Blogging Up The Works

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mr Watson, Come here, I want to see you.

For reasons of shopping, housework and all sorts I didn't get to hear the Heart news this morning so, rather than miss a day of news blogging, I thought I would look back at the news for March 10th. And I discovered it is the 136th anniversary of what I think is probably the most amazing invention ever.

On March 10th 1876, Alexander Graham Bell picked up his prototype telephone and made the first telephone call uttering the words in the title.

I have always found the telephone interesting. Like most kids I did the two cans attached by a piece of string thing and I also remember having a plastic version of the same system which must have some connection to a Gerry Anderson programme such as Fireball XL5 of Supercar.

I remember as a cub scout going to learn how to make a phone call from a public payphone. That in the days where you pressed button A to connect and button B to return your 1d if there was no answer. Our phone "numbers" still had letters in them. Ours was EAL 5234, part of the Ealing exchange. Using the phone at home was still quite special. We didn't really phone friends very often because we saw them at school and we could survive until the next day without contact, unlike the present generation. If it was really necessary to speak to my best mate I'd nip round to his house and see if he could come out to play. We had old dial phones obviously, and then push button phones. We even had a trim phone with it's strange warbling ringtone.

But the thing that makes it such an astonishing invention for me is that I can pick up a phone and speak to someone virtually anywhere on the planet within a couple of seconds. It doesn't matter how many thousands of miles away they are, they are just a few key-punches away.

And of course the things we can now do with mobiles and data sending etc is impressive but it still doesn't beat punching a dozen or so numbers and speaking to a friend or relative on the other side of the world and then sounding so close you could say "come here, I want to see you".


  • He may have used it just to utter that phrase, but I managed to make a whole career out of it!

    By Blogger Masher, At 7:07 AM  

  • It is an amazing invention. I remember when I was a child and we would go to a neighbours house to make a call, once a year, to family in USA. The call had to be booked in advance and the connection took ages to be made, but being able to speak to foreign parts was and still is wonderful.

    By Blogger Toffeeapple, At 1:50 PM  

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