Mynona, “Idea for a Telehaptor” (1913)

So, then, we have telegraphy, telephony, the television is as good as ready-to-go. All that’s left to wait for is telehaptics, the telehaptor, the teletoucher. What use is the entire oeuvre of H.G. Wells, if he shrinks back from this idea? But the matter is much more miserable than one might suspect: We are lost …

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Artur Fürst, “The Masters of the Universe” (1911)

The other day a ship arrived in the port of New York, its passage from Europe to America constituting an important event in the history of technology. The steamship Bosnia carried on board a station for wireless telegraphy, and, with its help, it was possible for the first time to create a wireless telegraph connection from the …

Verkabelung

This image has always bothered me. Under a network of cables so dense as to block out the sky, several Victorian passersby are frozen in mid-stride, gazing up at the infrastructural spectacle and perhaps contemplating how their world come to be wired this way. The image is centered on the telephone pole—and the trunk supporting the wires is …

Ericsson’s History of Wireless Communication

Ericsson, the communications company started by that Swedish inventor who may have created one of the first car telephone systems—which, if you can believe the above image, actually tapped into existing telegraph lines, has a neat little video about the history of wireless communication. Some of the classic tropes are a little grating like the claim that wireless has been around …

Wired Radio and the Telephone Newspaper

One of the most interesting 'roads not taken' in the history of the radio is surely that of "wired wireless." In America, the radio could have gone the path of the telephone and become a wired network that directly connected transmitters to receivers through various operations of switching. In fact, there were several analogous attempts in Europe …

Logos: Wi-Fi vs. Bluetooth

I've been thinking recently about the differences between the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth logos, especially in relation to the more universal symbol for wireless connections. Both the Wi-Fi logo and the Bluetooth logo are trademarks that are supposed to stand in for international standards. (Of course the "fidelity" of "Wi-Fi"—coined in analogy to "Hi-Fi" (High Fidelity)—is largely …