What Hath God Wrought? The Birth of Telecommunications

TweetShareShareSamuel Morse is where telecommunications all began. He invented the telegraph and created the Morse code. An 1810 graduate of Yale, Morse was also an accomplished artist who founded and presided over the National Academy of Design for two decades. But he’s best know for the telegraph. Initially, Morse had little interest–or financial backing–for his…

Read More

Heeeeeere’s The End, Johnny!

TweetShareShareThe Tonight Show with Johnny Carson was the drug of choice for late night insomniacs for three decades.The program was ranked #12 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. The undisputed King of Late Night talk show hosts,  Johnny Carson (1925-2009) made his debut on October 1, 1962 at the NBC studio…

Read More

Why 2030 Will Look Nothing Like 1995

TweetShareShareIf you think the past quarter century has been transformative, buckle up buttercup. Yesterday (May 19, 2021) Microsoft announced that it’s scrapping the Internet browser Explorer–once the standard browser on most non-Apple computers. Born on August 16, 1995, Explorer is now done. It was just 25 years old. In the 2020s, we’ll see a flood…

Read More

The Race of the First Kentucky Derby

TweetShareShareToday is the 146th anniversary of America’s most storied horse race: the Kentucky Derby. The winning jockey was Oliver Lewis aboard a horse name Aristides. We have forgotten how black Americans, in the beginning, not only ran these thoroughbreds but also cared for them. In this first running of the Kentucky Derby, thirteen out of…

Read More

America Embraces Debt

TweetShareShare“Put it on my card!” It’s the American way. We buy now, pay later.  The history for card purchases is nothing new. In fact, it was first described in an Edward Bellamy utopian work titled Looking Backward (1887). Bellamy employed the term “credit card” in his work as a way for a person to spend…

Read More

The Golden Spike Connects a Nation

TweetShareShareIt was one of the most significant transportation projects in U.S. history: the transcontinental railroad. Over six years (1863-1869) in the making, this railroad project joined the eastern states with the western frontier. The golden spike (or “The Last Spike”) was a ceremonial 17.6-karat gold spike driven by Leland Stanford to connect the rails of…

Read More

The Hindenburg Disaster

TweetShareShare Nobody knew it at the time, but the Hindenberg disaster was the beginning of the end for air travel by blimp. For decades, the rich used blimps to travel to new locales, still somewhat faster than the automobile of that day. But as the airplane–a new air tech–found its wings, old-school blimps no longer…

Read More

The Monkey Trial of the Century

TweetShareShare It was one of the most influential, transformative court cases of the 20th century. The Scopes Trial–or “Monkey Trial” as some called it–focused on a Tennessee high school teacher named John Scopes. He was charged with teaching evolution. The only problem? He didn’t know if he actually taught the origins theory. Nevertheless, to force…

Read More

Network News is Born!

TweetShareShareIf your over 40, you remember a day when the three big networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) dominated the television news landscape. Indeed, the 1960s and 1970s were the “golden age” of network news, featuring personalities like Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley and Howard K. Smith. There were also new emerging (and future) stars like Dan Rather…

Read More

The Age of Television is Launched!

TweetShareShare In the course of human history, there are few technologies that significantly reimagine everything and move culture forward exponentially. Fire. Gunpowder. The Printing Press. The Internet. And television. The world before television–the projection of visuals into the private home–reimagined how we lived. It proved, in the end, more than just an entertainment evolution. In…

Read More