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1904 __ « Telecommunication »
Comment : The word "communications", derived from the Latin word "communicatio", the social process of information exchange, covers the human need for direct contact and mutual understanding. The word "telecommunication", adding "tele" (= distance), was created by Édouard Estaunié (1862-1942) in 1904 book "Traité pratique de télécommunication électrique (télégraphie-téléphonie)" in which he defined telecommunication as "information exchanged by means of electrical signals". Estaunié thus limited telecommunication explicitly to "electrical signals". In the preface of his book, he modestly apologized for the invention of the new word, stating : "I have been forced to add a new word to a glossary that is already too long in the opinion of many electricians. I hope they will forgive me. Words are born in new sciences like plants in spring. We must resign ourselves to this, and the harm is not so great after all, because the summer that follows will take care of killing off the poor shots ». Fortunately, the word "telecommunication" did not belong to the "poor shots" and has already survived a hundred summers. Telecommunications became more complex, and new definifitions were created, as summarized [here] : The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) officially recognized the terme "telecommunications" in 1932 and defined it as : "any telegraph or telephone communication of signs, signals, writings, images and sound of any nature, by wire , radio, or other systems or processes of electric or visual (semaphore) signaling". Currently, the ITU defines telecommunications as "any transmission, emission, or reception of signs, signals, writings, images, and sounds; or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, visual or other electromagnetic systems". In this definition the ITU postulates transmission as a basic function of telecommunications. The word "transmission", from the Latin "trans mettere" for transfer or transport in the figurative sense, however, quite confusingly, is used for many purposes. It was used in the industrial revolution to represent a "transmission system" for the transmission by mechanical means of power from a central steam engien to the various production machines in a factory. In electrical power technology, "high tension transmission line and ht-transmission grid" are well-known names for high-voltage overhead electricity distribution lines. In the book "Transmission Systems for Communications" published by members of the technical staff of Bell Labs in 1954, which used to be the "bible of transmission", the primary function of a transmission system is described as being "to provide circuits having the capability of accepting information-bearing electrical signals at a point and delivering related signals bearing the sam information to a distant point". In my book "Guide to Telecommunications Transmission Systems", published in 1997, transmission within the context of telecommunications is defined concisely as the "technology of information transport". In the contexts of telecommunications, a transmission system transports information between the source of a signal and a recipient. Transmission thus stands for the "tele" part of the word telecommunications and as such is the basis of all telecommunication systems. Transmission equipment serves to combine, send, amplify, receive, and separate electrical signals in such a way that long-distance communication is made possible. In terms of technology, telecommunications transmission systems are divided into "line transmission" and "radio transmission" systems : 1) "Line transmission" is the technology of sending and receiving electrical signals by means of copper wire, and nowadays, increasingly by means of optical fiber, on overhead lines, by underground cable, and by submarine cables ; 2) "Radio transmission" in the context of telecommunications stands for the technology of information transmission on electromagnetic waves by means of high-frequency radio and mobile radio, including cellular radio systems, radio relay, and satellites. (Anton A. Huurdeman, "The worldwide history of telecommunications", John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2003, pp. 3-5)
French comment : Le mot télécommunications vient du préfixe grec tele- (τηλε-), signifiant loin, et du latin communicare, signifiant partager ("telecommunication", "tele-" and "communication", New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd edition), 2005). Le mot télécommunication a été utilisé pour la première fois en 1904 par Édouard Estaunié, ingénieur aux Postes et Télégraphes, directeur de 1901 à 1910 de l'école professionnelle des Postes et Télégraphes (ancêtre de l'École nationale supérieure des télécommunications), dans son Traité pratique de télécommunication électrique (Jean-Marie Dilhac, "From tele-communicare to Telecommunications", LAAS-CNRS, 2004). (Compiled from various sources)
Source : Huurdeman, Anton A. (2003), "The worldwide history of telecommunications", Hoboken NJ : John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Urls : http://www.ieee.org/portal/cms_docs_iportals/iportals/aboutus/history_center/conferences/che2004/Dilhac.pdf (last visited )

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