A History of Communications 35,000 BC - 1998 AD

I can't believe it's taken me five years to get this posted. It's certainly a work in progress and missing lots of things, but it's a start. The key is a little missleading and, as the timeline gets closer to present, there is a lot of missing of areas. For example, Writing/Print includes phtoography and other visual media. Broadcasting includes all transmitted media (including the telegraph and telephone) and all massmedia (with the exception of print media), such as television and film. There are still, probably, a lot of mispellings, too.

iA History of Communications 35,000 BC - 1998 AD
           The Nomadic Age
          35,000 BC First paleolithic "writings."
          30,000 BC Crude Cro-Magnon lunar calendar used to hunt. (First information Revolution)
          12,600 BC Lascaux Cave Paintings
           The Agricultural Age ("Civilization" begins)
          8000 BC The Agicultural Age begins in the area around Israel, Iraq, Syria, and Lebenon.
          8000 BC First farming and herding in the Near East.
          8000 BC First objects used for accounting (clay cones). (Second Information Revolution)
          4000-3000 BC Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language develops. It spreads with the success of the people living in the Russian Steps Northeast of the Black Sea. Advances in metallurgy are the key and the domestication of the horse. Granddaughter cultures spread West and North of Hungary.
          3400 BC First Sumerian Pictograms
          3500 BC Farming becomes the dominant lifestyle in the Near East
          3300 BC The Wheel is invented
          3100 BC Earliest Hieroglyphics (on slate in Egypt)
          3100 BC Sumerians begin to use ideograms. Symbolic repesentation and thought emerges.
          3000 BC Earliest Papyrus rolls (Egypt)
          3000 BC? First Abacus of record
          3000 BC First Writing system in Sumer
          2700 BC First Sumerian Calendar on record
          2000 BC Earliest recorded postal system (Egypt)
          2000 BC The Phoenician Alphabet is developed
          2000 BC Stonehenge built
          1500 BC The palace of Phaistos on Crete uses movable type to make impressions on clay discs.
          1470 BC Aztec Calendar developed
          1250 BC The Ten Commandments are written
          900-700 BC The earliest books of the Old Testament are written in Hebrew
          900-700 BC Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are written. Ancient Athens was only about 200,00 people.
          472 BC The rise of the Greek Tradegy in literature
          400 BC Wei Tang in China invents ink from lampblack mixed with animal and vegetable oils
          295 BC Euclid's Elements codify classical geometry
          250 BC The Old Testament is translated into Greek
          170 BC Parchment is used by Eumenes, King of Pregamus in Egypt
          100 BC? The Rosetta Stone is inscribed
           AD
          ~3 The Abacus is common in China
          30 Wei Ch'ung uses bamboo as a writing surface
          70-100 The Christian Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John are composed
          105 Ts'ai Lun invents paper made from cotton and other vegetable fibers
          382 Jerome translates the Bible into Latin
          400 Papyrus rolls supplanted by Codex
          868 First surviving printed book (China)
          1141 Pi-Sheng molds movable type characters from hardened Clay in China
          1200 Paper is first manufactured in Europe (Spain)
          1215 Signing of the Magna Carta
          1250s Moveable type is first cast in bronze and other metals
          1335 First Public Striking Clock, Milan
          1397 The oldest text printed with movable type still in existence is printed in Korea
          1400 Paper manufacturing is common throughout Europe
          1440 Guttenberg develops the Printing Press near Mainz, Germany. It uses standardized, movable type and can print 300-500 sheets a day. (Third Information Revolution)
          1455 Guttenberg publishes his first Bible
          1460 Woodblocks are first used in Europe to print illustrations by Albrect Pfister in Bomberg, Germany.
          1470 The "roman" typeface (upper and lower case letters as we know them today) is standardized by Nicolas Jenson.
          1476 Printers in France and Italy begin using engraved (intaglio) plates for printed illustrations.
          1500 Aldus Manitus, a Venetian printer, develops "Chancery" type for smaller, cheaper books. This later becomes known as "italic" type.
          The Scientific Revolution Begins: The image of scholarship changes from many students discussing and studying together with scholars to one student studying alone with texts.
