wanted to keep in touch with loved ones back east.

    : The Smithsonian’s history of the United States colonial postal system. : A site with general information on communication during the colonial period, including the heated Stamp Act which contributed to the Revolutionary War.

Telegraph Evolution of all things, communication included, involves the desire to perform tasks more quickly and efficiently. This desire was realized with the invention of the telegraph. The logistics of telegraphic communication involve the sending of electrostatically-generated signals through a wire. The system involves three main components- a battery to supply the electricity, a key used to complete or break the circuit, and an electromagnet at the receiving end which consists of a wire that pulls on a piece of metal when electricity passes through it. Attributing the invention to a specific person is a subject of hot debate. In America, the telegraph is attributed to Samuel F.B. Morse, but his 1837 version was far from original. An Englishman by the name of William Watson had devised a way to send messages via telegraph in 1747.
The revolution of the telegraph allowed for instant communication across long distances, something that had previously been unheard of. The technology was particularly useful during wartime to transmit pertinent information, and the first telegraph stations were set up along railroads as the necessary poles were already erected. The telegraph was also popular among the Victorian set. Those of the upper class used the telegraph for personal communications, but those of lower economic status were excluded from the technology due to the cost involved in sending a telegraph.

    : A description of how the telegraph was used for personal communication during the Victorian era. : A technical breakdown of how the telegraph operates.

Today we take the ability to use a telephone for granted, but in 1876, Alexander Bell was busy realizing a dream that he hoped would once again revolutionize communication. Like all inventors, Bell was perpetually curious and always on the lookout for empirical evidence of the new and interesting. Bell observed that sound vibrations could be transmitted through the air, and received at the same pitch in another room. Bell wanted to transfer sound and pitch across a wire, and ascertained that this would be possible by reproducing sound waves in a continuous, undulating current. Once proving this theory, Bell realized the same concept could be applied to human speech as it is composed of many complex sound vibrations. A few trial and errors later, and the modern telephone was born. Given our reliance on telephones today, it is surprising to know that Bell’s invention was initially quite unpopular. The telephone did not generate nearly as much excitement as the telegraph had a few decades earlier. This may have been due to the fact that Americans love novelty, and Bell’s concept was not entirely new. The telegraph had cornered the long-distance contact market. The lack of popularity may also be attributed to the cost of telephone service. Most original telephone service subscribers were corporations as a year of service cost $72. Residential service cost a family approximately $60 per year. In the 1800’s, this was a substantial sum of money to be spent on an unnecessary device.

    : Biographical information on Alexander Bell and his original concept for the first telephone. : A technical analysis of how a telephone operates.

During the early 1900’s, a new form of communication and entertainment took the world by storm. What began as short-wave communication used during WWI blossomed into the hottest communication technology of the era once the war had ended. Amateur broadcasting began around 1914, commercial broadcasting didn’t hit the air waves until 1920. Radio was unregulated until 1925 when the Federal Communications Commission stepped in. At this point, approximately 2 million homes had radios and there were several hundred stations broadcasting thousands of programs. The technology advanced so fast that new radios were obsolete withing 3-6 months.
Radios were incredibly popular during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s due to the Great Depression and also the “flapper” movement. The American people loved to dance, and most other forms of entertainment were too expensive. The technology really took off in 1933 when Edwin Armstrong, “the father of FM radio”, invented frequency-modulated radio. By the 1940’s, the number of radios in American homes had doubled, and 800,000 FM receivers were produced in 1947.

    : An explanation of the growth of the radio from an economic viewpoint. Its relevancy lies in the radio’s connection to the Great Depression. : An informative bibliographic website which details the development of the radio from its inception in 1891 when Edison patented wireless telegraph communication to the popularity of the radio in the early 1900’s.

