Today in History: First around-the-world telegram sent

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This Day in History: 08/20/1911 - Around-the-World Telegram

Before technologies such as online instant messaging, SMS and emails, which made communication an extremely immediate process across the globe, there was the telegram, and it was not nearly as fast as the tools we use today.

SEE ALSO: The software that lets Stephen Hawking talk is now free

On this day in 1911 the first telegram was sent around the world via a commercial service from the New York Times' office to test how fast a message could travel through a dedicated cable. According to the content of the message was simply "This message sent around the world" and it was sent from the newspaper's office in NY at 7 p.m. on August 20. The telegram started traveling and was relayed by 16 operators across the globe and circled back to its origin in 16.5 minutes.

See the gallery below showing the evolution of communication technology:

History of Communication
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Today in History: First around-the-world telegram sent
UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 04: Engraving by Laplante after Bonnafoux. British physicist David Edward Hughes (1831-1900) invented this successful telegraph in 1855. It was the first telegraph system which printed the text at the sending and receiving ends, abolishing the need for a special alphabetic code. It employs synchronised type-wheels at each end of the line. Pressing the keys raises pins opposite the required letters. When a pin makes contact, a hammer pushes the paper against the type-wheel and prints the corresponding letter. An experienced operator could send messages of up to 30 words a minute. The system was mainly used on cable routes from Britain to Europe. Illustration from �Electricity and Magnetism� by Amedee Guillemin (1826-1893), published in London in 1891. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
30th June 1933: Post Office telephone engineers at work fixing telegraph wires to the insulators on a replacement telegraph pole near Staines in Middlesex. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
The original Morse telegraph receiver on which 'What Hath God Wrought?' (received on May 24, 1844), Washington DC, November 21, 1936. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
Western Union Telegraph Company switchboard operators in Detroit, Michigan, USA, 1938. (Photo by Vintage Images/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 01: Telegraph In New York On September 1948 (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
In this 1942 file photo, delivery clerk Joe Martinez gives messages for delivery by Isaac Anzaroot, Shirley Braisted, Mary Leggiaordro and Sheila Burns at Postal Telegraph-Cable Company's Radio City office in New York. Throughout the nation, women are filling the gaps as telegraph messengers. One hundred fifty years ago, as the nation was being ripped apart by Civil War, it was being knitted together electronically by what was arguably the world's first high-tech gadget, the humble telegraph. On Oct. 24, 1861, with just the push of a button Stephen J. Field would send a message from a telegraph office in San Francisco to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, telling him the first transcontinental telegraph line was up and running. (AP Photo/Bob Wands)
Stunt Man Henry Raven demonstrates his luminous telephone dial invention, which he says is indispensable, for blackouts, power failures, hospitals, mines and war plants, Aug. 29, 1951. Made of two plastic halves, the attachment, which he calls Glo-Dile easily locks in place between the dial rotary and the dial face of any standard telephone. (AP Photo/Don Brinn)
Robert Strauss, former national Democratic party treasurer and now a candidate for party chairman, chats on the telephone before making an appearance before the National Democratic Governors Caucus in St. Louis, Sunday, Dec. 3, 1972. Strauss appeared before the governors to boost his candidacy. Strauss rejected a proposal by the present party chairman, Jean Westwood, that she would step out of the chairmanship race if he would. (AP Photo)
Eight hot-line phones were installed, Dec. 10, 1974 at the Quai d Orsay at the disposal of the chiefs of delegations during summit meetings. Here are the phones of: Eire, West Germany, Denmark and Belgium. (AP Photo)
Mary Johnson of Houston talks to a reporter on the telephone as she watches U.S. President George H. Bush on television make the telephone call to her earlier in the day in the day. President Bush picked her number at random when was making calls from Texas Gubernaticrial candidate Clayton Williams phone bank in Houston, on Sunday, Nov. 4, 1990. (AP Photo/David Scarbrough)
Cellular phones are being offered by many car manufacturers as optional equipment for drivers who can't bear to be out of touch, even on the road. A phone like this one can be hand or used from a rack mounted on the transmission hump shown Sept. 24, 1989. (AP Photo/Richard Sheinwald)
FJ's Blackhawk market operations manager Greg Pereira displays a pair of items that make this luxury market unique in Danville, Calif, Dec. 5, 1989. One is the cellular phone - of which the market has 12 for customer use, and bottled water for dogs, which started as a fun promotion, but escalated into a standard item. (AP Photo/Sal Veder)
Paul Stern, left, president and CEO of Northern Telecom poses with a phone for photographers, with George Fisher, chairman of the board and CEO of Motorola, Inc. in New York, Feb. 10, 1992. (AP Photo/David Cantor)

Dial-up connection

(Photo: Christiaan_008/Flickr)

** FILE ** Stephen Currie of Earthlink Inc., poses in the company's Atlanta Data Center, April 5, 2005. The internet-access provider said, Tuesday, July 26, 2005 that profit fell 12 percent in the second quarter, as revenue was depressed by customers shifting out of its premium dial-up services. Second-quarter income slipped to $43.8 million, or 31 cents per share, from $49.7 million, or 31 cents, the year before. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Melissa Elkins, with LG InfoComm U.S.A., takes video of herself using the company's new LG8000 cellular phone at Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association convention Tuesday, March 23, 2004 in Atlanta. The phone, which is not on the market yet, shoots video as well as 1.3 mega-pixel still photos. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


(Photo: Getty Images)

**FILE** In this file photo, the new Palm Treo 750 smart phone is seen at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)
A customer tries out an Apple iPhone at an Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif., Oct. 19, 2007. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)


(Photo: Getty Images)


(Photo: Shutterstock)


(Photo: Shutterstock)


We've gone a long way from the very first forms of communication and a number of milestones mark this wonderful path of technological evolution. We went through achievements such as the invention of paper, Gutenberg's printing press in 1450, the Morse code in 1835, Graham Bell's telephone in 1879, Marconi's radio in 1901, television in 1925, cellphones and satellite communications, emails, the Internet, all the way to the most current social media channels such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, and the iPhone.

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