History of Messaging

Texting messaging is a way of life anymore for our society, especially for teenagers.

History of Messaging


Texting messaging is a way of life anymore for our society, especially for teenagers. Cell phone plans have changed over the years because of this. I remember when I first got a cell phone the plan was so many minutes a month with free nights and weekends (remember that?). Texting was not automatic and you were given a set amount of texts a month. That amount counted for both incoming and outgoing messages.

There have been many different forms of getting a message to a friend or loved one over the years. Here is a list of just a few. You can find out more information about each of these on the History of Messaging website.

  1. Smoke Signals: When most of us think of smoke signals we think of Native American history. Did you know they were also used in ancient China to warn about enemy attacks? 
  2. Carrier Pigeon: Hogwarts is not the only place to use birds for letter delivery. Pigeons were used during war times for an army to send a message. It was inserted into a small metal canister and tied to the pigeons leg.
  3. Message in a Bottle: We all know about the book by Nicholas Sparks that was turned into a movie Message in a Bottle. This was a common method of communication in the 16th century.
  4. Telegrams: Did you know telegrams were invented in 1837? Telegrams used a combination of dots and dashes for the alphabet.
  5. Pony Express: Pony express was the first mail delivery system. It started in the Great Plains and Rockies in the early 1860’s. It would only take 10 days to deliver a letter from coast to coast. 
  6. Balloon Mail: , it is an effective way for those within a closed off society to send information or propaganda materials to those on the outside. An example of this is: private activists used this method  distribute leaflets to Warsaw Pact countries from West Germany in the mid-1950s and by South Koreans to North Korea discussing the health of Kim Jong-il.
  7. Telephones: Alexander Grand Bell filed for the patent of this in 1876.
  8. Fax Machines: The first prototype of the fax machine was invented in the 1880’s but did not become widely popular until 1966.  I’m sure we’ve all used a fax machine either as the actual user or paying a company to fax something for us.

The other 4 ways are more modern: Pagers (who else remembers having one?), cell phones, instant messaging and texting.

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