Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Satiating Innovation

Though the telegraph had an outstanding effect on technological success, inventors during the 19th century believed that there was room for further innovations. Hence, they produced a significant source that was the cutting-edge of technology; the telephone. Starr mentions the impact that this technology had on society. After the end of Bell's monopoly, it brought about the expansion of telephone companies producing a wide-ranging connection throughout and between local and rural areas; "The role of cooperative institutions underscores a key point about the expansion of telephone service at the turn of the century. While competition was crucial to the process, the development was a phenomenon not just of the market place but also of civil society" (Starr, p.203). The telephone had become a business connecting a businessman's home and his office (due to private lines) and simultaneously linking rural communities, which became a heavy or "desirable" demand. The telephone at this point in time was beneficial to all sorts of entities within society, whether it satisfied businesses or the community.


At 9:41 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A ggod discussion of the material.

Which set of interests dominated the creation of the phone system? Community or business? Are these interests complementary or conflicting? Is there a common ground or do choices have to be made that favor one set of political or economic interests? Which demand drove development? And what part did goverment play in all of this?


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