The cable ship Silvertown begins laying the first Transpacific telegraph cable from San Francisco, destined for Honolulu, Hawaii. After laying 2,227 nautical miles of cable, the Silvertown will land in Honolulu on January 1, 1903. Public messages will begin transmitting on January 5.
Laid by British telegraphic engineer John Watkins Brett and his brother Jacob Brett, the world’s first operational underwater telegraph cable opens for business. Connecting the English city of Dover to the French city of Calais, the cable was ran at the narrowest point of the English channel. With this link, communication between London and Paris was made possible.
Google introduces the Android platform, its mobile operating system for cell phones based on a modified version of the Linux operating system. The first Android-based phone would ship in September of 2008.
Only two days after the Transcontinental Telegraph line opened, the Pony Express ceases operation. Prior to the opening of the cross-country telegraph line, the Pony Express was the fastest way to send communication between St. Jospeph, Missouri and San Franscisco, California.
Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States, making nearly instantaneous cross-country communication possible for the first time. Previously, it took ten days for a letter to be sent from Missouri to California via the Pony Express. Not coincidentally, two days later the Pony Express shut down operations.
Guglielmo Marconi officially opens the first commercial transatlantic wireless telegraph service, which runs between Nova Scotia and Ireland.
Ameritech Mobile Communications executive Bob Barnett makes a phone call from a car parked near Soldier Field in Chicago, officially launching the first cellular network in the United States.
CompuServe launches the first consumer-oriented online information service, which they called MicroNET. This marked the first time a consumer had access to services such as e-mail. The service was not favored internally within the business-oriented CompuServe, but as the service became a hit, they renamed the service CompuServe Information Service, or CIS. By the mid-1980’s CompuServe was the largest consumer information service in the world and half their revenue came from CIS. In 1989 CompuServe connected its proprietary e-mail system to the Internet e-mail system, making it one of the first commercial Internet services. However, CompuServe did not compete well with America On-Line or independent Internet Service Providers in the 1990’s and lost its dominant market position.