Library Science

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Submitted by Gary Frost

Philology Book CoverFeral Seminar, 2014
Resilience of Book Transmission

Please join us for open forums,
Thursdays, 2:00—3:30, Fall Semester
Room 2058, Main Library

We have recently added an important reference for our wide study of resilience of book transmission. This is philology[1] and the legacy of comparative study of texts. We can extend this reference to include currently studied “comparative textual media”[2] as we expand philology to include screen and audio transmissions of texts. Our philology frame can also be extended if we add library science to engage books or bibliographic units and their arrangements into libraries. We could call the extension “philology of comparative libraries” and such projections could be extended to include audio and screen media.

A happy convergence can also be projected as library networks and their search engines have automated book access and automated comparative research beyond citations and down beyond texts to words. This progressive achievement offers a prospect of an even more comprehensive philology that will encompass the underlying structures of comparative texts and library automation. Word frequencies and keyword parsing can dissolve both units of texts and units of books and bring into focus comparative study of structures of composed transmissions. We can reflexively convert philology into a new reference model easily recognized by librarians.

As an example of library philology and comparative book study, we could take two books that we have recently encountered; the first printing of the Vulgate Bible and the first anthology of Shakespeare’s plays. These books, produced somewhat less than two centuries apart, offer a comparative opportunity for exercise of a new philology. One of these books appropriated a fully known text and a fully familiar format. Another presented an unrecognized genre and an innovative authorial text. One exemplified a risk of experimental technology of text production and the other a risk of an experimental, new readership. One was assimilated into a constrained continuity of Biblical text transmission while the other disputed and transacted transcription of textual representation of theatrical performance. Library philology spans such comparative transactions that attribute Biblical authority to Shakespearian texts and Shakespearian ambivalence to scripture.

Library philology can also be expanded, from macro to micro scale, to review automated concordance and collation. Word study, exemplified by Hinman’s collator, is extended to automated word frequency mining. Are textual interventions suggested by search results? Previous manual models of cross language and cross chronologies are now subjected to algorithmic processing. Will automated sorting generate new canonic readings? Automated library utilities already dissolve and reconfigure bibliographic units. A dependence on search results has reflexively provoked a librarianship of network types and maneuvers of deletion and disregard of results. Beyond legacy achievements of concordance and cross language format,[3] we may be advancing toward complementary roles of live book reference augmented by live screen discovery.

Note that our own keyword “resilience”[4] is further defined by our interplay of philology and librarianship. Resilience in “resilience of book transmission” thrives as we expand the scale and ambivalence of comparative and reflexive examination. We literary germinate more books about books.[5] We could even venture that all books are also books about their own resilience and their new engagements among readers.

We can also use the library philology model for its mediation of binaries of bionic vs. automated control, of analogue and digital research, and of paper and screen books.[6] As the librarian says; “Don’t be the bunny!” The library has been a pioneer of digital technology, network access and on-line reading. At the same time and into the current context of digital library dominance, the library continues to curate mixed format collections to serve the bionic reader. Librarians know that without service to living readers and working communities…libraries will disappear. Libraries are still here.

[1] see our workhorse reference; James Turner, Philology, the forgotten origins of the modern humanities, Princeton, 2014.

[2] see the textbook anthology; Katherine Hales and Jessica Pressman, Comparative Textual Media, University of Minnesota, 2013.

[3] see; Christianity and the Transformation of the Book, by Anthony Grafton and Megan Williams, Harvard, 2006. This is a spectacular book about master book compilers of Antiquity; Origen and Eusebius and the library of Caesarea.

[4] for a working definition see; Andrew Zolli, resilience, WHY THINGS BOUNCE BACK, Free Press, 2012.

[5] as an example; Bonnie Mak, How the Page Matters, University of Toronto, 2011. (for fun we could also mention books dealing with the eclipse, super-cession and demise of books)

[6] for vivid study of the processes of automation displacing productive capacities of bionic skills and human cognition see; Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage, 2014.

