Cabling: a technology that refuses to die

Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. Any adult on earth can look back and marvel at all the technological advances they have seen in their lifetime.

However, there are technologies that, because of their efficiency and safety, refuse to die. As an old poem says “though the bullet is invented, the arrow is never forgotten”, a phrase that is quite right. Sometimes the new, just because it is new, does not replace the old.

One such technology that refuses to die is the one that uses wiring. Yes, it’s true that we are in the age of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, in the age of wireless processing, of programs running in the cloud… but wires are still there, adorning much of the landscape and being vitally important to our lives.

From so much looking at the present and the future we sometimes forget to also look at the glory of the past that refuses to go away.

The telegraph is the great father of the more modern means of communication we know today. Its introduction was a Copernican shift in communication and in the speed of transmitting information from one place to another. It was the first known form of electrical communication. Nothing less.

With the telegraph we went from waiting weeks for a letter to arrive from one country to another to receiving messages in a matter of hours. It is not idle to say that the telegraph was, in its time, what the use of the Internet or mobile devices is to us today.

The extension of the use of the telegraph led us to try to connect every imaginable place on the planet by means of cables. And we can say that mankind succeeded.

The invention of an insulator known as “gutta-percha” allowed the first submarine cable to be laid between the United Kingdom and France, which started a race for the development and expansion of this infrastructure.

In the mid-19th century, cables were laid between Ireland and Scotland, Wales and Ireland, Corsica and Sardinia, Sweden and Denmark, and others of lesser extension. A few years earlier, tests had already been carried out with cables under the sea in the United States.

After several years and titanic efforts, the first transatlantic cable was installed. It was in 1868 that a cable was finally laid across the Atlantic connecting Canada and Ireland. Two distant continents were thus physically linked.

This technical and scientific feat greatly optimized communication between the two great powers of the time, the United States and Great Britain, and significantly reduced the delay of messages between one destination and the other.

Today there is constant talk of globalization, but the first real experience of global interconnection in the world was not the discovery of America, but the installation of the first transatlantic submarine cable.

In the beginning, telegrams were so expensive that the use of the telegraph changed the way we communicated by means of written messages. Very few words had to be used to issue a message or communiqué.

The telegraph never became a common household appliance. Perhaps the invention of the telephone and the spread of radio had something to do with it, but these new technologies did not end the use of the telegraph.

Cryptocurrency and crypto trading

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The telegraph and bank transfers

It was in the now distant year 1872 when the Western Union, in the USA, managed to carry out the first electronic transfer in history, a system that worked through the use of signals emitted by the telegraph.

A telegram from the sender’s office confirmed that the money to be transferred had been deposited, then another telegram gave the order to authorize payment to the recipient. 

Western Union took advantage of its extensive network of offices, which covered virtually the entire United States. These early transfers were rudimentary and the process was cumbersome, that’s true, but they already showed the future of what later wire transfers would become. It’s a fascinating story.

Author: Editorial Team

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