I didn’t have a chance to post this over the weekend, but it struck me as ironic — and a nice bit of serendipity — that the anniversary of the founding of the Pony Express (April 3, 1860) took place in the midst of the Where’s the Fiber? gathering. We were discussing the future of telecommunications within the same timespace in which an early precursor to telecommunications was active.
Then, reading a book about the history of the Dutch colonization of Manhattan last night, I came across a reference to the Erie Canal, another land-based information network that helped fuel population and economic expansion.
All this got my wheels spinning. Can FC Now readers offer up other citations — Web or print — of writing about other precursors to the Net: telegraph, telephone, railroads, and the like?