150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Long before there was an Internet or an iPad, before people were social networking and instant messaging, Americans had already gotten wired.
Monday marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental telegraph. From sea to sea, it electronically knitted together a nation that was simultaneously tearing itself apart, North and South, in the Civil War.
Americans soon saw that a breakthrough in the spread of technology could enhance national identity and, just as today, that it could vastly change lives.
"It was huge," says Amy Fischer, archivist for Western Union, which strung the line across mountains, canyons and tribal lands to make the final connection. "... With the Civil War just a few months old, the idea that California, the growing cities of California, could talk to Washington and the East Coast in real time was huge. It's hard to overstate the impact of that."...
comments powered by Disqus
- Biographer of a Progressive reformer says it's odd reading stories about inequality in the news every day
- Dutch sociologist says that what is new about mass killing is that we’re embarrassed by it
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- Convicted felon Conrad Black has a new book out
- German Historian: Rich Greeks Evade Taxes Since 1830