The Invention of the Telegraph

It took the genius of Gauss, probably the greatest mathematician who ever lived, to see the proper importance of the discoveries of Oersted: electric current – magnetic needle – telegraph. Gauss and his friend and colleague Professor Weber began experimenting on these lines and in 1832 the needle telegraph was completed. However, neither Gauss nor Weber had the time or […]

Continue Reading

Ancient Inventions in Electronics

In 1837, the first electric motor was developed (and patented) in the USA by Thomas Davenport. A few years later, in 1839, the magnetohydrodynamic battery was proposed by Michael Faraday in the UK; the photovoltaic effect was described in France by Alexandre Edmond Becquerel (1820–91), and the fuel cell was invented by Sir William Robert Grove (1811–96) in the UK. In 1843, the Scottish inventor Alexander Bain […]

Continue Reading

When Electronics Was Young

The year 1831 was noteworthy for a number of reasons, none of them as yet connected with electronics per se: 1. Sir David Brewster (1781–1868) publishes his ‘Treatise on Optics’; 2. Independently, Michael Faraday (1791–1867) and Joseph Henry (1797–1878) discover that electricity can be induced by changes in a magnetic field—a discovery leading to the first electric generators; […]

Continue Reading

Transatlantic Telecommunications Cables

After Morse had instigated the world’s first telegraph line in 1843, practical men developed this new means of communications, and constructed improved and more reliable equipment. Before long overland lines were no longer sufficient and intercontinental lines were proposed. In 1850, a cable was laid between Dover and Calais. A similar operation failed when it was first tried in the Mediterranean (between Sardinia and Algeria), owing to that […]

Continue Reading