Perils of Long Distance Telephone Calls

The Los Angeles Times • Los Angeles, California • 29 Jul 1904, Fri • Page 16

Tap to enlarge:

🗞 In 1904 The Los Angeles Times warned of a future where long distance calls were common: 

“It is going to make life a little more serious when the human voice can go ricocheting from Cape Cod to the free harbour of San Pedro” 

It warned we’d never escape our enemies:

“In the early days, a man could come out west, change his name, marry another women, become superintendent of a Sunday-school and die respected by the whole community” also citing the just started Panama Canal & men “working on the air-ship idea.”

🗞 It went on: 

📞“That’s the sort of trouble that is going to be caused when this telephone business connects the two oceans.” 

📞“What chance is there now to let “the dead past bury its dead?” 

📞“It will be impossible to lose oneself even by joining the Democratic Party.”

“Some people will hail the achievement as a blessing, but there is a large percentage of the inhabitants of this earth who have never conceded that the telephone in any of its forms, short or long distance, ever was or ever will be a blessing”

The piece finished with a cynical quip: “It is bad enough that talk has always been cheap, but this new scheme is carrying it too far.”

A few years later the 1918 pandemic hit, proving its usefulness.