Pub. Date:
Walker & Company
The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-Line Pioneers

The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-Line Pioneers

by Tom Standage
Current price is , Original price is $15.95. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.

This item is available online through Marketplace sellers.


A new paperback edition of the first book by the bestselling author of A History of the World in 6 Glasses—the fascinating story of the telegraph, the world's first "Internet," which revolutionized the nineteenth century even more than the Internet has the twentieth and twenty first.

The Victorian Internet tells the colorful story of the telegraph's creation and remarkable impact, and of the visionaries, oddballs, and eccentrics who pioneered it, from the eighteenth-century French scientist Jean-Antoine Nollet to Samuel F. B. Morse and Thomas Edison. The electric telegraph nullified distance and shrank the world quicker and further than ever before or since, and its story mirrors and predicts that of the Internet in numerous ways.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802716040
Publisher: Walker & Company
Publication date: 09/18/2007
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.71(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

Tom Standage is the former technology editor and current business editor at the Economist. He is the author of A History of the World in 6 Glasses, The Turk, and The Neptune File.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century 'S on-Line Pioneers 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Student20 More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, The Victorian Internet is a wonderful book that showcases the telegraph, and how it changed society. The author did a nice job at highlighting the evolution of the telegraph. He made the transformation of the telegraph very easy to understand for the reader. Standage, the author, wanted to show the significant similarities between the telegraph and the internet, and he did so beautifully. The book isn't a boring read, it is filled with facts and stories to keep the readers attention. The Victorian Internet shows how the telegraph not only had many business and political attributes, but it shows how the telegraph unified a world that was once very distant. I would definitely recommend The Victorian Internet to anyone who wants to learn about the telegraph, or how technology had evolved over the years. The book is organized in a way that is easy to understand, and is very straight forward. Standage is very qualified to write this novel, and it shows in the amount of knowledge he puts into his work. This novel is packed full of facts and stories to keep the reader interested, and wanting to know more. It definitely was an easy read and very knowledgeable. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes technology, science, or history.
jgaiser on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I finished this little book in three days. An intriguing look at the history of the telegraph, from it's beginnings in Europe until it's ultimate demise at the arrival of the teletype. The author also draws comparisons with the telegraph and the internet, with it's changes in how people communicate, it's sub-cultures and it's hackers and crackers. Nothing new in the world.
andreablythe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Victorian Internet tells the story of the telegraph. When the telegraph was invented and popularized it opened up the world to such an extent that its influence was comparable to the internet, changing the way information is received and distributed, the way business and governments operated, and even the way individuals carried on relations. It was a new kind of communication and, at least for its operators, it allowed the kind of open conversing that appears in chat rooms, in which every individual can speak up in democratic manner. Operators even found themselves naming people across the country, whom they've never met, as closer friends than the living breathing people in their lives (sounds familiar). This book was a fun, quick read that made me reassess my assumptions about telegraphic communication.
lauriebrown54 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While the term `Victorian Internet¿ conjures up visions of a steampunk alternate history, the invention and spread of the telegraph system in the 19th century had much the same effect on society then as the internet has had in our own time. It turned a world where messages took weeks to cross the Atlantic to one where it took mere minutes. It changed the speed of business and of war. New forms of crime sprang up to take advantage of the new technology and encryption was developed to deal with this. A new class of people sprang up- the telegraph operators, the only people who knew the knack of sending and receiving messages. They could go anywhere and be assured of a job. Suddenly, anyone who could afford the price of the telegram could talk to people across the globe. The telegraph system was hyped by some as the technology that would bring world peace- after all, if you could talk to someone instantly, you wouldn¿t want to make war on them, would you? Sadly, that last wasn¿t true. And the telegraph operators soon found their economic boom over and them selves obsolete as a new, voice over protocol was invented- the telephone. But the world was permanently changed by the technology that, for a lot of purposes, made distance immaterial. Standage tells us not just about the invention of the technology of the telegraph system, but about the personalities of the people who created it, and the consequences that it had in business, government, romance (yes, love did bloom across the wires) and newspapers. He gives a complete picture but keeps it light. And interesting read about a part of history that changed the world as much as the printing press did before it and the internet after it. A quick read for non-fiction.
nwagle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the middle of the 19th century, the Victorians didn't have the telephone, the TV, the radio or the iPod. But they did have an internet. The Victorian Internet is the fascinating story of the development, growth, and decline of the telegraph, and how it parallels the development of the internet in the 20th and 21st centuries in many ways. If you think socializing online is new, think again. Those bewhiskered and corseted Victorians were already at it in the 1860s!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my opinion this book, The Victorian Internet, explains very well how the electric telegraph and telephone were created into an internet that was spread all across the U.S. and across the western nations. To start, a man named Claude Chappe created towers to expand communication. Then Samuel Morse created something called the telgraph. The electric telegrpah, after being stations being accepted by the government and public, created a way of communicating of people all over the country, and with an added fee, over the oceans. The telegraph is now known as the computer. Now the telephone was created to actually speak to other people. This is also still around today. This book was obviously made to show the perspectives of the inventors of todays technology.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enojoyed this book very much and how Standage went all the way back to the sixteenth century and built on to the origins of the electric telegraph, along with important events that occured and the effects the telegraph had on those events. I was very interested in the start of the crime really having an effect on society. I never could grasp how someone could have a very useful piece of technology and commit a crime, but there are those who are greedy and/or desperate and have their various reasons. I was also interested in the establishment of the Atlantic Telegraph connecting the United States to Europe. Thinking about all of that hard work and time invested in just creating the wires alone would of had me exhausted, but thanks to William thomson, or Lord Kelvin, in fixing Whitmore's problem with the help of Henry Field. Altogether, I really was quite amazed with people's dedication to make the telegraph work, and how Standage explained all of this process in clear, concise, and flowing way that does not bore the reader. Even though I am more of a fantasy reader, this is a great historical book that is fascinating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My impression of The Victorian Internet was that is looks like an interesting book. After I read it, I liked how the author added information about how people got the idea of making a telegraph, how it changed communication, how it changed overall, and other such alluring aspects. The author's purpose was to tell the reader about how the telegraph was invented, and how it spread throughout the world. Tom Standage, the author, achieved his purpose. When he graduated he worked for very reputable newspapers and about the telegraph. Therefore, he is very capable of writing this book. Standage achieves his purpose of writing this book because he also does a ton of research in order to go in deep about the information. Thus, I think that Standage completes his purpose perfectly. I would only recommend this book if you want to know about the communication revolution and the people involved, and so forth. The book does not talk about "history" as in social, economic, political and environmental ideas. Consequently, like I have said, I would recommend this book if a person wants to know about the telegraph or is interested in the genre, science.