I don’t think many know that on this day, in 1927, Canadian Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, made the first trans-Atlantic telephone call to the UK. He apparently chatted with British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. Maybe they chatted about King’s sÃ©ances where he’d talk to his dead mum or maybe, they talked of that year’s Oban gold medal winner, John Wilson – or maybe not [you have to give me points for the segue to the bonus super piping trivia].
So. I stumbled on this fascinating(ish) fact today and it got me to thinking how seriously lucky we are today to communicate so easily and over honkingly great distances, too.
I remember, a couple of years back, standing on at the side of Loch Langass in North Uist and sending and receiving BlackBerry messages. There I was, standing on a pretty great example of desolate landscape, a heap of land in the midst of the North Atlantic, and still, there I was, in “real-time” contact with most of the rest of the world. That’s amazing. Really.
Think about it: it wasn’t until 1956 that direct overseas dialling came to be [think, too, on that “dialling” point, how many of us are now adults and have never “dialled” a phone]. Until 1956, all overseas calls were operator-assisted [and more piping trivia: D R MacLennan, half-brother to George Stewart, won the Oban medal, that year, in 1956, his double gold medal year].
Technology has brought most all of us so much closer together and I have to think it’s a really good thing. I guess, how close is too close, too much, is maybe a thought for another day.
Just a reflective thought for a really lazy Sunday afternoon.
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