Communications: An International History of the Formative Years

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IET, 2004 - History - 639 pages
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Communications: An international history of the formative years traces the evolution of communications from 500 BC, when fire beacons were used for signalling, to the 1940s, when high definition television systems were developed for the entertainment, education and enlightenment of society. The book does not simply provide a chronicle of dates and events, nor is it a descriptive catalogue of devices and systems. Rather, it discusses the essential factors - technical, political, social, economic and general - that enabled the evolution of modern communications. The author has taken a contextual approach to show the influence of one discipline upon another, and the unfolding story has been widely illustrated with contemporary quotations, allowing the progress of communications to be seen from the perspective of the times and not from the standpoint of a later generation.

 

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Contents

1 Communication among the ancients
1
2 Semaphore signalling
29
3 The development of electric telegraphy from c 17501850
57
4 Electric telegraphy commercial and social considerations
93
5 Submarine telegraphy
125
6 The telephone
165
7 Optical communications
191
8 Images by wire picture telegraphy 1843c 1900
207
15 Television development pre1914
387
16 The Great War years 19141918
401
17 The birth of sound broadcasting
423
18 Some important developments in the 1920s
451
19 The rise and fall of low definition television c 1920c 1930
479
20 The birth of high definition television
511
21 EMI and high definition television
541
22 The emergence of new technologies
575

9 Distant vision c 18801908
227
10 The early wireless pioneers
253
11 Early experimental wireless telegraphy 18951898
281
12 Other wireless developments
313
13 Maritime wireless telegraphy
343
14 Pointtopoint communications
373
23 Epilogue
603
Appendices
613
Bibliography
625
Index
629
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About the author (2004)

Russell W. Burns graduated from the University of Durham in 1948 with a first class honours degree in physics. Following post-graduate research he joined the Royal Naval Scientific Service in 1952. Professor Burns subsequently held various appointments in higher education in the UK and abroad, obtaining his PhD from the University of Leicester in 1976, and retired in 1989. He has been researching and writing on the history of electrical engineering for more than 30 years. He was awarded the IEE's SET Divisional Board Premium in 1993 and shared the Maxwell Premium in 1994. An IET Fellow, Professor Burns is a past chairman of the IEE's History of Technology professional group, Archives Committee and Science Education and Technology Divisional Board.

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