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This Week in Tech History: Birth of Fiber Optic Communication

On this edition of "This Week in Tech History", Chris tells us of the first fiber optic telephone traffic as well as the start of FM stereo broadcasts.

1941 – Igor Sikorsky accomplished the first successful helicopter (or heliocopter as it was called then) lift-off from water near Stratford, CT.

1947 – Zoomar arrived. No, this is not about some comic book superhero or space alien. Zoomar is a lens demonstrated by NBC-TV in New York City. The Zoomar lens is a device that can feature close-up and long distance camera shots from a stationary camera. Eventually, the lens would be scaled down for use by regular photographers, not just for television. There are many different kinds of close-up/long distance lenses today, including the zoom lens named after the original Zoomar.

1961 – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave approval for FM stereo broadcasting. FM stations to that time had been broadcasting in mono.

1972 – Apollo 16, commanded by John Young, landed on the moon.

And this week in 1977 – Optical fiber was used to carry live telephone traffic for the first time.

Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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