A picture is worth 1,000 words, or so the saying goes. Unlike other forms of communication photography is a more subjective form of art. A picture can be interpreted a million different ways by a million different individuals, whereas other forms of communication tend to be intent on conveying one message. Most people love to be photographed and man’s vain desire to depict himself has been apparent since the discovery of the first cave paintings. Capturing an image of the self guarantees a place a in history for that individual. They are sure to be remembered even after they have passed away. The first attempts at photography began in the early 1800’s but had poor results. The discovery of using reverse colors, what we today call a “negative”, greatly advanced the art of photography.
The process of how a photo was taken and developed remained largely unchanged for 150 years until digital technology caught up. These days a piece of equipment that was once used only by professional photographers is accessible to everyone. There are several varieties of cameras to choose from at any electronics stores, and even cell phones have cameras! Regardless of how much the technology of communication continues to advance over the years, the photo will always hold a special place in history as the pioneer of capturing the human image for eternity.

    : An exhaustive list of links to all things are on the internet, including a vast section on prints and photography. : A student’s opinion on how modern advancements in communication technology have impacted the craft of photography.

Television made its official debut at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. It was seen as an amusing, but unnecessary, appliance and the radio continued to be the favored form of communication. Radio’s popularity sky rocketed at the start of WWII as televisions were not yet equipped to provide accurate and timely news. All that began to change in the late1940’s. Four million TV sets were produced that year, but a 10-inch screen set cost over $200 making it an unattainable luxury for many families. As the years passed, prices for televisions dropped and now the majority of homes have at least one television. It is safe to theorize that few forms have communication have had as large an impact on society as television. What was once a luxury item, is now an essential. Ours is a global society obsessed with television. Humans are reliant on their televisions for constant entertainment. Even the news, which was once taken very seriously, has been turned into cheap entertainment by many networks. The repercussions of this reliance on television may not be realized for many years, but they will eventually surface.

    : Information on the progression of television in America. : A scientific look at the effects of watching too much television.

Cell Phone
It may be hard to believe but the first cell phone research began in 1843 when Michael Faraday conducted research to see if space could conduct electricity. Fast forward to1973, and Dr. Martin Cooper is credited with inventing the first portable handset. Four years later, cell phones go public. In the 37 years the cellular phone industry has existed, the market has grown from $3 million annually to an industry that commands $30 billion annually. The customer base has also expanded from an initial trial population of 2000 to more than 60 million cellular phone owners in the United States.
Who uses cell phones? Everyone! Cell phones can be found everywhere in modern America. Landlines are slowly becoming obsolete as everyone from senior citizens to elementary school students acquire their own cell phones. The convenience of having a phone at the ready is a concept that is very easy to market, but the fact that higher stress rates have been linked to this phenomenon of constant contact is a commercial you won’t be seeing anytime soon.

    : A report from the Idaho government which documents the numerous health risks associated with cell phone usage.

Internet The original Internet was invented in 1967 for military purposes. An Internet in its most basic form is simply a group of computers able to connect to each other and share information. This included electronic mail (email) and the use of sites containing vital information (websites). Once the Internet started to catch on it was used primarily by corporations for collaboration purposes. Today the Internet is available everywhere and to everyone. It is used for a variety of reasons including socializing, conducting research, and advertising. It has even surpassed the television as a source of communication because you can receive any information you want instantaneously. One click of a button and a website will load with whatever information you have requested.

    : A website with information about the Internet from its primary conception to what we know and use today. : A site with a variety of links on the different ways to communicate and research on the Internet.

Social Media and Blogging Social media defined is a special class of websites designed to meet three specific criteria. These criteria include-the majority of the content on the site is user generated, there is a high level of interaction between social media website users, and the websites are easily integrated with other websites. One of the most popular social media platforms is blogging. A weblog or “blog” was first developed in 1997. A blog makes it possible for any person with Internet access to create a type of website without having to be familiar with any form of HTML coding that is generally necessary to create a website. Blogs are replacing journals as a form of self expression for many young people today. Social media and blogging have had a significant impact on personal and professional relationships. Reputations have been made and destroyed with a few keystrokes. Yet, having a web presence is vital in today’s society and economy. Does your company want to market a product to young adults? You can find them on the Internet. Do you want to increase your popularity, and see and be seen? Create a social media site devoted exclusively to yourself. The social lives of many young people today revolve around social media and blogging, and this isn’t necessarily healthy. You lose a sense of reality when all of your communication is conducted electronically.

