The Fascinating History of Telecommunications |

Since the human voice is limited by distance, telecommunications has always intrigued us. How to get the message across, beyond the conversational level? Shouting across a echo canyon works only so well, but the process must be repeated time and time again, to the shouter’s hoarseness and physical exhaustion. Native tribes began using lights, smoke and other ways of imparting information to people miles or kilometers away from camp.The word telecommunications means communication from afar. Today’s telecommunications industry is among the most essential in the business world. Consumers the world over keep in touch with their supervisors, suppliers and customers through telecommunications offered through the satellite system, bouncing rays from sender to receiver. The ray reaches the satellite and bounces back. But how did it get to the level of sophistication in our telecommunications that we enjoy today?It is said that the most primitive level of communication comes through the ear, which represents the embryo in shape. It is also the first sense organ to be fully functioning in the womb. Haven’t you heard the expression, children are to be seen, and not heard? Before widespread literacy, the church and the state dictated to people what they were supposed to do, and not do, all by word of mouth – directly received by the ear.After the masses began to become educated, scholars and others who were in a position to do so began researching matters on their own no longer relying on a wise or authoritarian person to tell them how they must live their lives. Knowledge is power, and the scales were beginning to tip in favor of the common man, at least for a time. With the invention of the printing press, printed material became available and what was previously accepted as God’s Truth was now questioned.With the invention of the telephone in the 19th century, telecommunication was now available in both the spoken and written form, at short and – long distances! Although the telephone was an accident, it has revolutionized communication forever. There were dial phones, somewhat cumbersome, where the middle man was a switchboard operator. Then phones became more sophisticated, with fiber optics, wireless and satellite aided communication.With the introduction of the fax machine, the written word could be forwarded on to a distant receiver. The ancient fax machine made photographic images which were often poor quality and required special paper in rolls. Nowadays, laser printing enables color reproductions, scanned documents and faxes that some viewers may not be completely certain which one is the original and which one is the copy.The same is true of mobile communications. A portable car phone was available for technicians out on the field, heavy and clumsy. The car phone later used electricity from the car battery, recommended for women in case of mechanical failure. Then the cellular phone made its debut. The battery size got smaller and smaller with time, and the price dropped as the technology increased. Today’s smart phones have internet access for checking email, applications for scanning bar codes and making price comparisons, and as always, for communicating with the ones you love.