We tend to think of roads in the pre-motoring age as meandering rural backwaters. In some ways they were (and it was cycling organisations who first organised for improvements to roads) but these changing conduits were also conduits for change, as shown by this illustration.
Road clutter started early. These roadside telegraph poles are from an illustration used in a local newspaper in 1888. And roads had been high-tech since the 1840s. The USA and Europe were connected with a submarine telegraph cable in 1866.
Spotter: Alan Kind of the Byways and Bridleways Trust.