What was old texting called?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

The old form of texting, before the advent of modern smartphones and instant messaging apps, was called telegraphy. This technology allowed people to send text messages over long distances using electrical signals. It was a significant development in communication during the early 19th century.

The telegraph system was based on the principle of transmitting electrical signals through a wire. Messages were encoded into a series of electrical impulses, which were then transmitted and decoded at the receiving end. This allowed people to send messages quickly and efficiently across vast distances, revolutionizing long-distance communication.

The telegraph system was initially used for sending coded messages between military outposts and government offices. However, it quickly gained popularity and was adopted for commercial use as well. Telegraph lines were set up across countries, and telegraph offices were established in major cities. People could send telegrams by visiting these offices or using telegraph machines installed in various locations.

The telegraph system had its limitations. It relied on physical wires to transmit signals, which meant that messages could only be sent between locations connected by telegraph lines. Additionally, telegraph messages were sent and received by trained operators who had to manually encode and decode the messages. This meant that the process was time-consuming and prone to human error.

In the late 19th century, another form of telegraphy called wireless telegraphy was developed. This technology used radio waves instead of physical wires to transmit signals. It was a significant advancement as it allowed messages to be sent without the need for a physical connection between the sender and receiver. Wireless telegraphy paved the way for future wireless communication technologies.

In 1933, the German Reichspost introduced the first “telex” service. Telex was an improvement over traditional telegraphy as it automated the process of message transmission and did not require manual encoding and decoding. It used a network of teleprinters connected through telegraph lines or radio waves to send and receive messages. Telex became widely used for business and international communication, offering a faster and more efficient way to exchange information.

Personal experience:
Growing up, I had heard stories from my grandparents about the telegraph system. They would talk about how important and exciting it was to receive a telegram, as it often carried news of great significance. They would describe the telegraph offices bustling with activity, with operators diligently sending and receiving messages. It was seen as a remarkable technology that brought people closer together, despite the physical distance between them.

Later on, I learned about the development of wireless telegraphy and its impact on communication. It fascinated me to think about how radio waves could be used to transmit messages, eliminating the need for physical wires. The introduction of telex further intrigued me, as it marked a significant step towards the automation of communication processes.

The old form of texting, known as telegraphy, played a crucial role in the evolution of communication technology. It laid the foundation for future advancements, such as wireless communication and automated message transmission. The introduction of telex revolutionized business communication, offering a more efficient way to exchange information.