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Curriculum-Based Library Instruction Book edited by Amy Blevins published

picture of book cover Amy Blevins, Clinical Education Library at Hardin Library for the Health Sciences and adjunct faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine edited  Curriculum-Based Library Instruction: From Cultivating Faculty Relationships to Assessment.  The book is part of the Medical Librarian Association Book Series published by Rowman and Littlefield.

Chapters were also written by University of Iowa Libraries librarians Dan Gall, Jennifer DeBerg, and Kim Bloedel.

Cognitive Factors

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Submitted by Gary Frost

Reading SignFeral Seminar, 2014
Resilience of Book Transmission

Please join us for open forums,
Thursdays, 2:00—3:30, Fall Semester
Room 2058, Main Library

As we arrive at the cognitive sciences we find a pivot in our studies of resilience in book transmission. This is a pivot from givens to potentials as we consider our bionic constraints and embodied cognitions and consider their amazing adaptabilities for uses such as book writing and reading.

First considerations are inherent cognitive capacities. These would include bilateral asymmetry of the brain, primate dexterity and haptic perception, and pattern recognition. Such capacities have proven very adaptable for other uses. Perhaps our capacities are even too adaptable subjecting us to sudden shifts.[1] Currently we are seeing shifts in cognition brought about by digital technology and screen communication that will compare with others brought by handwriting and reading.

Considering other constraints of bionic living we can factor bionic mortality. This ingredient inserts a time dimension.[2] The mortality factor also inserts contrasts of youthful reading with mature re-reading. Another universal of bionic life is a unique consciousness of the individual augmented by an individual’s culture context. Here is where endless varieties of interpretation, participation, and compulsions of text communication enact.[3] Such factors together shift explanation for book resilience to living behaviors. Book resilience is driven by a writer/reader.[4]

And what of the surrounding material world? Are there too many or not enough books and are they efficient or not for conceptual transactions? Book publishing commerce is constantly investigating such questions. Lifting that curtain we can discover an ambivalence of methods of book design and reading device uses and busy bookmakers. Here is a resilience factor of the out-of-body state of the book itself. Is the book a friendly zombie living among us across time and cultures? Are books living in an ecology of things in a material world that surrounds bionic beings?

Such an ecology of books is not really a phantom. Some books and some titles seem to go on and on. They must have writer/reader value and habits of use to account for such persistence and performance. Some elaborate entanglement is at work as embodied and out-of-body factors intersect, interplay, and interdepend. From a cognitive perspective, books must be products and engagements of the mind and so they can be cognitive things.[5] Just as transition from hand writing to keyboard text was rather innocently accommodated, so, over a much wider span, book accessories of bionic thought were invented and integrated into thoughtful processes.[6]

The comparative and reflexive study of books as an accessory of cognition is endlessly pursued in philology and bibliography. Pragmatic philosophy also wants to know about books. Librarians methodically arrange and rearrange books to accentuate their uses. But all these fields of book studies need to pivot on the cognitive sciences of constraints and capacities of perception.[7] We can also examine our particular keyword phrase of “resilience of book transmission” in a cognitive context.

[1] Nicholas Carr, The Shallows, presents a view of cognitive behavior shifts under new circumstances of screen reading. See also his new book The Glass Cage concerning cognition shifts of phone connectivity and associated behaviors.

[2] Librarians previously worked with books that outlasted them. Now computer media and their delivery utilities can past away long before librarians.

[3] For a panoply of reader receptions cognitions see; Peter Mendelsund, What We See When We Read, Viking Books, 2014.

[4] Lori Emerson has projected the composite writer/reader agent. This handy construct will also include reflexive writer readings of their own productions. See; Lori Emerson, Reading Writing Interfaces, University of Minnesota, 2014.

[5] This is the position of cognitive archeologists who propose that lithic tools, for example, are states of mind dug from the ground. See; Ian Hodder, Entangled, 2012 and Lambros Malafouris, How Things Shape the Mind, 2013.

[6] It is a vivid demonstration of bionic adaptability that we can and do repurpose hominid neurology. Our lack of amazement over such transformation only confirms an immense potential and near disregard of changes.