Communication is necessary for the survival of the human race, but have we taken it too far? Love it or hate it, communication technology is here to stay and will only continue to expand in the future.

Communication in History: The Key to Understanding

The National History Day (NHD) program is a year-long education program that culminates in a national contest every June. Wyoming History Day, administered by the American Heritage Center, occurs every year in April. National History Day engages students in grades 6-12 in the process of discovery and interpretation of historical topics. Students produce dramatic performances, imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries and thought-provoking papers based on research related to an annual theme. These projects are then evaluated at local, state, and national competitions.

Congratulations to our 2021 Wyoming History Day Winners! Good Luck at the 2021 Virtual National History Day Competition.

First Place: “Communication Through McGuffey Education” Memphis Dolcater and Cadence McGuffey – Shoshoni Elementary School – 12004

Second Place: “Kent State Massacre” Ashtyn Chapman, Mataia Henderson, Aleksey McColloch – Greybull Middle School - 12003

First Place: “Messenger Pigeons – Tiny Message Carrying War Heroes” Japel Olin and Mason Lynch – Jackson Hole Middle School – 16002

Second Place: “Secret Letter, Top Secret Spies” Chole Hidalgo, Xyla Rehling, Nathan Sanderson – Upton Middle School – 16004

First Place: “The End of Segregation” Asher Crimm and Brody Shepard – Shoshoni Elementary School - 18006

Second Place: “Louis Braille – Development of a Reading and Writing System for the Visually Impaired” Elise Kuhbacher and Zoey Wilson – Upton Middle School - 18002

First Place: “When Compassion was a Crime (The White Rose Resistance Awakening the Conscience of Germans” Eleni McKee – Wheatland Middle School – 11002

Second Place: “The Battle of Gettysburg: From Battlegrounds Stories to Monumental Proclamations” Madelynn Mills – Upton Middle School – 11003

First Place: “Navajo Code Talkers” Baxter William – Jackson Hole Middle School – 15002

Second Place: “Leaving A Mark” Kaylor McConnaughey – Shoshoni Elementary School – 15003

First Place: “Oh the Things He Did Say: Dr. Suess Communicating the Cold War” Karely Garcia and Karly Jones – Wheatland Middle School – 14002

Second Place: “Slave Songs” Reece Riehemann, Hannah Stirmel, Holly Trandahl – Upton Middle School – 14003

First Place: “Phillis Wheatley: Communication Through Literature” Rylee Loebe – Upton Middle School – 17002

Second Place: “”Straight From the Horse’s Mouth” Hippotherapy: The Silent Communication Between Horse and Rider.” Kaylee Rasnake – Wheatland Middle School – 17004

First Place: “Carrying the Message: How Carrier Pigeons Were Used to Communicate Important Messages Throughout History” Zoe Hoff – Torrington Middle School – 10004

Second Place: “Navajo Code Talkers: Cryptography in World War II” Jordan Nalani – Greybull Middle School – 10002

First Place “Welcome to the Miss America Cattle Auction” Allen Sahale and Paula Medina – Cody High School – 26005

First Place “The Freedom Rides: Civil Disobedience, Crisis, and the Use of Non-Violence to Communicate the Realities of Oppression to America.” Mia Brazil – Jackson Hole High School - 21005

Second Place “The Papers of the People: Native American Newspapers Throughout History” – Bailey Liebert – Cody High School – 21003

First Place: "The Barbie Doll: Undermining the Message of the Female Independence with the Message of Submissive Femininit" - Elizabeth Hill - Jackson Hole High School - 25002

Second Place: “The Silent Scream: Fetal Ultrasound Becomes an Antiabortion Weapon” Fernanda Costilla-Correa – Jackson High School – 25002

First Place: “Women’s Rights Communicated Through a Law: Title IX” Rylie Alberts – Kelly Walsh High School – 27004

Second Place “Purdue Pharma’s False Promise: OxyContin and the Opioid Epidemic” Andrew Hanna – Jackson High School – 27002

First Place: “Starving to Communicate: Cooking by Mouth and Phantom Cookbooks During the Holocaust” Ruby Homer-Wambeam – Laramie Homebeam Homeschool - 20005

Second Place: “The Pentagon Papers: How a Lack of Communication Created National Tension” Griffen Anderson – Jackson High School – 20003

America Heritage Center Native American Award - $100 for the best entry which illuminates a cultural or historical indigenous population.

