What Hath God Wrought

The telegraph was an even more dramatic innovation in its day than the Internet

On May 24, 1844, Professor Samuel F. B. Morse, seated in the chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, tapped a message into a device of cogs and coiled wires, employing a code that he had recently devised to send a biblical text: “What hath God wrought.” Forty miles away in Baltimore, Morse’s associate Alfred Vail received the electric signals and returned the message. As those who witnessed it understood, this demonstration would change the world. Read more »

Technology

The literature pants harder and harder to keep up with the dazof the innovations, but with a gun to my head this for the general reader looking for a short list of Jt are technically sophisticated yet comprehensible and the sense of being highly readable.

Steamboats Come True: American Inventors in Action Read more »

The Evolution Of Your Office

Hidden agreements have made all business workplaces remarkably similar.

One of the first objects visible inside the entrance of the National Building Museum’s show On the Job: Design and the American Office (which runs in Washington, D.C., through August) is an early stapler. The Hotchkiss Number Two is more than a century old. It uses a curved, gravity-flow system for feeding the staples, lending it a resemblance to a cross between Hans Brinker’s silver skate and an old-time apple corer.

 
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The Ancient History Of The Internet

Though it appears to have sprung up overnight, the inspiration of free-spirited hackers, it in fact was born in Defense Department Cold War projects of the 1950s

The Internet seems so now, so happening, so information age, that its Gen-X devotees might find the uncool circumstances of its birth hard to grasp. More than anything the computer network connecting tens of millions of users stands as a modern—albeit unintended—monument to military plans for fighting three wars.Read more »