4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: All Eras   |   Theme: Communication


Circa 75,000 BCE – 73,000 BCE
Early Attempt to Record Information or Early Art?
Circa 38,000 BCE – 33,000 BCE
The Venus of Schelklingen.
The Earliest Known Examples of Figurative Art
Circa 30,000 BCE
The 'Lion Man,' preserved in the Ulmer Museum in Ulm, Germany. (View a full-scale image.)
The Earliest Zoomorphic / Anthropomorphic Sculpture
Circa 30,000 BCEThe Advantages of Orally Transmitted Traditions 29,000 BCE – 25,000 BCE
The Venus of Dolní Věstonice. (View Larger)
The Oldest Known Ceramic Figurine
Circa 24,000 BCE – 22,000 BCE
The Venus of Willendorf. (View Larger)
The Venus of Willendorf
Circa 23,000 BCE
The Venus of Brassempouy. (View Larger)
One of the Earliest Known Realistic Representations of a Human Face
Circa 3,500 BCE
The Botai culture originated from the Akmola province of Kazakhstan, highlighted in green. (View Larger)
Horse Domestication Revolutionizes Transportation, Communication, and Warfare
Circa 2,291 BCE – 2,254 BCE
MS 5106 of the Schoyen Collection, a brick printing block with a large loop handle from the period of Naram-Sîn. (View larger)
The Earliest Printing was Stamped into Soft Clay in Mesopotamia
Circa 750 BCEUsing Carrier Pigeons to Communicate the Results of the Olympic Games Circa 650 BCEThe Skytale: An Early Greek Cryptographic Device Used in Warfare Circa 450 BCE – 420 BCE
King Darius I
The Royal Road
Circa 450 BCE – 420 BCEHow Herodotus Used Writing and Messages in his Histories 350 BCE
Polybius (View Larger)
The Hydraulic Telegraph
Circa 325 BCEThe Earliest Surviving Letter Written in Greek Circa 300 BCEPostal and Communication Infrastructure in Ancient India Circa 20 BCE
Augustus. (View larger)
The Cursus publicus: The Courier Service of the Roman Empire
Circa 100 CE
Vindolanda Tablet 309, an inventory of wooden goods dispatched dispatched by and to civilians working for the military. (View Larger, with translation.)
The Oldest Surviving Handwritten Documents in Britain
Circa 150 CEA Door-to-Door Bookseller in Egypt, Second Century CE 476 CE – 1500"A Bibliography of Works on Medieval Communication" 700Traversing the Mediterranean in Twenty Days 704 – 705The Earliest Surviving Letter Known to Have Been Written from One Englishman to Another Circa 1200Postal System within the Mongol Empire and China 1250More than 1000 Birch-Bark Documents Have Been Excavated from Mud in Veliky Novgorod, Russia Circa 1250
Rome and its vicinity, as depicted on a reproduction the Tabula Peutingeriana. (View Full Map - Very Large)
The Tabula Peutingeriana: the only Roman World Map that Survived from Antiquity
A map of the Polos' eastward journey, begun in 1271. (View Larger)
Carrying the Pope's Response to Kublai Khan
Circa 1350Routine Everyday Messages Inscribed on Rune-Sticks 1453 – 1533
A map of the Inca road system. (View Larger)
The Inca Road System
September 1469
Portrait of Andrea Navagero Beazzano and Augustine by Raphael, 1516. (Click on image to view larger.)
Johannes de Spira Becomes the First Printer in Venice
1500 – 1700Avvisi: Hand-Written Newsletters Conveying Political, Military and Economic News 1553
Table of reciprocal alphabet from a 1555 book by Giovan Battista Bellaso.
