In 1844 the first electronic message was transmitted from Washington to Baltimore and it read:
"What hath God wrought?" sent later by "Morse Code" from the old Supreme Court chamber in the United States Capitol to his partner in Baltimore, officially opened the completed line of May 24, 1844. Samuel Morse allowed Annie Ellsworth, the young daughter of a friend, to choose the words of the message, and she selected a verse from Numbers XXIII, 23: "What hath God wrought?", which was recorded onto paper tape. Morse's early system produced a paper copy with raised dots and dashes, which were translated later by an operator. From: www.about.com
Isn't it ironic that the first electronic message referred to God and was sent from a government building in our Nations Capitol.Imagine the foresight this young lady had to chose those words and how true they have become. Imagine what our politicians would have to say about that today?
The telegraph stretched to the midwest by the early 1860's and the Pony Express took it from there. It seems even then we couldn't get our news "quick enough". Within two years the telegraph made its way to California and we had our first corporate downsizing. (no more Pony Express) Next came the railroads from coast to coast and today we can send and receive messages anywhere on the planet and beyond in nano seconds. What an accomplishment in just a few hundred years.
I remember being around 20 and plugging a not so clean movie into my parents VCR. Not an X Rated but it had some nudity and lots of killing. My Grandfather who was born in the late 1880's was sitting in the chair half asleep when I started this movie. If you could have seen the look on his face when he awoke to the scene of a half naked woman on the TV. Can you begin to imagine what he might have been thinking?
Here's a man that was alive to see the invention of the motor car, the airplane, survived a depression and a few world wars. A man who was raised with good values and who had respect for his parents and others, a man who knew how to pay a price and work for everything he had. I guess you had to be there, I could see the sadness and surprise in his eyes. This was circa 1984 - 85.
I talk to my young adult children about the problems their generation faces. They both seem to think that the people their age are something special. That they are extremely jacked up in the head. I don't disagree but I also believe that people have always been that way. I believe however that today there are many more of us and that we hear about things the instant they happen. That we are in everyone else's business on the social networks, we have more face space and my book that we can shake a stick at and what we don't have is family time, chores to do, bible passages to read - all the things that keep us sane and focused.
If we could just stop and cut the telegraph wires for a day, a week a month. If we could downsize and have more tight nit communities, if we could get back to the day that Annie Ellsworth said - What Hath God Wrought?
We have grown to astronomical proportions. Yes, technology has made many great accomplishments in our lifetimes. Medicine, transportation and education but are we really better off? Has it removed the things that are most important? We're the days of the self sustaining towns such a bad thing?
Are we really better now?