          1585 What is to become the Oxford University Press is started in Oxford, England. It is thought to be the longest running continuous printer.
          1600 Shakespear writes Hamlet
          1638 The first printing press in the American colonies opens in Cambridge, Massechusets. In 1647, it is moved to Harvard and beomes the Harvard University Press.
          1642 Blaise Pascal builds his first adding machine. It adds and subtracts eight columns of digits.
          1653 Pascal develops the Pascaline, a working mechanical calculator. Feainf unemployment, French clerks boycott it.
          1673 Leibniz improves on the Pascaline with multiplication, division, and square roots. His binary theory becomes the basis for modern computer electronics.
          1690 Paper is first manufactured in the American colonies near Philadelphia.
          1693 Leibniz develops the first mechancial calculator
          1750s French Sign Language Developed
          1700s George Murray developes the Optical Semaphore system
          1727 Electric pulses first sent over a wire (London)
          1730 Electric pulses first sent over a wire for two miles (London)
          1750 John Baskerville starts an innovative press, paper mill, and type foundry in Birmingham, England. His press presses paper between two hot plates (hot press) while it is drying, and his typefaces bridge the "oldstyle" faces with the newer, "modern" ones.
          1752 Benjamin Franklin installs a lightning rod on his chimney.
          1752 Benjamin Franklin describes his kite experiment.
          1776 The United States of America is formed around its Declaration of Independence
          The Industrial Age begins
          1798 Louis Robert builds the first "web" press that uses one continuous roll of paper (France). He is financed by the Fourdrinier family and it becomes known as a Founrdrinier press.
          1799 The Rosetta Stone is discovered (we qre now able to decypher hieroglyphs)
          1802 Thomas Wedgewood uses a camera obscura to take the first silver salt/paper film photograph.
          1804 Joseph Marie Jacquard develops an automated loom that uses punch cards to store patterns.
           The Steam Age begins
          1814 The first steam-powered cylindrical press is developed in London by Frederick König for The London Times. It prints 1100 sheets per hour.
          1816 French Sign Language brought to the United States
          1820 Thomas de Colmar's Arithmometer is the first commercially available calculator.
          1821 Champollion decyphers the Rosetta Stone
          1822 Charles Babbage begins construction of his "Difference Engine." This large mechanical device keeps tract of numbers with gears.
          1826 Joseph Mieoce creates the first photoengraving process.
          1829 Joseph Henry builds the first electric motor and the first working elctromagnet.
          1831 Joseph Henry builds his first electric telegraph
          1832 Russian scientists set up a telegraph system between the Czar's Winter and Summer palaces.
          1834 Babbage abandons his Difference Engine, conceives and begins to build the "Analytical Engine," a much more flexible mechanical computer.
           The Age of Electricity
          1837 Electric Telegraph Invented
          1838 Daguerrotypes first exhibited (first phototypesetting).
          1840 Wood pulp is mechanically ground for the first time.
          1840 Alexander Bain connects telegraphs to pendulums and creates the first operational FAX machine.
          1842 Samuel Morse gets $30,000 from the US Congress to build a trial telegraph between Baltimore and Washington D.C.
          1843 Lady Lovelace, the world's first programmer, publishes her account of Babbage's DIfference Engine.
          1845 Samuel Morse invents the keyboard.
          1852 Fox Talbot puts gauze between a negative and photographic print paper and develops the first halftone screen engraving.
          1854 Cellulose is separated from wood pulp with chemicals for the first time.
          1854 George Boole publishes The Laws of Thought in which he outlines mechanical logic. (Fourth Information Revolution)
          1855 Postage prepayment made compulsory (United States)
          1856 The first "web" press is built by William Bullock in the United States. It prints both sides of 15,000 signatures per hour. An automatic folding machine is added in 1875
          1856 Western Union Telegraph Company begins operations.
          1859 Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species.
          1860 James Clark Maxwell invents four simple electromagnetic equations that describe all known electromagnetic phenomena of the time. Richard P. Feynman calls this "The most important event of the 19th Century."
