MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
The Kish tablet is dated to 3500 B.C. and is considered by some experts to be the oldest form of known handwriting. It features proto-cuneiform signs - symbols that resemble a physical object. The Egyptian hieroglyphs are similar to this form of writing and date back to 3200 B.C.
Written language seems to have come about around 1200 B.C. in China and around 600 B.C. in the Americas.
In 1835, inventors Joseph Henry and Edward Davey independently demonstrated electromagnetic relay, where a weak electrical signal can be amplified and transmitted across long distances. Cooke and Wheatstone invented the telegraph shortly after.
A few years later, Samuel Morse developed a version that sent signals from Washington D.C. to Baltimore. Afterwards, he developed a system of signal-induced indentations that correlated to numbers, special characters, and letters of the alphabet, known as the Morse code.
The next idea to explore was finding a way to transmit sound to far distances. Alexander Graham Bell laid out the underlying technology for electromagnetic telephones and was granted a patent in 1876 for his improvements in telegraphy.
This introduced a new problem: what if you were not available if someone tried to call you? At the turn of the 20th century, Danish inventor Valdemar Poulsen invented the telegraphone, a device for recording and playing back the magnetic fields produced by sound.
Incandescent light bulbs existed before Thomas Edison, and when other inventors got wind of Edison's tinkerings, they roundly sued him for patent infringement.
So what did Edison actually do?
He discovered that a special species of bamboo had a higher resistance to electricity than carbonized paper, which means it could more efficiently produce light. Edison got rich off the bamboo, and from superior manufacturing and marketing of his product.
Like all great inventions, the light bulb can’t be credited to one inventor. It was a series of small improvements.
People everywhere read words in a very similar way regardless if it is made from pictures, such as pictographs (Chinese characters), or words made from letters.
This knowledge gives us insight into how writing developed and how we read as well as how we can delve deeper into creativity and communication.
Alexander the Great learned to read and write by studying Homer's Iliad. Thanks to his teacher, the philosopher Aristotle, he had done so with unusual intensity. When Alexander embarked on his conquests, a copy of the Iliad accompanied him.
Homer's Iliad helped to shape an entire society and its ethics. The story revealed the kind of effect moral choices could have on the general public.
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