Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Telautograph Patented In 1888

Incredible piece of machinery. Amazing grasp of analog electrical transmission. 

I was thinking about this device the other day and about the raw brilliance it would take in an engineer to get this working.

It was deployed on a daily working basis in hospitals, banks and big business worldwide to secure a legal signature remotely from thousands of miles away. Relay systems copied the signals and sent them from New York to the tip of South America to authorise large scale money transfers.

Our ancestors as recently as two generations ago were some really bright people. Moderns are so primitive that increasingly guys like me start to look like magical wizards in comparison and I barely know how to do anything but hit keys until something useful emerges.

I honestly believe the peak of general application technology was in 1910, right about the time they formed the Federal Reserve to capture all the wealth and prosperity generated by this brilliance. It has been mostly downhill ever since. The real grease sluiceway to the bottom started up shortly after they shot Kennedy and increasingly "reading" is seen as extraneous to "doing a job." I could not make this stuff up. I am just trying to survive it.

1 comment:

bicebicebice said... reminded me of those old techs you did a piece on, that still ran on DOS and never have crashed.

"On of the best tid-bits of information I ever learned was from a NASA engineer that worked on some of the electronics that sent the Saturn V into space. And that was when picking a power supply for a project, always pick one that provides way more power than what you need. That way it'll never get hot, never get stressed out and pretty much never fail (as long as you picked quality to start with). I've always made them so they supply at least 10 times what I need, and I've never had one fail yet. That guy knew all kinds of great stuff, honor to work with him."