Tivadar Puskás

(b. 9/17/1844, Pest – d. 1893)

After finishing his primary and secondary education in Budapest, Puskás continued his studies at the Technical University of Vienna. After being the head of an established travel agency, in 1874, Puskás traveled to the US to try his luck in the new world. Here he became a colleague of Edison in the United States in 1878, then the European representative of the great inventor. Upon his return to Europe, he established Europe’s first telephone exchange in Paris (1879), worked on the electric lighting of London (1882), and the telephone network in Madrid (1883). In Budapest, the world’s fourth exchange commenced operating in 1881. It was in this city that another of Puskás’s inventions, “the speaking newspaper” (Telefonhírmondó), was first put into practice on February 15, 1893, sending news and music to subscribers as a forerunner of modern telecommunications. Puskás was a genius of online content: His service featured up-to-the-minute stock reports and sports results, live music, a newsroom delivering late-breaking news, and programming for children.

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