Brighter telephone tweets
Aug 21, 2013Posted by on
I wondered how it might be possible to reproduce an article in a modern format (in this case attracting the readership of my family) while retaining as much of the original format as possible. The idea of breaking the article into ‘tweets’ seemed to be one possibility.
While browsing through the January 4 (1922) edition of the Punch or the London Charivari, an article with the title A Brighter Telephone caught my attention. An amusing take on the actual application of what was (then) modern gramophone technology and quite prescient. Old articles, well those that I’m sure my children and grandchildren would regard as ‘old’, are written in what is seen as an ‘old-fashioned style’ and A Brighter Telephone was written nearly one hundred years ago.
I wondered why it didn’t seem so old to me. I think – at least in this case – the technology is not unfamiliar and I can remember being grateful when the GPO deigned to provide a telephone. Also, 1922 was only 17 years before I was born and was the decade that ended with the introduced talking pictures. Who knows – some of you readers may have even been ‘telephone operators’.
The following is a Twitter version of the 1922 article in the Punch or the London Charivari for A Brighter Telephone.
punch@charivari The London telephone exchange are testing gramophone records that say: ‘Hullo! Are you there?’
gb@shaw If properly developed this idea will ameliorate the lot of the public.
s@freud If the gramophone were extended to public exchanges, it could play music to mollify the subscribers.
c@chaplin If the gramophone at the exchange can say “Hullo!” and “Are you there?” perhaps the ‘Telephone Operators’ Polite Conversation’ could be set to music!
h@mitchell It would be extremely difficult to be cross with the telephone if one heard Madame Melba singing, “Number engaged, r-r-ring again please.”
l@tetrazzini Only a churl would bang down the receiver on being called to the telephone to hear Madame Tetrazzini trilling “I’m sorry you’ve been ter-r-r-r-roubled”.
a@einstein Such an innovation might bring its own drawbacks. The gramophone needle may get caught in the groove of a worn record.
n@chamberlain Anyone trying to bring off a large business deal, with minutes to spare, might be exposed to “Have they answered yet-yet-yet-yet-yet..?”
r@wilton In a telephone-box you may hear “Put in three pen-pen-pen-pen..”
j@McCormack The thrifty GPO should encourage this gramophone idea, it would bring business. everyone would use the telephone , not so much to make a call as to hear a favourite such as “I hear you calling me”, or a selection from “Patience”.