There are many people who believe fiber optics are the future of communication in this country. And for good reason. Fiber optic cables are currently being used to send voice messages, images, videos, and more at the speed of light. The fiber rods are made of glass or plastic and have the capability of sending data quicker and more effectively than the old metal wires that have been used to do the same thing for many years now. But when and where were fiber optics first invented?
THE HISTORY OF FIBER OPTIC CABLES
The history of fiber optic cables actually dates back to the mid-1800s. While the cables themselves weren’t invented back then, the technology behind them was first researched when scientists and inventors like John Tyndall, Alexander Graham Bell, and William Wheeler started toying around with the idea of using the speed of light to transmit information. Over the next 100 years or so, other researchers continued to push forward with the idea of using light to send data before a group of Corning Glass researchers, including Robert Maurer, Donald Keck, and Peter Schultz, first invented fiber optic wires—then called “Optical Waveguide Fibers”—that could carry about 65,000 times more data than copper wires. It was a huge development.
The U.S. government was one of the first big organizations to start using fiber optic cables when they utilized them to link a network of computers together in the NORAD headquarters in Colorado in 1975. Two years later, the first telephone communication system using fiber optic cables was created in Chicago. And fiber optics grew from there. By the end of the 1990s, about 80 percent of the globe’s long-distance data traffic was transmitted through fiber optic cables, according to ThoughtCo. And the fiber optics craze continues today with many companies using it to transmit data quickly both within their own walls and out in the world.