Nineteenth-century History

“Beware the Inventor”

1911 Telephone Ad

1911 Telephone Ad

I found something quite amusing from an 1865 Boston newspaper:

A man about 43 years of age giving the name Joshua Coppersmith has been arrested for attempting to extort funds from ignorant and superstitious people by exhibiting a device which he says will convey the human voice any distance over metallic wires. He calls the instrument a ‘telephone,’ which is obviously intended to imitate the word ‘telegraph’ and win the confidence of those who know the success of the latter instrument. Well informed people know that it is impossible to transmit the human voice over wires, as may be done by dots and dashes and signals of the Morse Code. The authorities who apprehended this criminal are to be congratulated and it is hoped that punishment will be prompt and fitting, and that it may serve as an example to other conscienceless schemers who enrich themselves at the expense of their fellow creatures.

2 Comments
  1. February 18, 2009 1:16 pm 

    This is priceless! Joshua was way ahead of his time.

  2. February 18, 2009 2:16 pm 

    That’s exactly what I thought!

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Explore History Rhymes
Random Featured Articles
Nineteenth Century German History: Revolution in Nineteenth Century Germany (1848-1849)

Nineteenth Century German History: Revolution in Nineteenth Century Germany (1848-1849)

By the end of the fifth decade of the nineteenth century, the prevailing atmosphere in Germany was that of extreme change. The people were tired of oppression, censorship and of the ruling class thinking of themselves as immune to these issues. Hans Joachim Hahn sums it up nicely when he writes that...
The General Mining Act of 1872

The General Mining Act of 1872

When gold was discovered in California in 1848, it caused a mass-migration of prospective miners to the west. Unfortunately at that time, the US government had very few mining laws, practically none of which were effective, and without a significant presence in the newly-acquired state of California...
Who were the real cowboys? (Part 2)

Who were the real cowboys? (Part 2)

The history of the cowboy is a story that begins long ago. What we now think of as a uniquely American tradition is not solely American at all. Cowboy tradition first originated in mediæval Spain with the hacienda, or estate. The haciendas belonged to wealthy landowners and were generally, but not ...
Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: Idaho Springs, Colorado

Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: Idaho Springs, Colorado

There are few mining towns of the old west which are still operational. Most mining operations were shut down for a large variety of different reasons and the towns supporting them then slowly dried up and eventually became ghost towns. Idaho Springs, Colorado, however, is one of the few which are s...