Light and sound


The age of light and sound

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In the 1850s Danes were introduced to gas, electricity and sewers. Over the next 150 years new inventions such as toilets, telephones and modern mass media followed. First radio and then television become commonplace. Today, most homes have a computer connected to the internet, and there are more mobile phones than people in Denmark.

Modern Denmark: satellite TV, digital audio broadcasting, the internet, mobile phones and lots of light, clean water and flushing toilets. Denmark 150 years ago: newspapers, letters, dark alleys and parlours, well water and outhouses. The latter half of the 19th century marked not only the dawn of democracy in Denmark, it also saw a flurry of new inventions.

Stamps and telegraphs
In 1851 the postal service introduced the stamp as inexpensive unit postage. That set off the country's urge to communicate. In the span of just a few years, mail volumes increased from 4 million letters a year to over 12 million. In 1854 the State Telegraph began operating the first electromagnetic telegraph line connecting Helsingør (Elsinore) with Copenhagen and Copenhagen with Hamburg. Within a few decades the entire world had been enshrouded in telegraph wires, "the Victorian internet". Businesses and the press preferred it as a means of communication; it was more expensive, but…

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