In 1858, the USS Niagara departed from the town of Heart’s Content on Newfoundland’s Trinity Bay, to meet up with HMS Agamemnon somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The plan was to connect a cable that would enable telegraph communication between the continents.
I was puzzled when I first heard this story, thinking that in the days before GPS and satellite phones, wouldn’t it have been easier to just use one ship and avoid a mid-sea rendezvous? Steve Shepard explains the logic in episode 2.
This is the story that inspired us to create this video series. We wanted to celebrate the history of one of the most reliable innovations ever built, the telecommunications network, and the pioneering spirit of both its early inventors and today’s service providers who take on the risk to expand the network’s reach to rural frontiers. We’re celebrating the network’s legacy, and shinning a light towards the future socioeconomic growth it offers.
Join us over the following weeks as we publish the episodes.
1. Bringing Power to the People
2. Pioneers of the Network
3. A Network Built for Mom / The Victorian Internet
4. The Need for Telecom: Not Just a Third-World Problem
5. Phone Company in a Box / From Africa to Central America
6. Looking Forward: Where the Network will Take Us.
Any guesses as to the transatlantic cable’s first message sent from Queen Victoria to US President James Buchanan? Hint, it wasn’t “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?”
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