Great Inventions of the 19th Century
Postal services and telecommunications
Telephone networks and telephones
The telephone single-handedly lifted human interaction to a higher level.
In 1877, the face of communication services was changed yet again. This year marked the arrival of a new device in the range of telecommunications services, the telephone. Until then, the telegraph based on the transmission of dots and dashes had been predominant. While Alexander Graham Bell was attempting to improve the telegraph he discovered that speech could also be transmitted electrically. The widespread dispersal of the telephone through Europe and the Arab and Ottoman world was itself another innovation, which on the one hand improved communication but on the other had mixed consequences. The introduction of telephone networks in the Arab and Ottoman lands was one of the means by which innovations were used to counteract the European presence or to pursue their own modernisation. As happened with other innovations, the network of the colonial infrastructure could overwhelm the local initiative.
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Postal services and telecommunications

Post offices
Telephone networks and telephones
Skeleton telephone

19th century

Itisalat al-Maghrib Museum, Rabat, Morocco

Metal, gold leaf; wood; cord

The telephone appeared in the second part of the 19th century, when the possibility of transmitting speech electrically was discovered. In Morocco, Mulay Hasan I introduced telephone lines as part of his promotion of infrastructure.

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Innovative technologies
Postal services and telecommunications
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