Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First Telecommunications Company

It's hard to imagine the first telco in an era of OC3, and a world festooned in copper wire and fiber. But on May 15, in the year 1845, the world's first telecommunications company was formed. It was named The Magnetic Telegraph Company. That name didn't stick, the Brits were looking for somthign more cumbersome. It's name was changed a year later to the English & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company. (explained below) It's founders included Samuel F. B. Morse, F.O.J. Smith, Leonard Gale, and Alfred Vali. More here.

But then like the early 1990's venture capitalists bought shares, sold, merged and moved companies for volume discounts.. economies of scale... The British Telegraph Company was created in 1853 by the merger of the British Electric Telegraph Company and the European and American Printing Telegraph Company. These two then in turn merged to form the British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company in 1857.

The company laid two cables one from Portpatrickto Donaghadee, and the another from Portpatrick to Whitehead. It therefore estabished Portpatrick as the rold's first telecommunications hub. Both cables were manufactureed by R.S. Newall & Co. In 1870 the company was taken over by the General Post Office (GPO). Of course we back in the colonies had to wait until 1904 for the German Atlantic Telegraph Company to run the first two trans-Atlantic cables to America. They ran from Borkum, Germany, to New York via the Azore islands. Of course 10 years later, within a day of the start of World War 1 both of these cables were cut.