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Flashback Friday: Telephone and Telegraph

by Sean P. Aune | March 9, 2012March 9, 2012 11:30 pm PST

Flashback FridayNext time you pick up your phone to send a text to someone across the country, or even the world, it might be fun to remember this video.

As a rabid texter, it’s amazing to think how much work it would have taken years ago to send those simple messages that I fire off rapid fire each night.  Or how our own Jon Rettinger and Mike Perlman are currently in Switzerland for the Geneva Auto Show and I’ve been using Whatsapp to get updates from them on content.  The film you see in this post is from 1946, and to think that 66 years later we would have the equivalent of a telegraph office in our pockets is astounding.

No months of training.  No one manually making connections between two points.  And, most especially, no one having to adhere our words to pieces of paper.

I will say this video did have one shocking moment for me and that was the “facsimile machine.”  I had no clue that something like a fax machine existed that far back.  That must have been a total mind-bender for folks, and I can only imagine what that service would have cost.

So next time you text someone, “Wat u up 2 tonight?” just remember what a process that would have been in 1946 or earlier.  After you do that, then you can gripe about how much unlimited texting costs because it is ridiculas.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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