          1860 Pony Express functions for 17 months. Superceeded by the Transcontinental telegraph.
          1863 The first sounds are transmitted by electricity by Phillippe Reis in Germany.
          1863 Giovanni Caselli receives US patent for his "Pantelegraph" FAX machine.
          1864 James Clerk Maxwell proves that wireless telegraphy is possible.
          1865 Mendel publishes his research on genetic inheritence.
          1866 The first Transatlantic telegraph cable is laid.
          1867 Pantelegraph FAX service between Paris and Marseilles.
          1868 Christopher Sholes patents his first practical typewriter.
          1871 Photoengraving becomes commercially practical.
          1872 The first typesetting machines are invented by Dr. William Church in the United States.
          1874 The Remington Model 1 Typewriter goes on sale.
          1876 Alxeander Graham Bell sends the message "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you." It is the first message sent over his new telephone system.
          1877 Thomas Edison and John Kreusi develop a tin foil phonograph.
          1877 First Telephone installed in a private home (Mr. Charles Williams of Sommerville, Massachusettes) connected to his office.
          1878 First Commercial telephone switchboard.
          1878 The Telephone is patented.
          1882 Etienne Jules Marey creates the first single camera movie in France. It has 12 frames.
          1883 Max and Louis Levy develop the first commercial halftone screens in Philadelphia.
          1883 The first Motor Cars are built
          1886 The "Linotype" machine is invented by Ottmar Merganthaler. It is the first commercially successful typesetting machine.
          1887 Emil Berliner makes the first phonogaphic discs. This are made from Zinc and later shellacked.
          1887 The USA has 150,00 phones lines, the UK 26,00 and France 9,000.
          1888 Thomas Edison patents an idea for an "optical phonograph."
          1888 First symphony recording: a Beethoven concert.
          1888 George Eastman markets his Kodak Camera Number 1 and sells 2500 at $25.00 each.
          1889 The first Pay Phone is installed in Hartford, Connecticut. Each call costs 5 cents.
          1889 George Eastman develops the first flexible film for his Kodak camera.
          1890 Herman Hollerith uses puch cards to tabulate the US Census.
          1892 The first direct dial phone goes into service in La Porte, Indiana. (Fifth Information Revolution)
          1893 Thomas Edison opens the first motion picutre stuido in his West Orange, New Jersey laboratory.
          1894 Thomas Edison opens the first motion picture theater (a 'peep" show) in New York City on Broadway. The cost is 5 cents per show.
          1895 Thomas Edison creates the first sound movies (unsynchronized).
          1895 George Eastman introduces his pocket Kodak camera and sells 100,000 in the first year.
          1896 Edison opens the first wide-screen (projected) movie theater at 34th Street and Broadway in New York City.
          1896 Herman Hollerith forms the Tabulating Machine Company which will later become IBM in 1924.
          1899 Marconi transmits radio signals across the English Channel.
          1899 Danish engineer Valdemar Poulsen develops a magnetic tape recorder. He uses it to record phone messages at the 1900 Paris Exhibition.
          1901 Marconi completes the first transatlantic radio transmission from Newfoundland.
          1903 The first powered flight.
          1906 Lee De Forest invents the triode, the basis for the vacuum tube.
          1906 The first radio program is broadcast by Reginald Fessenden. It includes violin music, a Bible reading, and Christmas wishes. (Sixth Information Revolution)
          1906 The first "offset" presses are built simultaneously in Nutley, New Jersey by Ira A. Rubel and in Niles, Ohio by A. F. Harris. Offset presses transfer the inked image from the plate to another roller beofre printing it on the paper.
          1907 Lee De Forest becomes the first DJ when he begins regular radio broadcasts of Columbia records from lower Manhattan. His auidence is mostly wireless operators in New York Harbor.
          1907 The Lumeriere Brothers in France introduce Autochrome color photography.
          1915 2-color Kodachrome photography introduced.
