Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Computers, Digital Cameras, and Cellphones
Much of the early development of the electronic computer took place in Philadelphia. We lost the lead, but it might return.

The Beginnings of E-Mail

{J.P. Morgan}
J.P. Morgan

Dan Rottenberg, who wrote an outstanding book about Anthony Drexel called The Man who Made Wall Street, had access to many private papers that had to be omitted from that book because of space limitations. He tells an interesting tale about telegrams between Drexel and his bulbous-nosed protege at the New York office, J.P. Morgan.

Around 1880, Morgan put AT & T together, but before the telephone came into being, most high-speed communication was by telegraph. Naturally, Drexel and Morgan could afford to have a private telegraph line going between them. It would have been a bit much for them to use Morse Code themselves, so the scraps of conversation were written down and some have been preserved.

Spam, of course. If you want to avoid hackers, intruders, and unwanted advertisements, then as now, you have to be a zillionaire. Since, however, Morgan's private library on Madison Avenue had lots and lots of pornography hidden away, it does almost boggle the mind to imagine what might have been accomplished with a telegraphic wire tap.

Originally published: Monday, June 26, 2006; most-recently modified: Thursday, June 06, 2019

I thank you hmubly for sharing your wisdom JJWY
Posted by: Kayo   |   Jul 28, 2011 8:35 PM