The internet in 1901, and Twitter in 1935

1901easterntelegraphHere’s the best map I’ve seen so far of the Victorian Internet. I had a black-and-white map from a few years earlier in some editions of the book, but this one is more detailed, later, and in colour. It’s also from 1901, the last year of Victoria’s reign, so this shows the full extent of the “Victorian” internet. It’s interesting to see how the cables follow existing trade routes, and how much capacity there was on the North Atlantic route. That hasn’t changed. But on this map Africa is relatively well connected, which is no longer the case today — though some new fibre links are on the way. (Hat tip to Digg.)

twitter1935And while we’re on the subject, here’s a machine that essentially did what Twitter does, but did it in 1935. (Hat tip to Dan Hollings, via Michele.) Have I mentioned that I love this stuff?

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2 comments
  1. Tom,
    I’m working on a manuscript on the history of the Net. Remarkable to have that wonderful map in colour. I think it would be great to be able to refer to your Victorian Internet concept – and to use this map. Any chance of a chat at some point, and perhaps also a usable version of this map?
    Johnny (johnnyryan1 (AT) gmail (DOT) com)

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