[7] A foundation in cognitive science directs specialized studies of cognitive archeology and their field models of tools and tool use can be nicely adapted to study of resilience in book transmission.

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The Post Master has just informed us that all letters sent in by sun down will catch the mail

Joseph Culver Letter, October 13, 1864, Page 1

Head Qurs. Co. “A” 129th Ills.
Chattahoochie River, Ga.
Octr. 13th 1864
My Dear Wife

The Post Master has just informed us that all letters sent in by sun down will catch the mail, &, as the sun is a few minutes high, I haste to inform you that through God’s blessing, I am still enjoying excellent health. No word from home yet. Oh, how wearily the days pass round. “We are waiting, weary waiting” for good news from home.

We recd. by signal from Allatoona Mountains the confirmation of the rumor of the capture of Richmond.1 God grant that it may be a permanent victory. Our Army is in motion, but we are still left.2 We expect mail to-morrow, & then we will have news.

May God bless you and our babe. Give my Love to Mother & Sister Maggie. May Holy Angels guard thee. Kiss baby for me. Good Bye.

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. The message reporting the capture of Richmond was false. On the 13th General Ben Butler had made a forced reconnaissance of Confederate defenses on the Darbytown road, 8 miles southeast of Richmond, and found them formidable and covered by an extensive abatis. Humphreys, The Virginia Campaign of ’64 and ’65, pp. 293-94; Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, p. 111.
  2. General Sherman on the 10th, learning that Hood’s army was crossing the Coosa 12 miles west of Rome, ordered his columns to converge on Rome. General Thomas was to mass his forces at Stevenson, Ala., to oppose a possible crossing of the Tennessee by the Confederates. At Kingston on the 11th, Sherman temporarily lost track of Hood. The Confederates had pushed to the northeast, their line of march hidden by Johns Mountain, and on the 12th appeared before Resaca and called on the garrison to surrender. The Federals refused. Leaving one corps before Resaca, Hood marched Stewart’s to Tilton and Dalton, capturing both towns and their garrisons. Sherman on the 13th put his “army group” in motion for Resaca, where he arrived the next day. Hood, having failed in his efforts to seriously damage the Western & Atlantic, retreated westward to Villanow. So far all he had accomplished was to draw Sherman 100 miles from Atlanta, but Slocum’s XX Corps continued to occupy that place. Cox, Atlanta, pp. 235-37.
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Learn How to Search for Systematic Reviews @Hardin Library this fall

In this advanced searching workshop, you will develop skills in

  • constructing subject searches
  • using advanced keyword search techniques
  • combining searches
  • saving searches
  • modifying search strategies in health science databases (like PubMed, Embase, or CINAHL)

This session may be of use to anyone is conducting a comprehensive literature review.  For those planning to publish a systematic review, consider attending The Nuts and Bolts of Systematic Reviews prior to this session.

Our next sessions:

Thursday, October 16, 11am-12pm Information Commons East, 2nd Floor

Wednesday, November 19, 10-11am Information Commons East, 2nd floor

Register online or by calling 319-335-9151.

It seems an age almost since I heard from you

Joseph Culver Letter, October 9, 1864, Page 1

Head Quarters Co. “A” 129th Regt. Ills. Vols.
Chattahoochie River, Ga.1
October 9th 1864
My Dear Wife

It seems an age almost since I heard from you, and the prospects now are not very flattering as there is yet no communication with the north. I have commenced this letter in order to send by the first train that goes out. A longer time has elapsed since I last wrote, I think, than at any former time since I have been in the service. The interruption of our communication is much less serious than we anticipated as we have well authenticated reports that the railroad is free from farther molestation, and, as soon as it can be prepared, we shall again have the pleasure of hearing from home.

