June 10, 1858
Two ships head out to begin work on what will become the first operational Transatlantic cable. Previous attempts at laying a Transatlantic cable had failed. Designed for telegraph operation, the cable run is completed on August 5th and the first test message is sent on August 12th. However, the cable fails on September 18th and repair was not possible at the time.
June 7, 1983
Michael Eaton is granted a patent for the AT Command Set for Modems, which had created a standard language for interacting with modems. Two years earlier, the rights for this command set were purchased by the Hayes Corporation and incorporated into the Hayes Smartmodem 300 as the “Hayes Command Set.” The protocol will become an industry standard used for years to come.
In the early 90’s, needing to use modems so that I could connect to pre-Internet bulletin board systems, I learned the AT command set. I then used and supported modems extensively for about 15 years, and occasionally still do. Because I worked with modems so much, I used to be able to speak the AT command set in my sleep. I know, it impresses the ladies.
June 6, 2009
Palm, Inc. releases the Palm Pre smartphone through Sprint in an attempt to regain marketshare, after their Treo line of smartphones is dwarfed by Apple’s iPhone. Featuring the Linux-based Palm webOS operating system, the Pre receives some praise from technical reviewers, but due to poor marketing and the rapid pace in which Apple dominates the New World of smartphones, Palm’s series of phones and the webOS never really have a chance to gain a foothold. Within the course of one year, Palm is purchased by HP for $1.2 billion. One year later, after just 2 months of abysmal sales of their TouchPad tablets, HP halts production of all webOS-based devices. HP has announced they will release the source code for webOS under an open-source license, but the future of this once-promising mobile operating system looks bleak.
May 24, 1844
Samuel Morse sends the first telegraphic message over a line from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore. The message, “What hath God wrought!” was transmitted to his partner, Alfred Vail, who retransmitted the same message back to Morse. This formally opened America’s first telegraph line, launching America’s first form of instant communication in history. The biblical text was selected by Annie Ellsworth, the teenage daughter of the U.S. Commissioner of Patents.
May 23, 1903
Paris, France and Rome, Italy are connected by telephone for first time. Feel free to congratulate me for finding this picture at any time.
April 3, 1973
Martin Cooper, considered the “father of the cellular phone”, makes the first cell phone call on a New York City street.
March 10, 1876
Alexander Graham Bell makes the fateful call to his assistant, Mr. Watson, which is considered the first phone call in history: “Mr. Watson come here I want you.”
March 7, 1876
Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent (US No. 174,465) for an “Improvement in Telegraphy,” which will later come to be known as the variable resistance telephone.
February 28, 1885
The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York State as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone. Eventually the companies would “merge” and thus AT&T was born.