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 séances 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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