Crews initially fashioned some of the telegraph poles so small that buffalo, using them as scratching posts, knocked them over.Despite the obstacles, the line was completed in a matter of months.'It's a very American story,' said Corbett, adding that not only was the project brought in with amazing speed but that it 'completely changed everything in a flash,' from the introduction of groundbreaking technology to the country's own self-image.'California was almost like a satellite, if you think about it,' he said.You’ve never seen taboo like this before with words all about love and romance!Change things up in the bedroom with a sexy game that might make you blush…A year later, the AP was formed and began relaying news of the Mexican-American War through a combination of telegraph wires and horseback riders, which demonstrated a limitation in the new technology.'The early days of the telegraph were a lot like the early days of the Internet,' says Fischer.'There were a lot of little one-off companies that would connect one or maybe two cities, but no big networks.'By 1860, the telegraph was a lot like an early cell-phone system.The government could communicate nationally in almost real time.'Morse obtained a patent for his telegraph in 1840, and four years later he sent his famous first message — 'What hath God wrought?
From sea to sea, it electronically knitted together a nation that was simultaneously tearing itself apart, North and South, in the Civil War.'It was huge,' says Amy Fischer, archivist for Western Union, which strung the line across mountains, canyons and tribal lands to make the final connection. With the Civil War just a few months old, the idea that California, the growing cities of California, could talk to Washington and the East Coast in real time was huge.
These days, telegrapher talk and even Morse Code, once used to keep track of ships at sea and prevent trains that shared main lines from running into each other, have been all but abandoned, made obsolete by the technological revolution the telegraph created. In time, cell phones and personal computers came along, and in 2006, Western Union, the company that had made a name for itself by charging sweethearts to wire singing telegrams and chocolates to one another, stopped sending telegrams all together.
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Joseph, Missouri, in the unheard of time of 10 days when it began operations on April 3, 1860, shut down 19 months later — on the same day the transcontinental telegraph went live. 'But the longer-term effect was we connected the nation in real time,' says Fischer.
'For the first time, businesses could do business nationally.
'It was almost 2,000 miles between the Missouri River and the California slope.