For the greatest part of human history, information could not travel any faster than the pace of a horse or the speed of a ship. By the middle of the 18th Century France and Britain had developed a series of towers that sent optical messages across the land. But it was primitive and slow. In 1844 Samuel F. B. Morse invented the first practical electric telegraph and linked Washington and Baltimore. His invention transformed the world and by the 1870s, more than 650,000 miles of telegraph cables linked the world from city to city, from nation to nation and across the oceans. Ironically the telegraph was seen as a means of eliminating war and promoting human understanding. Today’s Internet is the direct descendant of the electric telegraph.  This is how what was called the most remarkable invention in human history came to shape the future.