02 December 2009
Telegraph in the US
Ars Technica posted this article, which is a partial history of the telegraph in the US. The history of the telegraph involves considerably more than what is written and, taken as a whole, provides a graphic illustration of "bare knuckles" capitalism. Fortunes were won (eg. Ezra Cornell, who later founded Cornell University) and lost sSee my book Shaping American Telecommunications for more). What the Ars article does not mention is that while Gould was nipping at WU's heels, the telephone business was just getting off the ground. WU ended up making the business decision to focus on its core telegraph business and sold its telephone business to National Bell. It was a fateful decision indeed.