The telegraph was an electrical network that enabled transmission and receiving of coded electrical signals across wires. The system, used first in Britain and then the United States, was largely developed by Samuel F. B. Morse and was first demonstrated publicly in 1844. Few new communication technologies have had the impact on society and culture that the telegraph did. It helped open the American West and maintain European colonial empires, revolutionized warfare and business, and changed the ways people thought about the world in which they lived. People could stay in touch with distant relatives, order products from distant stores, and remain connected to a broader culture. But perhaps its most profound effect was on the nature of news. Readers, through reports brought to their ...

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