It looks just now very much like a premeditated affair of Genl. Sherman’s.2 For two weeks he was sending large numbers of troops to the rear, finally Genl. Thomas left also; but, instead of disposing the troops along the line of the road, all were massed at Allatoona pass awaiting the enemy. You will doubtless have full particulars of the Battle before this reaches you. We know but little yet save that Genl. Thomas defeated the Rebel Army with a loss of over 200 killed, many wounded, & several hundred prisoners.3 We have heard nothing yet of Sherman’s operations.4 Kilpatrick with the Cavalry has captured and destroyed the enemy’s Pontoon train and a large portion of their supplies.5

Our Corps, with a portion of each Corps of the Army, were left behind. We are very strongly fortified and would be able to withstand the Rebel army until the main Army returns. We entertained some fears about our supplies, as the Army took fifteen days’ rations with them, but there was no need of alarm as there is amply sufficient for any emergency. Our ration of bread has been increased to 1-1/2 lbs. per day and all else in proportion except meat, and the boys have all they wish. The health continues excellent. Every man in my Company is fit for duty, & Dr. Wood told me yesterday that he had only one patient in the Regiment. Large numbers of those in the Hospitals have returned, & my Company is larger than at any time since the Campaign opened.

The weather since the first of this month has been very wet until two days ago. It is now very cold, &, if it were not for the continual high wind, there would be a killing frost. It is with difficulty that we keep comfortable with overcoat on over the fires. If it continues much longer, we will build chimneys.

I presume Smith and Sutcliff have reached home ere this, as they left the 27th Sept., though they were probably detained in Chattanooga several days.

I have no doubt but you feel great anxiety not being able to hear from the Army. Bro. John [Murphy] is with Sherman.6 Sammy is in Chattanooga with his “Battery.” I did not see John as he passed here as I was on duty, but several of the boys in the Company saw and talked with him.

I am sorry now that I did not keep a diary for you, but it rained so constantly, & we were continually moving from point to point strengthening the fortifications that I neglected it. Allen Fellows has a complete one, which he will send home by the first mail.

We moved from Atlanta to the river on the 1st two days before the Army commenced to move. Alf Huetson was out to see us yesterday; he is very well and is much pleased with his comfortable quarters in the city. I have not answered the letters I received from Carlisle yet, but will try and have them in readiness for the first mail.

As it was too cold for [church] service this morning, we will probably have preaching this afternoon if the weather is favorable. The sun is shining very brightly, but the wind is raw & cold. My hand becomes so numb that I cannot write with[out] going to the fire occasionally. The roads are improving rapidly; they must have been almost impassible in rear of the Army for the past week. Green was much disappointed in not receiving his promised book; it was doubtless captured on the trains that were destroyed yet may possibly come yet. 7 o’clock P.M.

I stopped writing for dinner, & it was so cold that I postponed writing thinking it would be more calm. At three o’clock, Lt. Scott invited me to go with him to the house of a citizen where he had been invited to preach. The time passed so pleasantly that I have just returned. The congregation was composed of several families, refugees from Atlanta and the surrounding country. The parlor is very nicely furnished, & I sat there trying to imagine myself at home. Oh, how I wished that this evening could have been spent at home.

I learned on my return to the Company that [Major] Hoskins intends to start home in the morning & that all letters must be sent up to-night, so I will haste to send this by him. I find it hard to forgive him for not giving me this opportunity since he was at home scarce six months ago. But it is doubtless all for the best.

The bridge is completed, & the first train passed over about an hour ago.7 How earnestly we will look for mail now.

God grant that my loved ones are all well and happy. I have had the blues very badly several times during the past two weeks, but now I am living on hearing very soon from you. Kiss baby for me & tell him I would surely go to see him & Mama if it were possible. The picture [of the baby] will soon be coming, will it not? Give my love to Mother and Maggie. I would have written to the Sabbath School also if I had known Hoskins was going so soon. I did not think the way would be open for sometime yet, but I must close and gather up the mail. It is now past tatoo.

It seems so long since I had an opportunity to talk to you even by letter that I am loth to quit yet. Accept much love and a kiss, & may the richest of Heaven’s blessings rest upon you.

