Early Forms of Text Messaging


Our modern telecommunications infrastructure, which relies on mobile phones and wi-fi connections, actually has roots that go much farther back into history than you may imagine. Instant communication with people who are far away began in 1836, when Samuel F. Morse (an artist), Joseph Henry (a physicist), and Alfred (a machinist) invented the electric telegraph machine. The telegraph revolutionized communications. It sent electrical pulses along wires that were controlled by an electromagnet on the receiving end, where the message would go. The electrical pulses were sent in a series of dashes and dots, with different timing between them, to form messages that could be received and translated into words.
With cables being erected across hundreds, and even thousands of miles, it soon became easy to send an instant message to someone across the continent. Someone in Boston could send a telegraph message to someone in California, and the person in California would get it immediately, in real-time. All they needed to do was to go down to the telegraph office and pick it up, or have it delivered to them. There was no longer any need to send letters that could take weeks, months, or longer to reach their recipient. Communication could be sent and received at the very time it was actually still important. With the technological marvel that was the laying of a trans-Atlantic telegraph cable on the ocean floor, this type of communication became possible around the world. This was long before the invention of the telephone. It was the earliest known version of instant messaging or texting...