In 1860, the man in the center of this photo, Albert Myer, became the first-ever signal officer of the U.S. Army. (He's seen here some months later during the Peninsula campaign of the Civil War.) While the government liked Myer's ideas on signaling well enough to establish the U.S. Army Signal Corps at that time, the early years of the undertaking faced any number of challenges--ungainly technology, bureaucratic infighting, lack of funding and staffing. But the seed was planted in those early days, and the Signal Corps has now been around for 150 years (making this year the sesquicentennial), at the forefront of technologies from the telegraph to radio, radar, and satellite communications. Photo by U.S. Army
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