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Determinism of media Determination in media

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Presentation on theme: "Determinism of media Determination in media"— Presentation transcript:

1 Determinism of media Determination in media

2 Transforming technologies media revolutions? how fast do they occur? what kinds of changes do they bring? do they satisfy the existing needs? do they trigger new desires and new undesired, unplanned uses?

3 Semaphor Telegraphs / Optical Telegraphs

4 Electrical Telegraph William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone – the first commercial electrical telegraph David Alter, the first American electrical telegraph first successful tests of Morse's electrical telegraph (Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail) first expermiental telegraph line between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore demonstrated on May 24, October 24, 1861 – first message through the transcontinental telegraph line (Brigham Young informing of Utah not seceding the Union) Privacy concerns? (Compromise of 1877 and telegraph)

5 Cooke Telegraph / Morse Telegraph

6 Revolutions? Pony Express, 1860 – 1861 mounted riders to deliver post across the continent 184 stations approx. 10 miles apart time to deliver messages East Coast to West Coast reduced to approx. 10 days riders receive salaries 25 times larger than wages for unskilled labor ($25 a week) in 18 months of its operation ONE mail pouch (the mochilla) was undelivered (until two years later it arrived to New York)

7 Transatlantic Telegraph Cable Cyrus West Field

8 Project 1855 – St. John's to Nova Scotia – connecting the American telegraph grid to Newfoundland Atlantic Telegraph Company founded to attract financing intensive marketing efforts in American and Great Britain, governmental support earned

9 Operation HMS Agamemnon and USS Niagara meet at a rendez – vous point mid Atlantic cable spliced, then ships sail towards their continents first attempt – failed, cable broke, mission aborted 1858 – second attempt

10 Laying of the cable completed – Aug "Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and good will toward men." "an additional link between the nations whose friendship is founded on their common interest and reciprocal esteem." "it is a triumph more glorious, because far more useful to mankind, than was ever won by conqueror on the field of battle. May the Atlantic telegraph, under the blessing of heaven, prove to be a bond of perpetual peace and friendship between the kindred nations, and an instrument destined by Divine Providence to diffuse religion, civilization, liberty, and law throughout the world." Field a hero, New York celebrating

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12 Failure three weeks after completion cable fails –most probably due to construction shortcomings and technical errors (splicing of the cable, insufficient insulation –too large currencies sent through the cable due to chief engeneer's inexperience Field riduculed, accused of a hoax, of speculation scam, and of treason by American media

13 SS Great Eastern Isambard Kingdom Brunel by far the largest ship of her era built to travel around the globe without refueling

14 SS Great Eastern idea in 1851 commissioned in 1852 laid down in 1854 launched in 1858 maiden voyage in 1859 first voyage to America in 1860 bellied up (economically) in 1863 sold for £ in 1863 built for approx. £

15 Laying of the cable – re-embarked The Great Eastern chartered to the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company The Great Eastern – the only existing ship to carry the cable in 'one spool' (4260km) – no splicing necessary 1865 – operation begins 1865 – cable breaks – nearly km of the cable lost Field finds still a new investor and forms the Anglo- American Telegraph Company 1866 – cable sucessfully laid. Message from Queen Victoria… The 1865 cable recovered, spliced and reconnected – two cables operational 1866 cable could transmit eight words a minute

16 What does it all mean?


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