150 Years Ago Today, the USA Got Wired!

A great article in the San Francisco Examiner today about the completion, 150 years ago today, of the transcontinental telegraph here in the United States:
150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA

I think "a primitive Internet" might be a bit of a stretch... but then again I'm one of those network people who think of the "Internet" as a "network of networks"... and this first interconnection was really just creating that initial network!

Nuances aside, it's an enjoyable article to read...

Telegraph

I found this an interesting commentary on the disruption of the communication channels that came before:

Indeed, the Pony Express, which boasted it could deliver a letter from Sacramento to St. Joseph, Mo., in the unheard of time of 10 days when it began operations on April 3, 1860, shut down 19 months later — on the same day the transcontinental telegraph went live.

Though dramatic, that was a short-term effect. "But the longer-term effect was we connected the nation in real time. ...," says Fischer. "For the first time, businesses could do business nationally. The government could communicate nationally in almost real time."

Well worth a read to understand the challenges that went into the first physical infrastructure for what would become "telecommunications".

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