When Outdated Technologies Have been New: Thinking About Electrical Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century

When Outdated Technologies Have been New: Thinking About Electrical Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century







In the historical past of digital conversation, the very last quarter of the nineteenth century retains a distinctive location, for it was in the course of this period that the phone, phonograph, electric gentle, wireless, and cinema were all invented. In When aged Technologies Have been New, Carolyn Marvin explores how two of these new inventions–the phone and the electric gentle–were publicly envisioned at the finish of the nineteenth century, as viewed in specialized engineering journals and preferred media. Marvin pays distinct consideration to the phone, describing how it disrupted established social relations, unsettling customary methods of dividing the non-public individual and household from the additional public location of the local community. On the lighter aspect, she describes how people today spoke louder when calling prolonged distance, and how they concerned about catching contagious disorders over the telephone. A notably impressive chapter discounts with telephonic precursors of radio broadcasting–the “Phone Herald” in New York and the “Telefon Hirmondo” of Hungary–and the conflict in between the technological growth of broadcasting and the attempt to impose a homogenous, ethnocentric variant of Anglo-Saxon tradition on the public. Although focusing on the way experts in the electronics industry tried using to control the new media, Marvin also illuminates the broader social affect, presenting a broad-ranging, enlightening, and entertaining account of the early many years of digital media.



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