Telegraph, sir? Credit: Sarah Cooper / Flickr Creative Commons
Ezra Cornell was born in the early 1800s, into a very young America, an America that didn’t have a whole lot of infrastructure.
As he grew up, he got a whole bunch of odd mechanical jobs, and he found out he was really good at them - which meant he could help build up that early infrastructure.
Then there was a huge economic downturn, and he got fired.
It was called the Panic of 1837, and it happened because people were speculating and driving up real estate prices.
Then – I know you’re shocked – there was a crash.
But a few years later, Ezra got a big break.
He knew a guy who knew a guy who you might have heard of... Samuel Morse.
To find out how they laid the foundation for our modern communication system, listen to the segment above.