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Greetings from Seattle, Washington, USA

Monday, June 1, 2015

Convenient Telephone Service While Travelling in 1909

From our collection of vintage postcards ...


The card leaves us to believe a person could place a telephone call in 1909 from the train as it rolled along. This would be about 64 years before Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher, would make the first mobile telephone call from a handheld mobile device (the beginning of cell service in 1973).  We don't know how this telephone service from a moving train was accomplished but the postcard seems to indicate that it was available. According to an article on Wikipedia about the History of Mobile Phones this kind of service would not be available for several more years. Perhaps the phone connections the postcard refers to could only be made while the train was in a station and stopped.


The cursive writing on the back on the card is almost too perfect ... leaving us wondering if it was professionally prepared so all the sender had to do was address and mail the card. What do you think? The card postmark shows November, 1909.


The Oriental Limited was operated by the Great Northern Railroad. 


Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

16 comments:

  1. Happy June. Hope you enjoy the slowdown.

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  2. Neat postcard. Enjoy your slowdown!

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  3. I always enjoy your posts, whether they are daily or whenever-y. I learned quite a lot in this one. :-)

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  5. Sweet card! Die vrouw heeft hetzelfde kapsel en kleur als ik. Oh, oh ... Ik hou zoveel geschiedenis en uw kaart doet me denken aan mijn voorouders. Mijn grootmoeder was 1909 :-)
    http://shininglikestarsdutch.blogspot.nl/

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  6. 'en route' but as you said, perhaps at station stops. :)

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  7. Thank goodness we moved on hence the mobile phone : )

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  8. John, hope you are enjoying this good time of year. We also have several excursions in our future. The picture reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live Lily Tomlin operator.

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  9. I like how there is just a name and a city for the address! Simpler times.

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  10. I would say the provision of news, telephone service and afternoon tea would still be welcome things on a train ride today! Great post card.

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  11. I too thought of Lily Tomlin like Linda Kay. : )
    I think the writing could be real on the post card. I think people wrote a lot neater back then.

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  12. I also thought of Lily Tomlin :)

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  13. Great postcard! Thanks for sharing, John!

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  14. Very nice postcard! I like the lady's outfit! The handwriting on the postcard is beautiful. It looks close enough to the same hand that addressed it that it could have been someone with very nice handwriting, but you are right--it is so perfect it's almost hard to believe it was not professionally done. The telephone service sounds interesting!

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