  • “The Papers of the People: Native American Newspapers Throughout History” Bailey Liebert – Cody High School – 21003

American Heritage Center Primary Sources Award - $200 for the entry with the best use of primary resources.

  • “Disney’s Use of Propaganda in WW2: Communicating Racism and Nationalism to Win the War” Sean Brice – Jackson Hole High School – 21001

Cheyenne Frontier Days™ Old West Museum’s American West Experience Award - $100 for an outstanding junior division and senior division entry which illuminates some aspect of the American experience in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, or Colorado.

American Heritage Center’s Caroline Lockhart Historic Newspaper Award - $100 each for an outstanding junior division and senior division entry which effectively integrates and utilizes historic newspapers in their research.

  • “The Papers of the People: Native American Newspapers Throughout History” Bailey Liebert – Cody High School – 21003

Wyoming State Historical Society’s Clara Jensen Award - $100 for the best entry on Wyoming History.

Colonial Dames Heritage Award Sponsored by the Wyoming Chapter of the Colonial Dames of America - $100 cash award for the outstanding entry dealing with family history.

  • “Communication Through McGuffey Education” Memphis Dolcater and McGuffey Cadence – Shoshoni Elementary School – 12004

DAR History Award Sponsored by the Jacques Laramie Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution - $50 to an outstanding Junior Individual entry for any topic focusing on an outstanding woman in history.

Gerald and Jessie F. Chambers Award Sponsored by the American Heritage Center - $500 to the outstanding Junior Division and Senior Division entries.

  • “When Compassion was a Crime (The White Rose Resistance Awakening the Conscience of Germans)” – Eleni McKee – Wheatland Middle School – 11002
  • “Starving to Communicate: Cooking by Mouth and Phantom Cookbooks During the Holocaust” – Ruby Homer-Wambeam – Laramie Homebeam Homeschool – 20005

Jurisprudence Award Sponsored by the Wyoming State Bar - $250 to the best Junior and Senior Division entries dealing with jurisprudence issues.

  • “The Silent Scream: Fetal Ultrasound Becomes an Antiabortion Weapon” Fernanda Costilla-Correa – Jackson Hole High School – 25002

Liz Byrd Cultural Diversity Award Sponsored by the American Heritage Center - $100 to the best entry that represents an aspect of cultural diversity or human rights.

  • “” Actions Speak Louder than Words” Communicating Honor and Bravery” Delany Aurich and Camryn Mickelsen – Wheatland Middle School – 12002

Dr. Robert Campbell Teacher Award Sponsored by the Joseph Stepans Family - $750 to a teacher who promotes student education in a way that includes the stories of marginalized people or communities in Wyoming through innovative strategies for instruction in choosing researching completing and presenting a topic (as evidenced by student entries from their school).

International History Award Sponsored by the UWYO Global Engagement Office - $100 for the best entry dealing with international issues.

  • “An Iranian Hostage Crisis Communicated Through Protest” Olivia Hammell – Kelly Walsh High School – 25001

Alan K. Simpson Institute for Western Politics and Leadership Award Sponsored by the Simpson Institute at the American Heritage Center - $250 for the best Junior and Senior Division entries dealing with political history and leadership.

  • “Kent State Massacre” Ashtyn Chapman, Mataia Henderson, and Aleksey McColloch – Greybull Middle School – 12003
  • “Disney’s Use of Propaganda in WW2: Communicating Racism and Nationalism to Win the War” – Sean Brice – Jackson Hole High School – 21001

American Heritage Center’s Creativity Award - $250 for the most creative entry.

