In 1843, Scottish inventor Alexander Bain invented a device that could be considered the first facsimile machine. He called his invention a "recording telegraph". Bain's telegraph was able to transmit images by electrical wires. Frederick Bakewell made several improvements on Bain's design and demonstrated a telefax machine. In 1855, an Italian abbot, Giovanni Caselli, also created an electric telegraph that could transmit images. Caselli called his invention "Pantelegraph". Pantelegraph was successfully tested and approved for a telegraph line between Paris and Lyon.
In 1881, English inventor Shelford Bidwell constructed the scanning phototelegraph that was the first telefax machine to scan any two-dimensional original, not requiring manual plotting or drawing. Around 1900, German physicist Arthur Korn invented the Bildtelegraph widespread in continental Europe especially since a widely noticed transmission of a wanted-person photograph from Paris to London in 1908 used until the wider distribution of the radiofax. Its main competitors were the Blinographe by douard Belin first, then since the 1930s, the Hellschreiber, invented in 1929 by German inventor Rudolf Hell, a pioneer in mechanical image scanning and transmission.
Prior to the electrical telegraph, nearly all information was limited to traveling at the speed of a human or animal. The telegraph freed communication from the time constraints of postage and revolutionized the global economy and society. By the end of the 19th century, the telegraph was becoming an increasingly common medium of communication for ordinary people. The telegraph isolated the message (information) from the physical movement of objects or the process.
Telegraphy facilitated the growth of organizations "in the railroads, consolidated financial and commodity markets, and reduced information costs within and between firms". This immense growth in the business sectors influenced society to embrace the use of telegrams.
Worldwide telegraphy changed the gathering of information for news reporting. Messages and information would now travel far and wide, and the telegraph demanded a language "stripped of the local, the regional; and colloquial", to better facilitate a worldwide media language. Media language had to be standardized, which led to the gradual disappearance of different forms of speech and styles of journalism and storytelling.
Originally the second was defined as 1/86,400 of the mean solar day, which is the year-average of the solar day, being the time interval between two successive noons, i.e., the time interval between two successive passages of the sun across the meridian. In 1874 the British Association for the Advancement of Science introduced the CGS (centimetre/gramme/second system) combining fundamental units of length, mass and time. This second is "elastic", because tidal friction is slowing the earth's rotation rate. For use in calculating ephemerides of celestial motion, therefore, in 1952 astronomers introduced the "ephemeris second", currently defined as
the fraction 1/31,556,925.9747 of the tropical year for 1900 January 0 at 12 hours ephemeris time.
The CGS system has been superseded by the Systme international. The SI base unit for time is the SI second. The International System of Quantities, which incorporates the SI, also defines larger units of time equal to fixed integer multiples of one second (1 s), such as the minute, hour and day. These are not part of the SI, but may be used alongside the SI. Other units of time such as the month and the year are not equal to fixed multiples of 1 s, and instead exhibit significant variations in duration.
The official SI definition of the second is as follows:
The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.
At its 1997 meeting, the CIPM affirmed that this definition refers to a caesium atom in its ground state at a temperature of 0 K.
The current definition of the second, coupled with the current definition of the metre, is based on the special theory of relativity, which affirms our spacetime to be a Minkowski space. The definition of the second in mean solar time, however, is unchanged.