          1915 A Kodak employee shoots the first color movie in Kodachrome.
           The Atomic Age
          1916 Einstein develops his General Thoery of Relativity.
          1921 The USA has 8 commercial radio stations.
          1923 Kodak's first home movie camera introduced.
          1925 John Logie transmits first pictures of a human being in England.
          1926 Transatlantic phone service is installed by shortwave relay.
          1927 Car Radios are introduced.
          1927 AT&T Labs transmits live television.
          1927 Jenkins sets up the first intercity television tramission by wire. He links Herbert Hoover in Baltimore and AT&T president Walter Gifford in New York. The screen is two and a half inches wide and they speak over the telephone.
          1928 John Logie Baird makes first video recordings.
          1928 The Enigma coding machine is used to code German transmissions.
          1928 The first television broadcasts. (Seventh Information Revolution)
          1928 The first Teletype design is finalized.
          1928 Vladimir Zworykin at RCA develops the first Television Camera.
          1929 The Ed Sullivan radio show debuts (November 20).
          1929 The Great Wall Street Stock Market Crash
          1929 The White House gets its first telephone.
          1930 Bell Labs develops the Model 1, the first electromechancal computer.
          1931 Kate Smith sings "When the moon comes over the mountain" on one of the first scheduled televisoin shows.
          1931 RCS demonstrates the 33 1/3 record.
          1932 Alan Dower Blumlein patents the first stereo recording.
          1934 Bob Hope's radio show debuts.
          1935 There is now a radio in almost every home in the USA.
          1935 Baird TVs first marketed, along with video.
          1935 Elvis Presley is born.
          1935 Patents filed for Optical Pickup System
          1936 The first multi-layer color photographic film is developed by two musicians (Mannes and Godowsky) and called "Kodachrome."
          1936 Alan Turing publishes On Computable Numbers.
          1936 Konrad Zuse builds the Z1 computer. It has keyboard input, mechanical switches, and stores its own programs.
          1937 Kodachrome photographs are taken at the Hindenberg disaster.
          1939 Gone with the Wind is the first technicolor movie shown.
          1939 The first Silicon Valley garage start-up, Hewlett-Packard, is founded.
          1940 The COLLOSUS code-breaking machine is use in England to break the German Enigma codes. It is the first electronic computer.
          1941 First FM radio broadcasting.
          1943 The Harvard Mark 1 computer (Bessie) is the first fully automatic computer. It is able to multiply two 32-digit numbers in 3 seconds. It is 8 feet tall and 51 feet long anc cost $500,000.
          1943 The USA has 23 television stations.
          1945 In Austria, Konrad Zuse creates the first modern programming language.
           The Data Age
          1946 The first general use, programmatic, electronic computer, the ENIAC, is produced. (Eighth Information Revolution).
          1947 Shockley, Bardeen, and Brattain at Bell Labs develops the transistor. They when the Nobel Prize 9 years later.
          The Service Age (Manufacturing jobs ceases to be the major employer in the US. Service jobs become the majority.) This will change for the UK in 1951 and Japan in 1980.
          1948 CBS introduces the 33 1/3 rpm record.
          1948 The Poloroid Land Camera is introduced.
          1949 Alan Turing and team construct the EDSAC.
          1949 RCA introduces the 45 rpm record.
          1949 Television sets pass the 1 million mark in the United States.
          1949 Claude Shannon's Mathematical Theory of Communication is published.
          1950 Bell Labs and Western Electric create the first telephone answering machine.
          1950 Alan Turing defines his "Turing Test" to provide a basis with which to judge computer "intelligence."
          1951 First commercial color television broadcast (CBS). Television sets pass the 10 million mark in the United States.
          1951 UNIVAC 1 is delivered to the US Census Bureau.
          1952 First pocket transistor radios.
          1952 Flexible memory discs are first developed.
          1952 The Manchester Mark 1 computer used the first compiler.
          1952 UNIVAC is used to pedict the outcome of the US Presidential Election.
          1953 Jay Forester develops the idea of core computer memory.
          1953 Watson and Crick and team discover the structure of DNA.
          1954 The IBM 650 is the first mass-produced computer.
          1954 The first Color Television sets are available.
          1954 The first pocket radio is available in the United States. It costs $49.95.
          1954 FORTRAN (FORMULA TRANSLATOR) is the first "high-level" computer language. it is used primarily by engineers and scientists.