Giovan Battista Bellaso Describes the First "Unbreakable" Text Autokey Cipher
1608The Venetian Government Issues the First Prepaid Letter Sheets 1668John Wilkins Creates A Universal Language Based on a Classification Scheme or Ontology, and a Universal System of Measurement April 1 – December 1680The World's First Postage Stamp from the First Postal Service to Allow Registration and Pre-Payment March 2, 1791 – 1794The Optical Telegraph: Faster than a Messenger on Horseback Circa 1792 – 1819Jacob Perkins Invents Steel Engraving 1800Phasing Out Latin as the International Language 1816Francis Ronalds Builds the First Working Electric Telegraph July 4, 1828 – May 24, 1830The First Common Carrier Railroad in the United States 1829The Braille System of Printing and Reading for the Blind 1837Origins of the Morse Code 1837 – 1840The Penny Post: Perhaps the Greatest Single Stimulus to Written Communication 1839Foundation of the First Parcel Express Agency in the U.S. 1840Probably the World's Oldest Picture Postcard May 1, 1840The Penny Black May 24, 1844Morse Transmits the First Message by Morse Code November 3, 1849"Notes and Queries", An Early Newsgroup, Begins Publication 1850 – 1858Paul Julius Reuter Founds the Reuters News Service 1850 – 1937Incunabula of the Zulu Language, and a Zulu Beadwork Love Letter 1854 – July 27, 1866Cyrus Field and the Three Attempts to Lay the Atlantic Cable 1858Queen Victoria Charters the First Distance Learning Program April 3, 1860 – October 26, 1861The Pony Express: Operational for Just a Little More than One Year June 16, 1860The Origins of Network Neutrality Have Their Basis in Telegraph Networks October 24, 1861New York and San Francisco are Connected by Telegraph October 27, 1861Johann Philipp Reis, the True Inventor of the Telephone? 1870 – 1874Émile Baudot Invents the Baudot Code, the First Means of Digital Communication September 19, 1870 – January 28, 1871The Pigeon Post into Paris: The First Important Application of Microfilm February – May 10, 1876Bell Invents and Patents the Telephone 1877The First Regular Telephone Line & The First Telephone Switchboard 1878 – 1896Foundation of International Parcel Post Service April 1, 1880The First Wireless Telephone Communication July 31, 1888The Telautograph January 14, 1898Lewis Carroll Wrote or Received 98,000 Letters January 1, 1913The U. S. Post Office Begins Parcel Post Service 1924A Logarithmic Law for Communication 1926Sarnoff Creates NBC 1928Hartley's Law 1936 – 1939The Voder, the First Electronic Speech Synthesizer: a Simplified Version of the Vocoder 1940Glamorous Film Actress Hedy Lamarr Invents Spread-Sprectrum October 1945Arthur C. Clarke Predicts Communication by Geosynchronous Satellites July – October 1948Shannon's "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" 1949The Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem 1950The Hamming Codes 1950After 1954 More News Was Distributed Electronically than on Paper 1951Miller's "Language and Communication" October 4, 1957Sputnik is Launched 1958An Improved Modem January 31, 1958The U.S. Launches its First Artificial Satellite, Explorer-1 December 19, 1958The First Voice Transmission from the First Communications Satellite 1959Human Versus Machine Intelligence and Communication (1959) November 1960Technical Basis for the Development of Phreaking 1961"Compatible Time Sharing System," Precursor of Word Processing and Email 1962McLuhan Issues "The Gutenberg Galaxy" 1962Fritz Machlup Introduces the Concept of "The Information Economy" July 10, 1962TELSTAR 1: The First Satellite to Relay Signals from Earth to Satellite and Back July 11 – July 23, 1962Telstar 1 Relays the First Live Trans-Atlantic TV Broadcasts July 26, 1963The First Geosynchronous Communications Satellite is Launched August 19, 1964SYNCOM 3, The First Geostationary Communication Satellite, Is Launched 1965Tom Van Vleck & Noel Morris Write One of the First Email Programs 1965The U.S. Postal Services Introduces OCR April 6, 1965INTELSAT 1: The First Commercial Communications Satellite to be Placed in Geosynchronous Orbit October 1965Lawrence G. Roberts Does the First "Actual Network Experiment" October 29, 1969Charley Kline