Segments in this Video

Major Communication Breakthroughs (02:45)


Communication topics are introduced. The electric telegraph, telephone, and wireless communication will be covered in this program.

Madley Communications Centre (02:43)

Sixty-five satellite dishes and a network of fiber optic cables provide a connection between Britain and the rest of the world.

Birth of Electromagnetism (03:05)

Before electricity, line-of-sight communication systems were not effective in the dark or bad weather. The telegraph came from a series of incremental steps.

John Tawell Murder (03:30)

A demonstration shows how a five needle telegraph used electromagnetism. A crime committed in 1837 in showed the benefit of fast electronic communication over distance.

Samuel Morse's Telegraph (02:16)

An American inventor used electricity to communicate at the same time as Cooke and Wheatstone's needle system.

First Transatlantic Cable (04:16)

By the 1850s, Morse's single wire system was gaining ground. The first underwater cable linking Britain and America was laid in 1858. The cable collapsed within a month. The copper was not insulated well enough.

Trial and Error in Global Communication (02:23)

Dr. David Cleevely discusses the first transatlantic cable. It's eventual success spawned a network of cables under other seas.

Liquid Telephone Demonstration (03:30)

Alexander Graham Bell is most famously associated with this invention. Human speech patterns had to be turned into electrical patterns. Incremental improvements led to the centennial phone.

Cultural Revolution (03:15)

The telephone initially struggled to make an impact on the public. Inventor William Armstrong embraced the new communication technology. Public electrophone salons opened in hotels and clubs for the wealthy.

Telephone Revolution (02:08)

Victorian society was governed by rules of etiquette. People found the telephone awkward and uncomfortable. Armstrong was determined to exploit the invention's potential.

Wireless Transmitter and Receiver (02:25)

Two major breakthroughs in wireless communication are demonstrated. Heinrich Hertz used the oscillating current to create invisible waves.

Wireless Telegraphy (03:54)

In 1897, Guglielmo Marconi demonstrated technology that could send messages over long distances. The method he used to prove its worth to the military is recreated.

Magic Box (02:05)

Marconi protected his invention with a patent. He eventually sent a message across the Atlantic Ocean. The individual parts of his machine had all been invented by others.

How Wireless Changed the World (01:33)

Wireless communication connects humans to each other and gives power over the Earth. The first mobile phone was invented in 1922.

Tel-Star One (03:23)

Short wave technology and satellites allowed the communication of wireless devices over very long distances. NASA launched the first active communication satellite in 1962.

Cable Technology and Global Communication (03:52)

Copper cables have been replaced by fiber optics, which carry light rather than electricity.

Summary and Preview (01:27)

Reflect on communication technology and learn what is to come on the next episode.

Credits: Communications: Genius of Inventions—Ideas That Changed the World (00:33)

Credits: Communications: Genius of Inventions—Ideas That Changed the World

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Communications: The Genius of Invention—Ideas That Changed the World

Part of the Series : The Genius of Invention: Ideas That Changed the World
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



In episode three, the team explores how nothing shrunk the globe more than our extraordinary ability to talk to one another across the oceans and continents. They reveal the fascinating chain of events that made such everyday miracles possible by telling the story of the extraordinary inventors who harnessed electricity and electromagnetism. Their brilliance led to three transformative inventions: the electric telegraph, the telephone, and wireless communication. A BBC Production. A part of the series The Genius of Invention: Ideas That Changed the World.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL57496

ISBN: 978-0-81609-394-6

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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