          1954 Bell Labs develops the first solar cell.
          1954 Gordon Teal develops the first Silicon Junction Transistor.
          1954 The first compiled computer language, MATH_MATIC is developed
          1954 US Naval research labs bounce voice signals off the moon.
          1956 Alexander M. Poniatoff demonstrates the first videotape machine.
          1956 AT&T lays the first Transatlantic telephone cable (Scotland to Newfoundland)
          1957 Sputnik, the first sattelite is launched from the Soviet Union.
          1958 Seymor Cray designs the first transistorized Supercomputer.
          1958 Gilbert Hyatt and Jack Sinclair develop the first integrated circuit.
          1958 Bell Labs develops the first LASER (Light Amplification by ? Emission of Raditaion)
          1958 The SABRE airline reservation system begins development. It is finished 7 years later.
          1958 Stereo records are commercially available.
          1959 Television sets pass the 50 million mark in the United States.
          1959 Robert Noyce develops the planar process and creates the first silicon chips.
          1959 The XEROX 914 is the first office copier for sale.
          1960 The Echo 1 experimental balloon is launched for telephone,data, and FAX tansmissions. It orbits for 8 years.
          1960 The Bank of America is the first bank to use magnetic ink on checks to process them more efficiently.
          1961 The first mass-produced monolithic integrated chips are produced. (Ninth Information Revolution).
          1961 The first Random Access Memory (RAM) hips are produced at Intel.
          1962 DEC. 13. NASA launches RCS'S RELAY 1 satellite.
          1962 The first Time-Sharing computer is developed.
          1962 Virtual Memory is used for the first time.
          1962 AT&T's Telstar sattelite is launched (the first communications sattelite)
          1962 Oklahoma City Newspapers are the first to use computers to set type in editorial pages.
          1963 Telstar 2 is launched.
          1964 The first LAN Local Area Network (LAN) is developed.
          1964 Phillips introduces the compact tape cassette.
          1965 ARPAnet is founded with the first experiments with Wide Area Networks (WANs).
          1965 BASIC (Beignners'S All purpose Symbolic InstruCtion).
          1965 The first big supercomputer, the Control Data PDP 8, is introduced.
          1965 The SABRE airline reservation system begins operation.
          1966 Texas Instruments produces the first "solid-state" calculater. It has no display and only paper output.
          1967 The first monnolithic memory chips are built.
          1967 The MacHack computer program beats Hubert Dreyfus (a staunch critic of game-playing computers) in a game of chess.
          1967 Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore's The Medium is the Message is published.
          1969 The first man walks on the moon (Neal Armstrong).
          1969 The UNIX operating Systems is developed at Bell Labs.
          1969 The Laser Printer is developed.
          1970s AT&T rents answering machines to customers for $70.00 per month.
          1971 Intel introduces the 8088 processor. It has 4500 components.
          1971 Alvin and Heidi Toffler's Future Shock is published.
          1972 The C computer language is developed at Bell Labs. This portable and powerful language ultimately becomes extremely popular among commerical programmers.
