The Evolution of the Telephone
The impact on language and communication in the pre-digital age
by: E. Monks & M. Waters
The following timeline and linked documents provide a summary of the evolution of the telephone before the age of the computer. With each new innovation, the technological advancements of the telephone had an impact on society and the transmission of information. As you read through the life of the telephone, reflect on Ong and his comments about oral and literate cultures. How has the telephone altered or blurred these definitions? Plato spoke of the dangers of writing and his feared negative impact on oral communication. How would Plato view the telephone and its use in society?
This summary is in no way comprehensive but gives you an overview of the evolution of the telephone and its role as a communicative tool. Although it barely resembles its former self as a result of numerous modifications and enhancements, it continues to connect people through the sharing of knowledge and information.