The Telegraph: “A Very Honest Living” Indeed

Have you ever heard what morse code sounds like? The series of dot-dash noises was derived from Samuel Morse and the inception of the telegraph was to communicate messages across space and time.

The establishment of the telegraph has proved advantageous for the now thriving communications industry upon its use in the nineteenth century. Consequently, with the further development of this technology the production of radio, television and more recently in 1991 the widespread use of the internet has highlighted the telegraph’s technological success. Not only did the telegraph aid in social interaction, message sending and news reporting, but it also changed the social dynamics of the traditional Victorian era, in which gender equality did not exist. The immense popularity and rapid growth of telegraph usage provided the opportunity for women to validate their skills in a workplace setting, paving the way for working women in the communications industry for years to come.

The following Prezi introduces the notion of social change and how this arose as a result of the telegraph’s establishment in the mid nineteenth century.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 11.01.08 pm

Mitew, T., 2014, ‘A Global Nervous System: From Telegraph to Cyberspace’, Lecture/YouTube Video, DIGC202, University of Wollongong, 4 August 2014, viewed August 5th 2015, via <>


21 thoughts on “The Telegraph: “A Very Honest Living” Indeed

  1. I loved your blog post! You really brought to light a part of communication history that isn’t as talked about sadly. I felt like your Prezi was extremely useful and supplemented your post extremely well by giving a great history of the telegraph and the social change that happened in the era!

  2. I appreciate the focus on social change and shifts in gender equality. It’s an area of communications that probably isn’t talked about so much, especially given the significance of contributions from the likes of Ada Lovelace (founder of scientific computing). I found this article had a pretty good overview of her involvement if you wanted to look into more detail about women and communications 🙂

  3. I actually really like this post! I absolutely love that you added the aspects of gender equality in there, something that I was definitely not aware of. The prezi infographic is really informative whilst still being appealing to look at rather than just a huge chunk of text. The links you’ve included also add to the post. A very enjoyable and insightful read, well done 🙂

  4. A great in depth look at a broad topic was what stood out for me! The initial introduction was thorough and set the scene for the prezi with information regarding the internet and early telegraphy. The prezi was then really sequential and followed with easy fluency. I particularly liked the interesting viewpoint you took with the topic, as it’s something I’m not aware of but intrigued me to find out more. There were great references if one was so inclined to go further into the topics that you’ve touched on including social class and corporate America. Looking more locally, this website shows Women in media in Australia
    Really enjoyd your post, well done!

  5. Great overview of the history of the telegraph! I found it really helpful and easy to read. I also enjoyed how you focused more on the gender politics around the telegraph. I think it would have been interesting to go into further analysis of gender issues but I understand that we only have a small word limit, which could make it difficult!

  6. I love how simplistic your prezi was! Extremely informative, i found your take was unique and relevant to the development of equal gender rights. The quotes you used to support your argument made it an important statement. You have tied in other areas within history e.g. Victorian era that give this post so much depth and allows us, the reader to understand the placement in history the telegraph directly impacted.
    Awesome job!!!

  7. This is excellent! You’ve really explored a side of morse code that I had never even considered and it’s so interesting too! The role of women in communications- especially telecommunications- is fascinating and your presentation is direct, informative and inspired. Did you know children were often used for repairs too? This was also resulting from their smaller sized hands.

    • Hi Ernie!
      Thank you, I wanted to take a look at something in depth, and women’s rights always has interested me. I was unaware of the involvement of children in the communications industry but it does make sense. Thanks for the comment!

      • No worries Melissa, awesome subject choice and it’s good you’ve found a a medium to express your passions too, beyond media studies.

  8. I loved your informative post that thoroughly described the telegraph and its advantages from its development. The addition of the prezi supported your main points and made the post more visually stimulating. You presented a good amount of text so it wasn’t too heavy, which enabled simple understanding and was easy to indulge. Providing links to further research about Samuel Morse and the telegraph, proved to be helpful in further understanding of the topic, as well as dwell in detail about Morse in a separate way without having too much text in your post. I enjoyed the light read and the prezi that brought realization about the power of women and their employment in the telegraph workforce that definitely symbolised and brought social change. Look forward to reading more of your posts! Great work!

  9. This was a great post/ Prezi to view, it’s not an angle that I have seen anyone else take. Focusing on the role that women played in the communications revolution is one that I think many people would have overlooked. Like Ted mentioned in the lecture, at first they were using young boys to work as telephone operators, moving to employ women when obvious problems with the young workers arose. It would be interesting to know if this communication revolution had not occurred, when women would have entered the workforce in numbers like these.

  10. Hi, Melissa. I see you reviewed well on the topic, especially the aspect of social class in that era. I appreciate that you also talk about gender equality and social change in the revolution of telegraph. Your additional information provided a different context of the age and presented me a scene to visualize how people actually did during the time, what issue did the society face. Simple prezi but rich in content. You make history appear more alive. Thanks for your lesson!

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