Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Telegraph Trolls...!

Isn't it amazing that nearly anything new is considered evil by so many folks?

Even the telegraph was fair game for the trolls of the time, including some politicians. I can only imagine what a tough time folks would have had in staying up with important news before the telegraph.

The Telegraph

Photo via Wikimedia

In general, all the bad things that people say now about Twitter and online news were the same things that people said about the telegraph 150 years ago. This invention did not have a lot of fans when it was first conceived. In fact, there were two major groups that fervently opposed it: politicians and the media.

Newspapers often bad-mouthed the telegraph, perhaps out of fear of being made irrelevant. (They later did the same thing with radio.) They argued that the speed at which the telegraph could provide news was simply unnecessary. When just 10 days would bring the news from Europe to America and vice versa, what need could there be to deliver it in 10 minutes? Traditional media branded the telegraph as untrustworthy and superficial.

The US government was also wary of the device. When Samuel Morse offered to sell his telegraph system to the government for $100,000, they said no. While some politicians saw the telegraph as a mischievous device that could be used for evil, others were more practical, opining that the cost of installing and operating a telegraph between two cities far outweighed any potential revenue.

I guess that all technical advances are considered by some to be too costly and impractical to pursue. I'm glad that enough wanted to improve things and the telegraph was finally a big part of our history.

Coffee out on the hot patio this morning.


JO said...

And they still fear the new and unknown. Me I just can't get the hang of all this techy stuff. Good Post though.

The mornings here have been so wonderful and so far we are out of the triple digits.

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
I for one am really getting tired of the hot weather, but they say it will be almost the end of October before we get any cooler here. I'd move if I wasn't taking care of Mom, ya know?
Thanks for dropping by today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Looking at that picture makes me wonder what those piano type keys were used for??? There is not enough for the alphabet and only one key is needed for dits and dots or dit/dah as we hams say.

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
I was wondering the same thing! never saw a setup like that before.
Thanks for stopping by today!