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. General Sherman on the 29th learned that two corps of Hood’s Army of Tennessee had crossed to the north side of the Chattahoochie, about 25 miles southwest of Atlanta. To counter a Confederate thrust into Tennessee and an attack on his railroad supply lines, Sherman on October 1 notified his subordinates that he would reinforce General Thomas in Tennessee, and with the rest of his “army group” strike for Savannah and Charleston, believing that Hood would be compelled to follow. If, however, Hood turned his columns toward the Western & Atlantic Railroad, south of the Etowah, Sherman would fight him. Cox, Atlanta, pp. 223-24. Consequently, on October 1, the 1st Brigade, Ward’s division, was ordered to take position to protect the Chattahoochie Railroad Bridge. Breaking camp, the 129th Illinois passed through Atlanta and tramped up the Marietta road in a driving rain storm. It was dark by the time the regiment reached the river. After Colonel Case had detailed Company D to man a picket line, the rest of the regiment crossed the river and camped. During the night the rain-swollen river swept away the railroad and wagon bridges. A pontoon bridge was laid the next day, and Company D rejoined the regiment. Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, pp. 107-08.
  2. General Sherman, on October 3, satisfied that Hood was striking toward Marietta and the Western & Atlantic, put his “army group” in motion. Slocum’s XX Corps would hold Atlanta and the Chattahoochie bridges and the other corps would march for Smyrna Camp Ground, south of Marietta. Hood, by this time, was near Lost Mountain with two of his corps, and the third (Lt. Gen. A. P. Stewart’s) was driving for the railroad. On the 3d Stewart effected a lodgment on the Western & Atlantic, capturing Acworth and Big Shanty. After paroling the prisoners, damaging the railroad, and cutting the telegraph, Stewart sent one division (French’s) to capture the post at Allatoona Pass and marched to rejoin Hood with the remainder of his corps. Meanwhile, the Army of the Cumberland (less the XX Corps) had recrossed the Chattahoochie and by nightfall on the 4th was camped in and around Marietta. Howard’s Army of the Tennessee was also north of the river at Smyrna Camp Ground, while the Army of the Ohio was preparing to cross at Pace’s Ferry. Cox, Atlanta, pp. 225-26.
  3. J.F.C. was mistaken as to details. General Thomas with two divisions had been rushed to Middle Tennessee to protect the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad against Forrest’s horse-soldiers. Their mission had been accomplished, and by October 6, Forrest had returned to his base, having seriously damaged the less important Tennessee & Alabama and Memphis & Charleston Railroads. On the morning of October 5, Major Gen. Samuel G. French’s division assailed the post at Allatoona Pass, defended by 2,000 men commanded by Brig. Gen. John D. Corse. There was a savage fight. When French learned that Sherman’s infantry was at Kennesaw, 15 miles away, he broke off the attack and rejoined Hood’s army at New Hope Church on the 6th. After the fight. Corse buried 230 dead Confederates and counted more than 400 prisoners. Union losses were 205 killed and wounded. Ibid., pp. 227-31.
  4. Sherman now massed his “army group” west of Marietta, while observing Hood’s movements, and turned out large working parties to repair the railroad and rebuild the Chattahoochie Railroad Bridge. Having concluded that Hood’s goal was to draw his “army group” out of the heart of Georgia, Sherman refused to be led away. General Corse was sent to Rome with his division, from where he could cover the Western & Atlantic between Resaca and Cartersville. Sherman now repeated a proposal, previously made to General Grant, that he be allowed to abandon the Western & Atlantic, evacuate Atlanta, turn his back on Hood’s army, and march for Savannah by way of Milledgeville and Millen. Ibid., 233-34.
  5. There was no truth to the report that Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick had “captured and destroyed the enemy’s pontoon train and a large portion of their supplies.”
  6. John Murphy was still detailed to Bridge’s battery and had accompanied that unit on its return to Middle Tennessee.
  7. General Slocum on October 9 notified General Sherman that the railroad bridge, swept away on the night of the 1st, had been “repaired and the train has gone over.” O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXIX, pt. III, p. 163.
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Cambus changes and street closures Friday, October 10 due to UI Homecoming Parade

2014 Iowa Corn Monument

Cambus will be re-routing East routes on Friday afternoon-early evening because of street closures caused by the University of Iowa Homecoming parade.  All routes will run, but the busses may be off schedule due to the re-routing.

