Modems: 60 years of hooking up

A visual guide to the history of the modem, from the 1950s to today.

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The Early Days 

modems img 2.jpg

Modems originated as a way for teletype machines to communicate over ordinary telephone lines. In the late 1950s, AT&T developed the first commercial, mass-produced computer modem, then called a "digital subset" (shown here, circa 1958), to link SAGE computers across the United States. It communicated at 110 bits per second.

Photos: AT&T

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