Windows to the World

The first window to the world was invented in 1884 by George Eastman. Photographic film allowed pictures to be more conveniently taken, copied, and transferred around the world. Photographic film was quickly adapted for use in inside motion picture cameras, and “movies” were born. In conjunction with the newspapers and magazines of the early 20th century, photography allowed many folks to, in a primitive sense, travel the world without leaving town. Motion pictures offered a similar and somewhat more advanced experience at the local movie house. We had a window to the world.

The second window to the world arrived around 1928 when Philo Farnsworth demonstrated the first working television system with electronic scanning. This went on to shape the TV sets of the next several decades. By the 1950’s many modern homes had television sets that allowed them to see the world without leaving home.

The third window to the world came in 1993 with the development of the first web browser, Mosaic. The Internet and the World Wide Web had previously been text mediums primarily. What Mosaic and later web browsers did was allow for more convenient and widespread transmission of digitized images. By 2000, Web-enabled home computers were pervasive for modern homes.

So this is where we are. Will there be a 4th window? If I had to guess I would say that the second and third windows will fuse somehow. We’re in the process already; I know I tend to watch TV shows on the Internet more than I do on the television.

One thought on “Windows to the World”

  1. To read the papers and the ‘Net lately you’d think it was the iPhone. I’m a Mac-lover and even I think the thing is over-hyped.

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