          1972 Phillips and MCA announce prototype laser videodisc.
          1972 The PONG video game is an overnight success.
          1972 Quadrophonic sound comes and goes.
          1973 ARPAnet becomes operational with 25 computers.
          1973 Poloroid's SX-70 land camera is introduced.
          1973 UNIX is in widespread, general use.
          1974 The United Nations sets the first international FAX standard.
          1974 The Xerox Alto becomes the first workstation computer.
          1975 The Altair 8800 becomes the first microcomputer for sale. It is a kit for hobbiests to put together.
          1975 The first digital watch hits the market.
          1975 The New York Times begins its conversion to electronic production. It is finished two years later.
          1976 Seymour Cray's first supercomputer, the Cray-1 is finished. 
          1977 Apple Computer is founded.
          1977 The Apple II, Commodore Pet, and Tandy TRS-80 microcomputers are introduced simultaneously.
          1978 The first videodiscs hit the market.
          1978 The Texas Instruments' Speak & Spell uses synthesized speech.
          1979 Compuserve and The Source online services begin operation.
          1979 Sony introduces the Walkman.
          1979 Videotape recorders become popular.
          1979 Visicalc on the Apple II is the first spreadsheet application.
          1979 Wordstar is introduced.
          1980 Group 3 FAX machines are first sold.
          1980 Phillips and Magnavox market the first commercial videodisc player.
          1981 Hewlett packard's Superchip is the first 32-bit processor.
          1981 The Osborne 1 is the first portable microcomputer. 
          1981 The IBM PC debuts.
          1981 ARPAnet reaches its first subscriber limit: 256 computers. It is redsigned as Internet and is now capable of unlimited users. (Tenth Information Revolution).
          1981 Alvin and Heidi Toffler's The Third Wave is published.
          1982 Compaq introduces the first commericailly successful portable computer.
          1982 The Computer is named Time Magazine's Man of the Year.
          1982 Lotus 1-2-3 is introduced. It becomes the most compelling software for the IBM PC.
          1982 Pacman is introduced.
          1983 Doug Englebart debuts the mouse.
           The Light Age
          1983 AT&T uses the first fiber optic phoneline.
          1983 The first music CD player (digital audio disc) is sold. Over 50,000 sold the first year.
          1984 Apple introduces the Macintosh personal computer. It is uses icons and a graphic user interface to povide easier control for novice users.
          1984 The PostScript page description language is developed by John Warnock and Chuck Geschke. This is to become the stadard language to communicate publishing and visual information to imagesetters, printers and monitors.
          1984 William Gibson's Neuromancer is published.
          1985 The Connection Machine Supercomputer uses 65,000 parallel processors.
          1985 The death of records: CD player sales surpass turntables.
          1986 C++, an object-oriented version of C, becomes available. It will not be in widespread use untill 1993.
          1986 Apple introduces the LaserWriter laser printer which includes Adobe's PostScript language inside. At the same time, Aldus introduces PageMaker (the first page layout application). Desktop Publishing is born.
          1987 Apple ships HyperCard with every Macintosh.
          1987 IBM renames its personal computer line PS/2.
          1988 Internet consists of more than 33,000 computers.
          1988 AT&T lays the first fiber optic transatlantic cable.
          1988 NeXT Inc. introduces its NeXTcube UNIX workstation with graphic user interface and DSP.
          1989 Adobe ships PhotoShop on the Macintosh which sets the standard for desktop image processing.
          1989 Motif becomes a standardgraphic use interface for UNIX workstations.
          1989 (November 9th) The Berlin Wall is destroyed.
          1990 Gilbert Hyatt's 1970 patent on the integrated circuit is finally awarded.
          1990 Microsoft ships Windows 3.0. This is an attempt to build a graphic user interface on top of DOS and emulate the ease of use of the Macintosh.
          1990 Milli Vanilli's Grammy is recalled after it is found that they were lip-synching.
          1990 RISC processor workstations gain wide acceptance.
          1991 Adobe introduces PostScript Level 2.
          1991 Apple Introduces System 7.0
          1991 Internet consists of more than 500,000 computers.
          1991 Go Corp. introduces PenPoint, an operating system specifically designed for pen systems and gesture recognition.
          1991 Apple introduces the PowerBook personal notebook computers.
          1991 Cybercafes become common.
          1992 1992 Neal Stephenson's Snowcrash is published.
          1993 Apple introduces the Newton. 50,000 sold in first quarter.
          1993 Internet consists of more than 1.8 million computers.
          1998 Motorola's Iridium global sattelite system begins operation (Eleventh Information Revolution).
           

Things to Add:

Answering Machines
Modern Dictaphones
Cellular Phones
Voicemail
Filofax
Automatated Teller Machines
Copiers
Sundials, Timepieces, Clocks (Another Info Revolution)
Galileo
Jefferson
Deuteronomy
Socrates

 

 

www.nathan.com | experience design | thoughts | projects | inspirations | photography | me | travel