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Former Display Label - Communication by Electricity

Communication by Electricity

An anonymous author suggested in 1753 that electricity could be used as 'an expeditious method of conveying intelligence'. It took another century before telegraph became commonplace. The breakthrough came with experiments on electromagnetism, which made it possible to develop the electromagnetic telegraph and telephone. This was followed at the end of the 19th century by wireless telegraphy (radio).

The telegraph met the need for improved communication following the dramatic growth in transport and trade. In the 1860s, continents began to be linked by 'submarine' telegraph. Speech was transmitted by the telephone from the late 1870s.

Hertz's discovery of radio waves in 1887 demonstrated the feasibility of wireless telegraphy and radio broadcasting. Marconi made the first trans-Atlantic 'wireless' transmission in 1901 from Poldhu in Cornwall to Newfoundland. Important breakthroughs in commercial radio were the valve in 1904 and the transistor in 1948. Since then semiconductors have revolutionised communication.

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