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InTom Standage discusses the early development of the telegraph, including its uses and public reaction to the new technology.
InKatherine Stubbs examines the work of telegraph operators and new concerns about disembodied communication during the 1870s and 1880s, as expressed in so-called “telegraphic fiction.”
In this response (minimum 250 words), please address the following questions:
- How did telegraphic communication work, as described by Standage? In particular, how was a “telegram” sent? What was the process, what kinds of people gravitated toward this work, and what kinds of “jargon” emerged?
- According to Standage, some people had no idea how the telegraph worked when it was new. What are some examples of “confusion and misunderstanding” during the telegraph’s early years, as noted by Standage?
- What kinds of interpersonal conflicts and social themes did “telegraphic fiction” address, as discussed by Stubbs? Give some examples. What modern technology does Stubbs compare the telegraph to? Why?