  • “Oh the Things He Did Say: Dr. Seuss Communicating the Cold War” Karely Garcia and Karly Jones – Wheatland Middle School – 14002

William H. Barton Award Sponsored by the Wyoming State Historical Society - $100 for the best use of oral history in an entry.

Wyoming State Archaeological Society Award - $100 for the best entry with a focus on archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, or linguistics.

  • “The Papers of the People: Native American Newspapers Throughout History” Bailey Liebert – Cody High School – 21003

Wyoming Association of Professional Archaeologists Award - $100 for an outstanding entry dealing with archaeological issues.

  • “Communication Through Ledger Paintings” Hallie Ogden and Maylee Potas – Meeteetse High School – 26003

Wyoming Humanities Giving Voice Award Sponsored by Wyoming Humanities Council - $500 for the outstanding entry dealing with giving voice to underrepresented voices.

  • “Amber Alert: New Technology Helping to Save Endangered Children” – Elizabeth May – Jackson Hole High School – 20001

American Heritage Center’s Exhibit Award - $100 for the outstanding Junior and Senior Division exhibits.

  • “Punk A Sound and Culture that Shaped a Generation” Sam Hutchinson and Will Putnam – Jackson Hole Middle School – 16006
  • “Welcome to the Miss America Cattle Auction” Sahale Allen and Paula Medina – Cody High School – 26005

Finis and Emma Mitchell Environmental History Award - $100 for the outstanding environmental history project.

A Brief History Of Communication Technology

History of Communication Technology – If we look around us, everything has changed from the old times. The world is moving so fast and we have become accustomed to it. The world is progressing by leaps and bounds and every new day brings new inventions and innovations. From the time we wake up in the morning till the time we go to bed, we use countless scientific inventions without any notice. Let’s have a look at a few screen shots of history that have left long lasting effects on man and society.


Around the year 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented his new invention the Telephone and the next year the Bell Company was established to operate local telephone exchanges. With the passage of time, things were developed to near perfection. People never thought before of connecting over a long distance, but it was made possible. No doubt from the time of its invention, this land-line communication has served millions of people but now due to the advancement of Internet and cellular connectivity, its losing its worth, slowly. Now using land-line is considered as a bit out of fashion.


Wireless communication experiments were being done from early on, but in 1946 in the US, an AT&T mobile telephone call was placed and the first commercial mobile telephone service was made available. Working in the same way, a reliable cellular communication was made possible, it needed no wires and was accessible anywhere. Cell phones have developed a long way from then, their size shrink-ed to even less then the human palm. Today cellular connectivity is touching its peak and services like ECT are doing their best to facilitate our daily communications.


World Wide Web was not the beginning of the Internet. First the Internet Configuration Control Board was established by APRA. Then in 1983 Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol were used and were referred to as Internet. Then in 1991 World Wide Web was started and today you can witness that Internet has pushed us into a new dimension of connectivity and progress. It compelled the common man to think beyond his limit and opened new ways of moving forward. Its impact started slowly and gradually, but today everyone has witnessed its power. You can see everything is moving online whether those are shopping stores, books, automobiles and other such stuff. Soon a time will come when physical presence will no more be valued, and everything will be done on Internet while sitting at home. Besides this fast communication facility, Internet has opened new ways for the people to work. More number of jobs, Web based applications development, E-stores and online banking.

No doubt these inventions have changed the pattern of our life and man was made to think about other possibilities. But there is still a lot to invent and scientists are working day and night to comfort our daily lives. Beyond all this, it’s our soul responsibility to use these technologies in a positive way that reflect good impression on the future of our society.

Modern Communication: A History of the Telephone

The telephone was invented earlier than most people may realize. By 1900, it was already present in some private households.


The telephone was invented earlier than most people may realize. By 1900, it was already present in some private households. The adoption of the use of the telephone after its invention is interesting. The White House had the first household telephone, while the first city-wide telephone was in the frontier town of Deadwood, South Dakota. Here’s how the telephone was adopted by cities and gradually made its way into households as a regular part of daily living for most Americans.

