Telegraph: The Victorian Internet
On the subject of the telegraph, it really is a “Victorian Internet”. The internet we use today is a global network of computer networks designed to collectively serve billions of people in both public and private channels. It is a technology that has opened new channels of communication to everyone that uses it. This technology includes e-mail, instant messaging, video chat, and voice chat amongst other social channels.
The telegraph was a global network of cables used to allow long range communication between people in both public and private channels. For the first time, the world was linked together by a vast network of cables, and this is an impactful fact that many people have probably forgotten. This network allowed for rapid delivery of text messages, much like today’s e-mail.
This method of delivering messages is what makes the telegraph the victorian internet. While it does not have the open access to information and entertainment that the internet has, its social communication is very much the same. It is funny to think back at when my family first got e-mail accounts over a phone-line internet service. Back then, we were comparing it to regular postal service letters when really it was replacing telegraphs. One might call e-mail, the earliest form of the internet, was really a widespread home telegraph service.