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If Internet existed in the 1800s

Crazy Imagination

By Allwyn Roman WaghelaPublished about a month ago 3 min read
If Internet existed in the 1800s
Photo by Larry Costales on Unsplash

In the 1800s, a time of horse-drawn carriages, quill pens, and gas lamps, the concept of the internet was as fantastical as a Jules Verne novel. Yet, let’s embark on a whimsical journey to an alternate universe where the internet emerged during this era:

The Telegraphic Web:

  • Imagine a vast network of telegraph wires crisscrossing continents. Instead of fiber optics, these wires would carry Morse code messages.
  • Users would log in to their telegraph terminals and send telegrams to distant friends: “HELLO STOP HOW ART THOU STOP.”

Victorian Chatrooms:

  • In cozy parlors, people would gather for virtual tea and crumpets. The chatroom would be called “The EtherNet.”
  • Conversations would be delightfully formal: “Good day, sir. Pray tell, hath thou seen the latest daguerreotype of Lady Ada Lovelace?”

Steam-Powered Search Engines:

  • To find information, users would crank their Analytical Engines (designed by Charles Babbage) and input queries.
  • Search results would emerge on punched cards: “Query: ‘How to tame a velociraptor?’ Results: ‘Consult Darwin’s latest treatise.’”

Carrier Pigeon Social Media:

  • Instead of tweets, people would send pigeons with tiny scrolls attached.
  • A trending hashtag: #VictorianViral—“Just received a pigeongram from Lord Byron. He’s penning a new sonnet!”


  • Imagine a brass-and-leather contraption—the SteamPunkTube—where users upload sepia-toned daguerreotypes.
  • Popular videos: “How to wax your handlebar moustache” and “Tea leaf reading for beginners.”

Victorian Memes:

  • Picture a woodcut of Queen Victoria with the caption: “When your crinoline hoop won’t fit through the carriage door.”
  • Comments: “Verily, I chortled!” and “Thou art a wit, good sir.”

EtherNet Explorer:

  • The browser of choice: EtherNet Explorer, complete with a brass magnifying glass icon.
  • Users would bookmark their favorite sites: “Ye Olde Alchemist’s Blog” and “Steam-Powered Cat Videos.”
  • Dial-Up Corsets:

  • To connect to the EtherNet, users would tighten their dial-up corsets.
  • The modem sound? A genteel hum: “Ah, my dear, we’re now at 28 baud!”

Victorian Influencers:

  • Lady Isadora would post daguerreotypes of her latest parasol collection.
  • Lord Percival’s vlogs: “Unboxing my new monocle—splendid!”

The Great Victorian Firewall:

  • Governments would censor scandalous content: “No access to the ‘Romantic Novels’ section!”
  • Pirates would smuggle forbidden texts via hot air balloons.

And so, in this alternate 1800s, the internet would be a blend of elegance, eccentricity, and steam-powered intrigue. 🕰️🔍

Some crazy historical tech mashups

Let’s dive into the whimsical world of historical tech mashups. Imagine if groundbreaking technologies from different eras collided and merged. Here are some delightful concoctions:

The Steam-Powered Smartphone (Victorian Era + Modern Tech):

  • Picture a pocket-sized device with brass gears, leather casing, and a rotary dial.
  • Features include sending “telegraphgrams,” accessing the “EtherNet,” and playing a riveting game of “SteamPunk Crush Saga.”
  • The Gutenberg Printer 3000 (Medieval + Digital Age):

  • A massive printing press with an LCD screen.
  • Instead of movable type, it uses emojis and memes.
  • Famous quote: “To GIF or not to GIF, that is the question.”

The Abacus Tablet (Ancient Mesopotamia + Silicon Valley):

  • An abacus with a touch-sensitive screen.
  • Swipe left to calculate taxes, swipe right for pyramid construction tips.
  • Comes preloaded with the “Epic of Gilgamesh” audiobook.

The Morse Code Social Network (19th Century + Web 2.0):

  • Users tap out messages on telegraph keys.
  • Profiles include cryptic bios: “I’m 01100110 01110101 01101110 at parties.”
  • Trending hashtag: #DotDashLife.

The Renaissance VR Headset (Leonardo da Vinci + Oculus Rift):

  • Leonardo’s sketches come alive in 3D.
  • Users can virtually dissect a Vitruvian Man or paint with the Mona Lisa.
  • Warning: May induce existential pondering.

The Babbage-Bezos Time Machine (Victorian + Future):

  • Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine meets Amazon Prime.
  • Order a top hat and cravat for next-day delivery to 1850.
  • Jeff Bezos sends a personalized message: “Dear Mr. Babbage, your order is out for delivery via dirigible.”
  • The ScribeBot (Ancient Egypt + AI):

  • An AI-powered scribe that transcribes hieroglyphics.
  • Also offers personalized advice: “Pharaoh, your pyramid’s feng shui needs work.”
  • The Renaissance Selfie Stick (Michelangelo + Instagram):

  • Michelangelo’s David poses with a wooden stick.
  • Filters include “Sistine Chapel Fresco” and “Renaissance Glow.”
  • Caption: “Just chiseled this masterpiece. #SculptureGoals”

The Gutenberg E-Book Reader (Medieval + Kindle):

  • A wooden contraption with a tiny screen.
  • Users download illuminated manuscripts and scroll through pages.
  • Battery life: 1,000 years (requires unicorn tears).

The Morse Code Podcast (19th Century + Podcast Boom):

  • Hosted by Samuel Morse himself.
  • Episodes cover topics like “Transatlantic Cable Tales” and “Love in Dots and Dashes.”
  • Listener review: “Five stars—beep beep beep!”
  • Remember, these mashups exist only in the realm of imagination, where gears turn, pigeons deliver messages, and time machines run on Victorian tea. 🕰️🦜

vintagesocial mediahistoryfuture

About the Creator

Allwyn Roman Waghela

I am a professional blogger, writing about topics such as travel, food, and lifestyle thus, showcasing my creativity and communication skills.





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  • Staringaleabout a month ago

    The title was very interesting and I had to jump in. I must it did not disappoint, it is very well thought-out. Your combination of imagination and facts made this post capture the readers interest. Love it.

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