Guglielmo Marconi perfects a wireless radio system that transmits Morse code over the Atlantic Ocean.
German scientist Arthur Korn invents the fax machine.
The Great Train Robbery becomes the first feature film.
David Sarnoff, a Marconi wireless operator in New York, receives the SOS from the sinking H.M.S. Titanic. (Sarnoff later goes on to create RCA and its spinoff, NBC.)
Teletype is introduced; journalism no longer requires knowledge of Morse Code.
Transcontinental telephone service is established between New York and San Francisco.
KDKA-AM radio signs on the air in Pittsburgh to becomes the world’s first commercial radio station.
Time becomes the first weekly news magazine.
J.L. Baird demonstrates the first practical television system based on designs created in 1884 by German scientist Paul Nipkow. Baird debuts the first color TV two years later.
NBC becomes the first radio network.
Philo Farnsworth transmits the first electronic TV picture. Bell Telephone Laboratories tests wireless TV broadcasts.
WGY in Schenectady, New York, becomes the first experimental television station.
Germany begins airing regular public TV broadcasts.
German aircraft engineer Konrad Zuse creates the first binary computer, the Z1 mechanical calculator.
Life becomes the first American magazine using photographs.
At Iowa State University, professor John Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry develop the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, or ABC, the first electronic digital computer.
While the Hindenburg explodes in flames above Lakehurst, New Jersey, Herbert Morrison delivers the first U.S. coast-to-coast radio broadcast (“Oh, the humanity”).
Edward R. Murrow, later dubbed “the father of broadcast journalism,” begins making war reports from Europe for CBS.
Konrad Zuse completes the Z2, the first fully-functioning electro-mechanical computer.
NBC and CBS launch commercial television stations in New York City.
Vannevar Bush writes “As We May Think,” an article in August’s The Atlantic Monthly, describing a photo-electrical-mechanical device called Memex (from memory extension). Bush’s device in theory could make and follow links between documents called microfiche.
On Dec. 5, Konrad Zuse completes the Z3, the first electronic, fully programmable computer. A year later Zuse writes Plankalkul, the first algorithmic programming language, which Zuse later uses to create a chess-playing program.
John Mauchly and John Presper Eckert develop ENIAC I (Electrical Numerical Integrator And Calculator), a massive computer using vacuum tubes to perform calculations for the U.S. military.
AT&T proposes idea of cellular phones to the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC responds by limiting frequencies for only 23 possible phone conversations, so AT&T drops research for decades.
The transistor is invented at Bell Telephone Laboratories.
Computer technology is used in flight simulators, arguable the first application of computer interactivity.
The first U.S. coast-to-coast television broadcast takes place as President Harry S Truman addresses the opening of the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in San Francisco.
In order to raise funds, Stanford University in California starts leasing nearby land to high-tech companies. Varian Associates puts up the first building in Palo Alto’s new Stanford Industrial Park, part of the area soon to become known as “Silicon Valley.”
Willy Higinbotham builds a computer-generated tennis-like game which almost becomes the first video game, but the idea fails to gain popular support.
Debut of the integrated circuit.
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