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Flashback Friday: The Nation at Your Fingertips

by Sean P. Aune | March 23, 2012March 23, 2012 11:00 pm PST

Flashback FridayIt’s hard to believe there was a time where the idea of dialing across the country without assistance required a 10 minute film to explain it.

This 1951 short from Bell Systems – which eventually would be AT&T – talked about the amazing advancements in technology that allowed someone in New Jersey to call someone in San Francisco without the aid of an operator.  These days I wonder if anyone can even remember the last time they actually talked to a human operator.

In this hyper-connected world we live in now, it’s always fascinating to me how much effort and work it took to do something as simple as calling across the country now, something that we all take for granted now.  Not only do we take cross-country calls for granted, but the idea now that we just dial a number with no letters involved in it and we can reach the desired party while they’re walking down a street, far removed from their home.

True, this is 61-years-old now, but when you think of it in the grand scheme of the world, that’s the blink of an eye, and technology has changed immensely.

Another thing that always amazes me about these old films?  Can you imagine if we still made these for every advancement in technology?  YouTube uploading would increase like never before.


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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