Sunday, March 13, 2011

First Words

Sort of like babies, how we communicate has had its first words:

Telegraph, May 24, 1844
What hath God wrought? - Samuel Morse, from the King James version of Numbers 23:23, sent from the Supreme Court chamber in the Capitol in Washington, DC, to the B & O Railroad Depot in Baltimore, Maryland.
image of first telegraph message

Telephone, March 10, 1876
Mr. Watson - come here - I want to see you. - Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant. The first sound he sent was on June 2, 1875 of a twanging clock spring, and was when he sort of discovered sound could be sent electronically.
page from Alexander Graham Bell's journal with notes about the first phone message transmitted

Radio, December 23rd, 1900
one, two, three, four, is it snowing where you are Mr. Thiesen? If it is, would you telegraph back to me? - Reginald Aubrey Fessenden on Cobb island in the middle of the Potomac river.

Internet, October 29, 1969 10:30 PM
login - Leonard Kleinrock describes it:
The transmission itself was simply to "login" to SRI from UCLA. We succeeded in transmitting the "l" and the "o" and then the system crashed! Hence, the first message on the Internet was "Lo!". We were able to do the full login about an hour later.
image of page of notes taken about the first internet message

Email, late 1971
QWERTYUIOP - Ray Tomlinson, could have been ASDFGHJK or something else equally test-ish
The first message of any substance was a message announcing the availability of network email. The exact content is unknown, but it gave instructions about using the at sign to separate the user's name from his host computer name.

Text Message, December 1992
Merry Christmas - Neil Papworth, test engineer for Sema Group sent an SMS with a personal computer to the phone of Richard Jarvis via the Vodafone network
I was a young engineer working on new communications technologies. We thought SMS was a clever way for a company's staff to send simple messages to one another. I'd never have predicted that it would spread into the consumer world and become what it is today. At the time it didn't seem like a big deal.

Twitter, March 21, 2006 12:50 PM
just setting up my twttr - Jack Dorsey
screenshot of the first twitter message

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