Victorian Internet

The Victorian Internet is a term coined in the late 20th century to describe advanced 19th century telecommunications technologies such as the telegraph and pneumatic tubes.

The idea embedded in the phrase is that instantaneous global communication is not a recent invention, but rather developed in the mid-19th century, and that the changes wrought by the telegraph outweigh the changes in modern society due to the Internet. In this view, the ability to communicate globally at all in real-time was a qualitative shift, while the modern Internet was merely a quantitative shift. The expression was used as a title of the book "The Victorian Internet" by Tom Standage. [cite book| title=The Victorian Internet| first=Tom| last=Standage| id=ISBN 0-8027-1342-4 for hardback, ISBN 0-425-17169-8 for paperback]

The analogy between Victorian and electronic telecommunications technologies has also been made by Terry Pratchett in "Discworld" novels, where the semaphore system, the "clacks", and thus "c-commerce" is clearly a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Internet.

References

External links

* [http://tomstandage.com/vicnet.html Tom Standage on the Victorian Internet]
* [http://www.andreas.com/faq-steamnet.html Summary of the book: Victorian Internet]
* [http://www.mrlincolnstmails.com/ "Mr Lincoln's T-mails" or telegrams]
* [http://speakingofhistory.blogspot.com/2007/04/podcast-79-interview-with-author-tom.html Speaking of History Podcast interview with Tom Wheeler, author of Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails - How Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War]


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