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Communication Technology Timeline

3500 BC
to 2900 BC

The Phoenicians develop an alphabet.
The Sumerians develop cuneiform writing -  pictographs of accounts written on clay tablets.
The Egyptians develop hieroglyphic writing. 

1775 BC

Greeks use a phonetic alphabet written from left to right.

1400 BC

Oldest record of writing in China on bones.

1270 BC

The first encyclopedia is written in Syria.

900 BC

The very first postal service - for government use in China.

776 BC

First recorded use of homing pigeons used to send message - the winner of the Olympic Games to the Athenians.

530 BC

The Greeks start the very first library.

500 BC 
to 170 BC 

Papyrus rolls and early parchments made of dried reeds - first portable and light writing surfaces.

200 BC
to 100 BC

Human messengers on foot or horseback common in Egypt and China with messenger relay stations built.
Sometimes fire messages used from relay station to station instead of humans.

14

Romans establish postal services.

37

Heliographs - first recorded use of mirrors to send messages by Roman Emperor Tiberius.

100

First bound books

105 BC

Tsai Lun of China invents paper as we know it.

305

First wooden printing presses invented in China - symbols carved on a wooden block.

1049

First movable type invented - clay - invented in China by Pi Sheng.

1450

Newspapers appear in Europe.

1455

Johannes Gutenberg invents a printing press with metal movable type. 

1560

Camera Obscura invented - primitive image making.

1650

First daily newspaper - Leipzig.

1714

Englishmen, Henry Mill receives the first patent for a typewriter.

1793 

Claude Chappe invents the first long-distance semaphore (visual or optical) telegraph line. 

1814

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce achieves the first photographic image.

1821

Charles Wheatstone reproduces sound in a primitive sound box - the first microphone.

1831

Joseph Henry invents the first electric telegraph.

1835

Samuel Morse invents Morse code.

1843

Samuel Morse invents the first long distance electric telegraph line.
Alexander Bain patents the first fax machine.

1861

United States starts the Pony Express for mail delivery.
Coleman Sellers invents the Kinematoscope - a machine that flashed a series of still photographs onto a screen. 

1867

American, Sholes the first successful and modern typewriter

1876

Thomas Edison patents the mimeograph - an office copying machine.
Alexander Graham Bell patents the electric telephone.
Melvyl Dewey writes the Dewey Decimal System for ordering library books.

1877

Thomas Edison patents the phonograph - with a wax cylinder as recording medium.
Eadweard Muybridge invents high speed photography - creating first moving pictures that captured motion.

1887

Emile Berliner invents the gramophone - a system of recording which could be used over and over again.

1888

George Eastman patents Kodak roll film camera.

1889

Almon Strowger patents the direct dial telephone or automatic telephone exchange.

1894

Guglielmo Marconi improves wireless telegraphy.

1898

First telephone answering machines.

1899

Valdemar Poulsen invents the first magnetic recordings - using magnetized steel tape as recording medium - the foundation for both mass data storage on disk and tape and the music recording industry.
Loudspeakers invented.

1902

Guglielmo Marconi transmits radio signals from Cornwall to Newfoundland - the first radio signal across the Atlantic Ocean.

1904

First regular comic books.

1906

Lee Deforest invents the electronic amplifying tube or triode - this allowed all electronic signals to be amplified improving all electronic communications i.e. telephones and radios.

1910

Thomas Edison demonstrated the first talking motion picture.

1914

First cross continental telephone call made. 

1916

First radios with tuners - different stations.

1923

The television or iconoscope (cathode-ray tube) invented by Vladimir Kosma Zworykin - first television camera.

1925

John Logie Baird transmits the first experimental television signal.

1926

Warner Brothers Studios invented a way to record sound separately from the film on large disks and synchronized the sound and motion picture tracks upon playback - an improvement on Thomas Edison's work.

1927

NBC starts two radio networks.
CBS founded.
First television broadcasts in England.
Warner Brothers releases "The Jazz Singer" the first successful talking motion picture.

1930

Radio popularity spreads with the "Golden Age" of radio.
First television broadcasts in the United States.
Movietone system of recording film sound on an audio track right on the film invented.

1934

Joseph Begun invents the first tape recorder for broadcasting - first magnetic recording.

1938

Television broadcasts able to be taped and edited - rather than only live.

1939

Scheduled television broadcasts begin.

1944

Computers like Harvard's Mark I put into public service - government owned - the age of Information Science begins.

1948

Long playing record invented - vinyl and played at 33 rpm.
Transistor invented - enabling the miniaturization of electronic devices.

1949

Network television starts in U.S.
45 rpm record invented.

1951

Computers are first sold commercially.

1958 

Chester Carlson invents the photocopier or Xerox machine.
Integrated Circuit invented - enabling the further miniaturization of electronic devices and computers.

1963

Zip codes invented in the United States.

1966

Xerox invents the Telecopier - the first successful fax machine

1969

ARPANET - the first Internet started.

1971

The computer floppy disc invented.
The microprocessor invented - considered a computer on a chip.

1972

HBO invents pay-TV service for cable. 

1976

Apple I home computer invented.
First nationwide programming - via satellite and implemented by Ted Turner.

1979

First cellular phone communication network started in Japan..

1980

Sony Walkman invented.

1981

IBM PC first sold.
First laptop computers sold to public.
Computer mouse becomes regular part of computer.

1983

Time magazines names the computer as "Man of the Year."
First cellular phone network started in the United States.

1984

Apple Macintosh released.
IBM PC AT released.

1985

Cellular telephones in cars become wide-spread.
CD-ROMs in computers.

1994

American government releases control of internet and WWW is born - making communication at lightspeed.

 

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