22 Jan 2010
Yes, the internet was alive in the second half of the 1800s, albeit in a rather more limited form. It was possible to find out information from right across the world in a matter of minutes as long ago as the 1860s by using the very extensive telegraph network that ballooned across the globe within a few decades. There is a fascinating book all about this that I can highly recommend called The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage which is available via Amazon and other booksellers. If you thought it was the coming of wireless that connected the world then think again.