Iowa City Transit will make the following changes on Friday:

  • The bus interchange will move from Washington and Clinton streets beginning at 6 a.m. until Saturday.
  • The last Northside Shuttle of the day will depart the alternate interchange on Court Street at 2:45 p.m. The Northside Shuttle will follow its normal route.
  •  The last Southside Shuttle will depart the alternate interchange on Court Street at 3:30 p.m.
  • After the Homecoming Parade on Friday, the Night Manville Heights and Night North Dodge bus routes will continue to detour due to the closure of Clinton Street between Jefferson Street and Washington Street for the UI Homecoming Pep Rally.
  • The outbound bus stops located at the intersections of Clinton and Jefferson and at Jefferson and Linn, and the inbound bus stops located at the intersections of Market and Linn and Clinton and Jefferson, will be out of service during the UI Homecoming events. Customers who normally use these stops can catch their buses at the bus interchange at the Old Capitol Mall.

Streets downtown will be closed to vehicle traffic along the parade route and staging area which is a couple block radius of the Old Capital.  Avoid driving through downtown from 3pm-9pm Friday.



1st Two Way Phone Conversation

In this day in 1876, Alexander Bell demonstrated the first two way telephone conversation over outdoor wires. (October 9, 1876)

Timeline of the Telephone:

  • 1667: Robert Hooke created an acoustic string telephone that convey sound over a taut extended wire by mechanical vibrations.
  • 1849: Antonio Meucci demonstrated a communicating device, it is disputed whether or not this is an electromagnetic telephone, but it is said to involve direct transmission of electricity into the users body.
  • 1861: Johann Philipp Reis of Germany managed to transfer voice electrically over a distance of 340 feet with his Reis telephone. Reis used his telephone to transmit the phrase “The horse does not eat cucumber salad.” This phrase is hard to understand acoustically in German so he used it to prove that speech can be recognized successfully at the receiving end.
  • 1871: Antonio Meucci files a patent caveat – a statement of intention to file a patent application for a Sound Telegraph. It does not describe and electromagnetic telephone.
  • 1872: Elisha Gray founds the Western Electric Manufacturing Company.
  • July 1873: Thomas Edison notes variable resistance in carbon grains due to pressure, builds a rheostat based on the principle, but abandons it because of its sensitivity to vibration.
  • July 1874: Alexander Graham Bell first conceives the theoretical concept for the telephone while vacationing at his parents’ farm near Brantford, Canada. Alexander Melville Bell records notes of his son’s conversation in his personal journal.
  • 29 December 1874: Gray demonstrates his musical tones device and transmitted “familiar melodies through telegraph wire” at the Presbyterian Church in Highland Park, Illinois.
  • 11 February 1876: Elisha Gray invents a liquid transmitter for use with a telephone, but does not build one.
  • 14 February 1876, about 9:30 am: Gray or his lawyer brings Gray’s patent caveat for the telephone to the Washington, D.C. Patent Office.
  • 14 February 1876, about 11:30 am: Bell’s lawyer brings to the same patent office Bell’s patent application for the telephone. Bell’s lawyer requests that it be registered immediately in the cash receipts blotter.
  • 14 February 1876, about 1:30 pm: Approximately two hours later Elisha Gray’s patent caveat is registered in the cash blotter. Although his caveat was not a full application, Gray could have converted it into a patent application and contest Bell’s priority, but did not do so because of advice from his lawyer and his involvement with acoustic telegraphy. The result was that the patent was awarded to Bell.
  • 7 March 1876: Bell’s U.S. Patent, No. 174,465 for the telephone is granted.
  • 10 March 1876: Bell first successfully transmits speech, saying “Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!” using a liquid transmitter as described in Gray’s caveat, and Bell’s own electromagnetic receiver.
  • 16 May 1876: Thomas Edison files first patent application for acoustic telegraphy for which U.S. patent 182,996 was granted October 10, 1876.
  • 10 August 1876: Alexander Graham Bell makes the world’s first long distance telephone call, about 6 miles between Brantfordand Paris, Ontario, Canada.
  • 9 October, 1876: Bell and Watson demonstrated the first two-way conversation over outdoor wires. Their call was made between Boston and Cambridge.

