Friday, February 8, 2013

The Telegraph in America - Book Signing 2/26


Long before we carried smart phones in our pockets, the telegraph offered a revolutionary advancement in our ability to communicate over vast distances.

Historian, electrical engineer and University Club board member David Hochfelder will discuss and sign his book The Telegraph in America, 1832–1920 (2012, The Johns Hopkins University Press) at a reception at the University Club of Albany, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street, on Tuesday, February 26 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Dr. Hochfelder offers readers a comprehensive history of this groundbreaking technology, which employs breaks in an electrical current to send code along miles of wire. He examines the correlation between technological innovation and social change and shows how this transformative relationship helps us to understand and perhaps define modernity.

The telegraph revolutionized the spread of information — speeding personal messages, news of public events, and details of stock fluctuations. During the Civil War, telegraphed intelligence and high-level directives gave the Union war effort a critical advantage. Afterward, the telegraph helped build and break fortunes and, along with the railroad, altered the way Americans thought about time and space. Hochfelder thus supplies readers with an introduction to the early stirrings of the information age.

The reception is free and open to the public, but reservations are required and may be made by calling the University Club at 518-463-1151 or online at www.uclubevents.blogspot.com.

An assistant professor at the University at Albany, Hochfelder specializes in the history of U.S. business and technology. He also helps administer UAlbany’s public history program. Before joining UAlbany, Hochfelder served as a research historian at the Thomas Edison Papers. He is currently working on a social history of savings and investment. He has appeared in two episodes of the History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” series.

This event is presented by the University Club of Albany Foundation, Inc., formed to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the University Club building and property, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901. Support for educational programming presented by the University Club Foundation is provided by AT&T.

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