MIT 2000 Lecture 5 –Transportation & Transmission –Feb 4
Transportation to transmission model. The message is faster than the messenger
Early Examples of this: In ancient Greece there were torch towers to relay a message
from one tower to another. Fire signals and smoke signals to warn about pirate ships
Was developed by Claude Chappe in Frane (1794)
It is a semaphore You would have towers that would be spread out about 510 km
apart. You would have a line of communication of these towers from one end of France
to the next. Through pulleys and ropes you could change the position of a type of arm
like structure that could be seen from the surrounding towers. (wood, rope, iron, stone)
These towers would then send it to the other towers. There was a code book for the type
of words and messages that can be conveyed by this.
It was not privately run it was state run. It was run by the government, therefore it
became a sense of Nationalism/National State. (Sweden, Russia, Spain, Prussia (1830s)
Had to arrange with the state for businesses to arrange time to convey messages
Exclusive state use in France
There are drawbacks to this technology. It could be foggy out, bad weather and would
be impossible to see messages from one tower to the next. Labour intensive for the
people running these towers, the code book would have to be updated often depending on
the types of messages that change over time. This would take much time and effort, all
the people in the system would have to memorize the new codes. It is also like a game of
broken telephone, messages can easily get misinterpreted.
Created by Samuel F. Morse (US) and Alfred Vail (18371840)
They developed a patent for an electromagnetic telegraph
The first message was sent out in 1844 in WashingtonBaltimore
The device uses electricity to send messages through a wire
The software was a Morse Code. Can electrically send codes to eachother, had to
quickly be able to translate the code to understand it
Morse came up with the original idea, but Alfred did all of the technical development of
Morse Code is a number that matches every word. You had to look through the code
book to see what word is being translated.
Alfred then realized that this was a lot of work, therefore he decided to give each
LETTER in the alphabet a specific symbol. This was easier to memorize and translate
Rapid Growth in Miles of Cable: 1846 40miles 1850 12000miles 186537000miles.
The telegraph slowly could travel even further distances as technology progressed 1861 it was transcontinental telegraph that could send messages far distances.
Prior to this the Pony Express was used as a way to deliver letters to far distances
because the telegraph could only travel messages to short distances. Once telegraph
became transcontinental, the Pony Express died off
Could now conquer distance. It was a form of SPACE BIASED media
Sense of wonder and the sublime, people thought it was magical almost. Some people
hysterically thought you could transport objects through it too.
News agencies started up. They were telegraphic operations that worked closely with
newspapers. A lot of news was disseminated in telegraphic form. (ex of partnerships:
Havas, Reuters, Associated Press)
Telegraph and Railways
Could monitor rail traffic (dispatching)
Became a controlling device for physical things, to plan the directions of the railroad
It is an integrated system
There are Central Offices, lines sent to local offices to the central hub and to other local
hub lines. The central offices would be the main area that messages would be sent, and
then it would be retransmitted 3 sometimes 4 times before it gets to the final desired
This was done through ‘same spoke’ direct communication
Is similar to the previous method of messenger boys. That would travel messages
around, however this was done electronically at this point
had to be able to send messages and verify receipts
Needed to understand morse code, had to be able to quickly translate it.
They developed a shorthanded lexicon –short formed things when they talked because
they became so used to the code. The telegraph operators would communicate with each
other in short forms. When things got slow and boring they would play chess with other
operators at other stations by sending their moves over morse code. It was a start to the
types of communication we have now with short form texting
The local commodity markets, and the local conditions of the market mattered. The
prices varied depending on the local conditions. Because of this, it meant that the way
that they made money was through Arbitrage Trading.