Timeline Of Communication and Media Evolution

Communication in general terms can be defined as the sharing of symbols over distances in space and time. Communication can also be called a social institution

Phoenician Script
Initially, there was mainly non verbal communication, in which communication was based on signals and pictures. Non-verbal communication of the pre historic era encompasses smoke signals, drums, wall etchings, chants, and runes. Artifacts from as early as 30,000 BC show man’s attempt at communication, as the oldest known animal carving was found in Vogelherd, Germany. It was a horse engraved on a pelvis bone.
These etchings developed and became more intricate into alphabets and other signs when language developed. Traditionally, language has been thought of as an ancient innovation that may have evolved over many years. Initial groupings of human beings were large, and they needed an easy, quick bond to be able to get their point across and it seems that language would have performed this function. The evolution of communication is mainly focused on the development of the methods of writing, documenting, and preserving information of times past.
In 1500 BC, the first Phoenician alphabet was formed, and the use of papyrus as a documentation of communication was used, and from this development in 1200 BC a Syrian scholar compiled the world’s first encyclopedia. In 735 BC the Greek develop their first alphabet, and by 599 BC they had a telegraph system in which they would use trumpets drums and mirrors to pass messages over vast distances.
In 400 BC the Chinese developed a pigment which could write on papyrus and silk, which lead to the invention of paper. China was also

Johannes Gutenberg
the pioneer in book printing, when in 450BC it used stamped seals on paper, which would lead to the printing of rough Chinese books. The first book ever published was also Chinese; “The Diamond Sutra” and it was published in 868 AD.

Bible. 1st book printed in color, by Fust and Schoeffer
The vast use of paper spread to Europe and so did the Chinese method of block pressing to print books; in 1451 Johannes Gutenberg used a print press, his own invention to print a German poem. The printing press lead to many developments, and an increase in the number of educated people because with printed works, there was permanent documentation available to the masses, who no longer needed to depend on a privileged few to guide them due to their wisdom, and education. By 1500, approximately 35,000 books had been printed, and around 10 million copies of each were sold. In 1714, a patent was given to Henry Mil for the typewriter. This invention was available to the public some years later, and it was a great development in communication as it sped up the communication process, whether for professional or non professional use, and this lead to the invention of the paper making machine in France in 1799.

Earliest Niépce camera
The mid nineteenth century called for the start of the modern information revolution which is continuing even today. Many developments have occurred, mainly to limit the downfalls of the previous methods of communication such as distance, time, and location. The revolution, which evolved and developed communication, has been divided into three stages.
The first stage extended over a hundred years, starting from the mid eighteen hundreds till the mid twentieth century. It was during this time that major leaps were made in the development of communication with the invention of the camera, telegraph and radio all occurring in the beginning of this stage, and all getting developed

First Kodak Camera
globally. In 1826 the world’s first camera is made, by Neipiece. In 1833, in Germany a telegraph runs for almost two miles, and in 1834
Babbage gets the idea for an “Analytical engine” which is thought to be the forerunner to the computer. By 1836, Britain has a running postal system, and in 1837 the electric telegraph is patented in England. In the same year, Morse introduced the electric telegraph to the United States of America.

One of the World’s first commercially
available Tv.
In 1841, the world’s first advertising agency is created, as are card companies. This stage of evolution shows the commercialization of communication, where as initially it was developed to fulfill a human instinct, a need, now it was being used as a tool to make money. This can also be seen in the invention of the Double Cylinder Rotary Press in 1846. This printing press could produce 8000 sheets in an hour. This invention was made to increase the speed of mass produced books, adverts, news papers and pamphlets, gearing towards commercial communication needs. By 1884 people could make long distance telephone calls. This was the first step towards the globalization of the world. By 1884, “Kodak” was the first company to invent a camera for easy, commercial use making it available to the masses. In the same year, Heinrich Hertz proved the existence of radio waves, thereby creating the pathway to the invention of the radio. And in 1895, Paris was introduced to moving pictures projected on a large screen, paving the way for the invention for movie reels. In 1901 Marconi sent the first radio signal across the Atlantic, which established the radio as a communication tool; however it was only available commercially in 1906. Also in 1906, the first animated cartoon was produced, and in 1907 a Russian scientist developed a theory for the production of the Television, and in 1908 in the United States, the first live motion picture was shown. In 1922, the first 3-D movie was made available, and shown in the cinema where the audience had to wear glasses with one red lens and one green lens. In