Until the telegram was invented in the mid-1800’s, letters, which often took weeks or months to arrive at their destination, were the only way to communicate with people over long distances. It was this way for all of human history since the invention of writing up until that time. A couple of decades later, Alexander Graham Bell and other inventors were working on an improvement to the telegraph in the form of the telephone. While more than one inventor claimed to be the first to invent the telephone, Bell was the first to patent it, so he generally gets the credit for it in history.

The patent was granted in March of 1876 and became the master patent, upon which all additional patents for improvements on the telephone followed. The telephone switch was invented just a few weeks after the telephone, and the patent was granted to Tivadar Puskas, a Hungarian inventor. The telephone switch allowed telephone exchanges to be formed, which led to the invention of telephone networks.

President Rutherford B. Hayes installed the first telephone in the White House in 1879. It was the first use of a telephone in a residence. Slowly, other households, usually of wealthy people, began to get telephones and could call each other. The first households to get telephones were of people who had dealings with the President. Then, gradually, their friends and family began to get telephones. The first town to get city-wide telephone service was Deadwood, South Dakota, in March of 1878. It was on the edge of the American frontier at the time, and the town just had one phone that was made available to the whole town to use. It had a line that connected directly to the White House. Eventually, Deadwood had a telephone operator’s office and many of the homes and businesses in town had individual telephones for calling each other.

Gradually, other towns started getting telephone service, though it was usually only the big cities in the beginning. Deadwood, on the frontier, remained the exception for the first few decades of the use of the telephone. The adoption of the telephone was gradual, and many towns just had one town phone for a lot of years before getting individual household phones. Rural areas of the United States didn’t get phone service until after WWII. This was long after a trans-Atlantic cable was laid to make international phone calls possible. Within just a few decades, communication that would have taken months or more for our immigrant ancestors with their families overseas could take place in real time, and the world of communication was changed forever, leading to the mobile phone technology we enjoy all over the world today. Now, it’s a rare person who doesn’t own or have access to a telephone.

A journey within

What is visual communication?

There are many different definitions for it. As Wikipedia puts it: Visual Communication is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Primarily associated with two-dimensional images, it includes: art, signs, photography, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, color and electronic resources. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphic oriented usability. Graphic designers use methods of visual communication in their professional practice.

Visual Communication expresses emotion, feelings, ideas, information and thoughts with a combination of words and pictures, art, typography, photography, symbols, movies and/ or sounds. I believe that the term communication needs to be extended a little bit further. Nonverbal communication goes far beyond body gestures and writing. Communication is also expressed through pictures, images and symbols and the combination of all these. The result is called Visual Communication

The History

The history of visual communication dates back to a time where writing was not yet invented. It dates back to a time where history was persevered in paintings found on rocks and in caves dating back more than 40.000 years ago. Fast forwarding to usage of ideograms up to the invention of the alphabet. It is save to say that visual communication has always been a part of our existence.

The invention of the alphabet was a beautiful time, because books were being published and beautiful illuminated scriptures were presented as a piece of art. We can fast forward a bit more in time and we would reach the avant-garde, modernist and finally the computer era.

Visual communication had changed drastically in the era of avant-garde, modernism and postmodernism. In the beginning before most people were able to read or write, every part of life was based on God. God was the center of all things and people were very faithful and loyal to their religion.

In the modernism era, people became more concern with themselves and were placing humans being above God and it was all about improving and the reshaping the environment.

In the Postmodernism era, people lost the sense of morality completely. There were no more clear division between right or wrong, evil or good, no truth at all. We life in a era where TV Idols such a Oprah promotes humans as Gods.

Looking at the history of visual communication I can see how this view had changed. After all the people behind the visuals installs ideas of right or wrong within the heads of the masses. Depending on how strong minded you are, we are all fragile to accept everything we hear or see.

The more visual communication was being used in modern times, the lazier we became. No more looking for truths, just accepting what we see.

