Learn about John Kay, the inventor of the flying shuttle in this short biography on the Cotton Town web site.
The optical telegraph was used for long distance communication. This particular invention was the first dependable means of long distance communication. You can read about the history of this invention on the Telecommunications museum website.
Kempline's Speaking Machine
This page at Wikipedia, describes Kempline's speaking machine. This machine was the first device that could produce not only sounds of speech but also whole words and sentences.