This holiday season, people can phone their relatives or their loved ones who separated and unable to share in Christmas family traditions. The telephone call is truly a superb christmas present connecting hearts and minds of those that may be separated by thousands of miles and yet the Christmas spirit can reach remarkable well across countries and oceans.
Some notes about the phone:
- Alexander Graham Bell said the idea for the telephone came to him in
Brantford, Ontario, in the summer of 1874.
- Bell's granddaughter recalled in 1950: "Grandfather never said 'Hello' on the telephone, and it exasperated him that this greeting had become general, instead of 'Hoy, hoy,' which he considered more euphonious."
- In 1877,
Massachusetts businessman Charles Williams installed the first private line - in his home, so his wife could reach him during the day .
- In 1878, Emma M. Nutt became the first female telephone operator. Previously, young boys had been used but their language proved to be unsuitable .
- In 1879, exchanges listed only the names of subscribers, who resented numbers as an affront to their individuality .
- In 1889, William Gray invented the pay phone after he had been refused a call to his sick wife from work.
- In 1915, to inaugurate transcontinental service,
Bell repeated his "Mr. Watson, come here" message. This time his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, was in
San Francisco and he replied it would take him a week.
(Sources: The Canadian Inventions Book,
Baltimore Sun, wire services.)
OK, well not telephone poles butâ€¦
The South Pole was reached on December 14, 1911, by Roald Amundsen. Because of a navigation error, his British rival, Robert Scott, missed the pole by one kilometre the following month. Except for an overflight in 1929, no one visited the pole again until 1956. In the winter, it is sometimes colder at the South Pole than it is on the surface of Mars. The world's lowest temperature was recorded at Vostok,
Antarctica, in 1983: minus 89.2 degrees Celsius.
Have a much â€œwarmerâ€ Christmas!