Sends the First Message Over the ARPANET March 1971Ray Tomlinson Selects the @ in Email July 1971Lawrence Roberts Writes the First Email Management Program 1973"Community Memory," the First Public Computerized Bulletin Board System 1973The First Electronic Pagination System, Forerunner of Email and Instant Messaging November 1973Coining of the Concept and Term "Datagram" May 5, 1974Cerf & Kahn Publish TCP: A Protocol for Packet Network Communication 1977 – 1979TEX and Metafont August 20, 1977 – September 5, Launching "Messages in a Bottle" into the Cosmic Ocean 1978The Network Nation 1978 – June 30, 2012The Minitel February 16, 1978The First Dial-UP CBBS September 19, 1982Origins of the Smiley on the Internet December 16, 1982The First Cellular Telephone Service in the United Sates 1983The Declining Role of Print in Total Information Flow October 13, 1983 – 1984The First Commercial Analog Cellular Telephone Service 1987Roy Harris Issues "The Language Machine," a Critique of Computational Linguistics 1989The First Gateways Between Private E-Mail Carriers and the Internet 1990TED: Technology, Entertainment and Design December 3, 1992Neil Papworth Sends the First SMS Text Message 1993The Web's First and Longest Continuously Running Blog April 1993 – July 1994The First Tablet Computer with Wireless Connectivity August 16, 1994 – February 1995The IBM Simon Personal Communicator: The First Smartphone 19961996: The First Year in Which More Email is Sent than Paper Mail 1998The Average Person Receives 733 Pieces of Paper Mail Each Year, Half of Which is Junk 1998"You've Got Mail", a Movie about Love, Email, and the Book Trade November 6, 1998President Clinton Sends the First Ever Presidential Email 1999Bluetooth is Announced 2001 – June 7, 2013Mail Isolation Control and Tracking (MICT) 2002
Jeremy Norman
"Origins of Cyberspace"
December 16, 2003
President George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States
The First U.S. Standards for Sending Commercial E-Mail
Robert (Bob) Stein
The Institute for the Future of the Book
August 12, 2005
Gary Urton with some khipu
The First Intelligible Word from an Extinct South American Civilization?
January 27, 2006Western Union Discontinues Telegram Transmissions June 2006
John Chambers
Like Teleporting in Star Trek
August 2006
The Google Apps logo, including a diagram of some of the applications offered
Google Apps are Introduced
October 2006
The Twitter logo
Twitter: "What Are You Doing?"
November 5, 2008Change.gov is Founded December 15, 2008The First Reported Case of ZZZ-Mailing 2009U.S. Households Received and Sent 176 Billion Pieces of Physical Mail in 2009 June 23, 2009"The Web Pries Lid off Iranian Censorship" January 13, 2010After the Earthquake in Haiti, Donating by SMS Text January 14, 2010World Texting Competition is Won by Koreans January 27, 2010Steve Jobs Introduces the iPad, the First Widely Sold Tablet Computer February 2010"Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication. . . " May 13, 2010Cell Phones Are Now Used More for Data than Speech July 2010 – June 2011Spam Declines from 90% of Email Traffic to Only 72.9% August 1, 2010Data on Mobile Networks is Doubling Each Year December 11, 2010U.S. E-Book Sales are Predicted to Reach $1,000,000,000 in 2010 2011 – 2013An App the Promotes the Value of Impermanence 2011Apple Color Emoji: The First Color Font Included in a Computer Operating System January 2011The First Independently Published Magazine Exclusively for the iPad January 12, 2011Voice-Activated Translation on Cell Phones February 17, 2011The U. S. National Broadband Map September 2011Snapchat: Communication and Automatic Destruction of Information March 29, 2012Nearly 50% of U.S. Mobile Subscribers Own Smartphones November 8, 2012The First Teleportation from One Macroscopic Object to Another November 29 – December 1, 2012"Anonymous" Plans to Shut Down Syrian Government Websites in Response to Countrywide Internet Blackout January 4, 2013The Library of Congress Has Archived 170 Billion Tweets June 2013The Size of the Digital Universe in 2013 and Prediction of its Growth Rate December 15, 2014Skype Previews Skype Translator Real Time Translation Program