History of Innovation

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1833: The First Electromagnetic Telegraph

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Sources: 1

Innovation: First Electromagnetic Telegraph
Location: Gottingen, Germany
Year: 1833
By: Carl Friedrich Gauss and Wilhelm Weber

Several years before Samuel Morse’s telegraph would revolutionize American communication, two German scientists, Carl Friedrich Gauss and Wilhelm Weber, created the first electromagnetic telegraph. Developed in 1833, this telegraph connected the offices of Gauss and Weber on the University of Gottingen campus. The telegraph consisted of a wire running a top the building connected to a galvanometer that would react to the electric pulses it received and a commutator to change the direction of the current. With the creation of the first practical recording telegraph, Gauss and Weber were able to communicate at a speed of 6 words per minute across a distance of 8,942 feet, 3 kilometer. This invention allowed for more collaborative effort in Gauss and Weber’s scientific research, since they were able to be in constant communication while working in their separate labs. This invention set the stage for modern communication. The telegraph showed that it was no longer impossible to quickly speak to individuals that were a great distance away.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Written by Katelyn Beiter

October 8, 1833 at 2:15 am

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