I believe that visual communication will never die, it will only get more powerful in the sense of having the power of placing ideas, morals and believe within someone’s mind so tactically that the person would become convinced that it was his/her original idea to begin with. It is a powerful tool that can be used for either good or wrong, and judging from the era we are living in right now the line between right or wrong is pretty much blurred out.

History of Workplace Communication

Long after the cave drawings, cuneiform scripts in clay tablets were developed at Sumer around 3100 BC. And several millennia later Gutenberg came up with his printing press in 1448.

The telegraph followed in 1837, the telephone in 1876, and the computer between 1936 and 38.

Development in messaging, pagers and mobile phones came in 1961, 1964 and 1973 respectively, with the birth of the internet, which was nicknamed the “network of networks” appearing in 1983.

Real mobile communications for the masses came in the late 90s and Steve Jobs would finally announce the iPhone in 2007 and forever change how we communicate.

You can look at the rest of the history of communication in the infographic below.

Effective Communications

EmployeeChannel says, in today’s workforce, companies need to give communication strategies the same amount of attention as business strategies.

Businesses, therefore, have to implement purpose-driven communications with individuals who communicate well. According to EmployeeChannel, this can be achieved with real-time, in-app coaching on content creation and analytics that provide insight into communication performance with integrated communication campaigns using multiple touchpoints.

You can do this by extending your reach to all of your employees no matter where they are any time of day or night. This includes having multiple touchpoints for engaging your workforce with targeted messaging, on-demand content, surveys and polls as well as connections to peers, managers and experts.

The Handbook of European Communication History

The Handbook of European Communication History is a definitive and authoritative handbook that fills a gap in the literature to provide a coherent and chronological history of mass media, public communication and journalism in Europe from 1900 to the late 20 th century. With contributions from teams of scholars and members of the European Communication Research and Education Association, the Handbook explores media innovations, major changes and developments in the media systems that affected public communication, as well as societies and culture. The contributors also examine the general trends of communication history and review debates related to media development.

To ensure a transnational approach to the topic, the majority of chapters are written not by a single author but by international teams formed around one or more lead authors. The Handbook goes beyond national perspectives and provides a basis for more cross-national treatments of historical developments in the field of mediated communication. Indeed, this important Handbook:

  • Offers fresh insights on the development of media alongside key differences between countries, regions, or media systems over the past century
  • Takes a fresh, cross-national approach to European media history
  • Contains contributions from leading international scholars in this rapidly evolving area of study
  • Explores the major innovations, key developments, differing trends, and the important debates concerning the media in the European setting

Written for students and academics of communication and media studies as well as media professionals, The Handbook of European Communication History covers European media from 1900 with the emergence of the popular press to the professionalization of journalists and the first wave of multimedia with the advent of film and radio broadcasting through the rapid growth of the Internet and digital media since the late 20th century.

Written language developed as humans settled into agrarian communities. The switch from hunting-based societies to non-nomadic lifestyles based on agriculture took place roughly 9,000 years ago. Writing became important as humans recognized the need to keep records of property and trade. At first, pictures represented the objects that were being written about. As societies developed further, pictures then represented sounds. Ultimately in the West, the language of pictures gave way to letters, which were graphic representations of particular sounds. Stringing letters together created words.

For hundreds of years, documents were written by hand, which could be time consuming. The skill of writing was confined to an elite, well-educated class, most of whom were clergy. In the 14th century, block printing became popular. Block printing involved using individual etched wooden blocks to print single words or letters. This process was expensive and inefficient. In 1454, German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing machine that contained movable blocks. Gutenberg's invention revolutionized book production, making books affordable and accessible.


Communications refers to the use of signals to transfer voice, data, image, and/or video information between locations, the main applications of which are in communications science, engineering, and technology. From the bonfires and smoke signals to early modern optical telegraphs, humankind has attempted to move communication beyond the realm of earshot. Among the first practical uses of electrical engineering, early communication devices included the telegraph, first conceived in the 1700s and realized in 1837 by Charles Wheatstone and William Cooke and by Samuel Morse. Through the next century, advancements in the telephone, radio, television and today's Internet, completely changed the way people communicate and interact with one another.