First Computer being programmed
1923, Kodak made a movie camera available to the masses by selling a compact home video maker to the public, also in 1923; there were over two and a half million radio sets in America. The first color movie was made and shown in public in 1928. 1928 was a great year for development in media, as aside from the color movies, Baird (an American) demonstrated how a color TV would work using electro magnetism, paving the way to commercially available color TV sets. In 1929, Britain had its first TV station. By 1934, Technicolor used three color technologies in a live action film.
The next major development in this stage of the evolution of media came in 1937, when Carlson invented the photocopier. By 1938 Baird demonstrated live TV in color and by 1950 there was a regular color TV broadcast, and this development signaled the close of the first stage of evolution in communication.
The first stage of communication paved the way for the second stage, in which steps were taken to further verify the authenticity of communication methods as there was now a global storage system with the invention of early generation computers and satellites.
Computers were commercially available in 1951 and in 1954 mini transistor radios were sold commercially. The commercial value of the computer was quickly realized and the technological aspect of communication developed quickly, in order to meet the ever growing demand of speedy, effective communication that the computer provided. Along with the invention of computers, there were many other technical advances in this phase of evolution, as the USSR launched their first satellite, the Sputnik in 1954. The launching of the first satellite into space by the USSR was a major event in the world of communication as now one country could keep an eye on the whole world from space.

An Audio Cassette
Furthermore, the Sputnik sparked a technological race between the USSR and the USA, which led to general, global development in technology.
In 1963, the audiocassette was invented in Holland. This was a major development in communication and media as now music
Records for educational and entertainment purposes were available to the masses at a cheaper cost than fiber records, and in the same year, mini computers became commercially available.

A Fax Machine
The uses of satellites for media were first used in Tokyo in 1964 when the Olympic Games were shown live via satellite for the first time. The world’s first fax machine was also invented during this

The First Sony Walkman
period , in 1966 by a company known as Xerox. The 1960s were the years where all modern and technological advancements in communication were made available to the masses, in 1967 there were over 200 million telephone sets in the world and by 1968 there were almost 200 television sets in the world. By 1969 Sony had commercialized video tapes and the VHS player and by 1971 Intel built the world’s first microprocessor. In 1974, education systems started using satellite TV for distance learning programs, and when the microcomputer came in 1975, it too greatly helped the distance learning initiative, as did the invention of the internet in the same year.
The closing of the second stage of the evolution of media is signified by the public release of the Sony Walkman in 1980, which played audiocassettes portably using batteries and headphones. The second phase of evolution was short but focused on technological advancements in the field of communication, focusing on public demands and the Mass media.
The third stage of evolution of communication in the age of the information revolution started in the 1980s and is continuing even today. This last stage of evolution focuses on the development of a global village, where the world will be at our finger tips.

The invention of the internet, mobile phones, internet ON mobile phones, satellite cable and easy access to global communication is moving us one step closer to globalization.
This stage is also known for its transition to portable communication devises. In 1981 the world’s first laptop is introduced, a portable computer running on battery power. And in 1984, the world’s first portable disk-player, “The Discman” was made commercially available, as cassettes have been further developed into CD ROMS.
These developments in communication tools also affect all uses for communication and in 1991 all moviegoers are astonished at the computer effects in the movie Terminator 2.
Many of the changes in communication methods are not seen as positive changes, especially concerning privacy and it was due to this that by 1993 countries start posing restrictions on certain TV channels and movies. Another negative growth in the field of communication was the invention of the world’s first computer virus, virus Melissa in 1999. This final stage of evolution continues still today, with the development of micro hearing-aids, MP3 players, Blackberries etc. The list is endless as technology is advancing at such a speed that the human population can not keep up with it, and it is leading towards a smaller world, where there are no barriers in communication, the problems of time, distance, location, privacy, authentication and decoding will soon be a worry of the past.

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