‘The Media.’ A Guest Post by P. Thompson

In 1836 Samuel F.B Morse, an American artist, Joseph Henry, a physicist and Alfre Vail developed an electircal telegraph system relying on “on” “off” pulses. The “Morse Code” was born. The most common emergency sequence in the world is S.O.S (save our souls) and is still used today. The code is º º º – – – º º º It was used a lot during WWII, then after, all the post offices used it to send telegrams around the world.

Oh media, how you have changed. During the 40’s, we still used wind up handle phones, to turn rings would get the exchange the operator would ask ‘your number please,’ then they plugged you through, that is if you both had paid to have a connection, and then when you finished you rang off.

Telegrams, the text message before mobile phones
Telegrams, the text message before mobile phones

So now all has changed, when you see young people, children, adults, everybody is staring at the things in their hand and are transfixed; the mobile phone/computer is here. Is it good or is bad? The answer is… it depends on who’s hand it is in. The good sides, it can be used in emergencys such as accidents, breakdowns, rescues, to send nice messages (especially happy birthdays) and quick information (such as who invented the Morse Code).

The bad sides. Some use it for bullying, people can be influenced to do bad things (for example ISIS recruitment), it can be very distracting (driving a car), very bad manners in others company, possible eye strain (more glasses for children) and less activity (leading to obesity).

But we still call it progress!

My wife and I have four children, twelve grandchildren, eight and a half great grandchildren and we love them all. We’ve created a family, so we love it that we’re able to keep up to date with Adelaide’s life. We have them sent by email and we read them in awe, as she covers numerous topics. Grandma always says ‘come on, read me the blog.’ We love reading them, especially when they relate to early times in Australian history.

As time marches on, we hope if nothing else she keeps writing her blogs.

P. Thompson


This is a guest post by my wonderfully thoughtful, helpful and talented Grandad. Over the past several weeks, Grandad has been helping me with my BCM240 blogging assignments, beautifully retelling his great stories from when he first got a TV, what life was like back in the 40’s and 50’s and various thoughts and perspectives of the media. Thank you so much for your time, expertise and storytelling, I appreciate and value every minute we spend together.

My amazing Grandma and Grandad
My amazing Grandma and Grandad

5 thoughts on “‘The Media.’ A Guest Post by P. Thompson

  1. That was just gorgeous to read, please thank your guest poster so much. I realise we should do much more in this subject to think about earlier communications technologies, and Morse code is the perfect example.

    I’m interested to know more about the era of the telephone operator, as I’m not aware of much research that’s been done on this profession, their history. My sense is that they were mostly women, so I wonder why this was, and how this fitted with other histories of women’s employment.

    This is a great post.

    1. I’ll send Grandad an email with this feedback. I’m sure he’ll add it to his collection! I agree, I would also be very interested to learn more about the history of female employment and why many women did work as telephone operators. It is indeed very interesting, maybe I’ll have to hit Grandad up for a guest post 2.0!
      Thanks for the lovely feedback 🙂

  2. Great story. Maybe female exchange operators needed to be women, I’ve seen videos where they are connecting and disconnecting dozens of calls in a fast paced environment. This is possibly the first faced pace workplace where a lot of concentration and know how was needed, an early template for call centres. My experience is that women handle this multitasking much better than the average male. Athough I don’t like to stereotype, I think it is a well accepted fact!

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