  • 9 July 1877: The Bell Telephone Company, a common law joint-stock company, is organized by Alexander Graham Bell’s future father-in-law Gardiner Greene Hubbard, a lawyer who becomes its first president.
  • 6 October 1877: the Scientific American publishes the invention from Bell – at that time still without a ringer.
  • Early months of 1879: The Bell Telephone Company is near bankruptcy and desperate to get a transmitter to equal Edison’s carbon transmitter.
  • 19 February 1880: The photophone, also called a radiophone, is invented jointly by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter at Bell’s Volta Laboratory.[15][16] The device allowed for the transmission of sound on a beam of light
  • 4 September 1884: Opening of telephone service between New York and Boston (235 miles)
  • 26 February 1914: Boston-Washington underground cable commenced commercial service
  • 25 January 1915: The first transcontinental (coast-to-coast) telephone call (3600 miles), with Thomas Augustus Watson at 333 Grant Avenue in San Francisco receiving a call from Alexander Graham Bell at 15 Dey Street in New York City, facilitated by a newly invented vacuum tube amplifier
  • 21 October 1915: First transmission of speech across the Atlantic Ocean by radiotelephone from Arlington, VA to Paris, France
  • 1919: The first rotary dial telephones in the Bell System installed in Norfolk, Virginia. Telephones that lacked dials and touch-tone pads were no longer made by the Bell System after 1978.
  •  1919: AT&T conducts more than 4,000 measurements of people’s heads to gauge the best dimensions of standard headsets so that callers’ lips would be near the microphone when holding handsets up to their ears
  • 25 April 1935: First telephone call around the world by wire and radio
  • 1947: December, W. Rae Young and Douglas H. Ring, Bell Labs engineers, proposed hexagonal cells for provisioning of mobile telephone service.
  • 1948: Phil Porter, a Bell Labs engineer, proposed that cell towers be at the corners of the hexagons rather than the centers and have directional antennas pointing in 3 directions.
  • 1955: the laying of trans-Atlantic cable TAT-1 began – 36 circuits, later increased to 48 by reducing the bandwidth from 4 kHz to 3 kHz
  • 1960′s: Bell Labs developed the electronics for cellular phones
  • 1961: Initiation of Touch-Tone service trials
  • 1970: ESS-2 electronic switch
  • 1970: Amos E. Joel, Jr. of Bell Labs invented the “call handoff” system for “cellular mobile communication system” (patent granted 1972)
  • 3 April 1973: Motorola employee Martin Cooper placed the first hand-held cell phone call to Joel Engel, head of research at AT&T’s Bell Labs, while talking on the first Motorola DynaTAC prototype.
  • 1978: Bell Labs launched a trial of the first commercial cellular network in Chicago using Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS).
  • 1982: FCC approved AT&T proposal for AMPS and allocated frequencies in the 824-894 MHz band
  • 1982: Caller ID patented by Carolyn Doughty, Bell Labs
  • 1987: ADSL introduced
  • 1988: First transatlantic fiber optic cable TAT-8, carrying 40,000 circuits
  • 1990: analog AMPS was superseded by Digital AMPS.
  • 1993: Telecom Relay Service available for the disabled
  • 11 June 2002: Antonio Meucci is recognized for “…his work in the invention of the telephone” (but not “…for inventing the telephone”) by the United States House of Representatives, in United States HRes. 269.
  • 21 June 2002: The Parliament of Canada responds by passing a motion unanimously 10 days later recognizing Alexander Graham Bell as the inventor of the telephone.
  • 2005: Mink, Louisiana finally receives traditional landline telephone service (one of the last in the United States).

Books in the Engineering Library:


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