While change occurs constantly and often rapidly in history, especially since the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the pace of change accelerated dramatically in the last third of the nineteeth century. America went from the horse and buggy and steam power to automobiles and electric power in a very short time. Communications by telephone, the invention of the typewriter, the widespread use of electricity, the development of the internal combustion engine, all propelled the nation rapidly into a brave new world. Railroads, which had linked the nation since 1869, entered a period of rapid growth and development in the 1880s that would cause them to dominate American transportation for more than a half century. People like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell came to symbolize the genius of American inventiveness.