How to reach me:
Call me at 808 964-1494 or email leslie@leslielang dot com.
Please note that Hawaii time is GMT -10. (This means when people on the U.S. East Coast sit down at their desks in the morning, it’s still the wee hours in Hawaii.) Click for an easy time zone converter.
This great old photo is of Alexander Graham Bell placing the first-ever New York to Chicago telephone call in 1892. It’s the sort of enthusiasm I like to think editors and others have when they call me to discuss my writing for them.
Seriously, though, imagine how exciting that must have been.
“The City of Chicago greets the City of New York.”
“The City of New York returns the compliment and wishes you all success you are to have this week.”
“The City of Chicago returns the greeting and congratulates the Nation on an American Invention which shall supplement the telegraph and enable the people of the continent to communicate orally where they now resort to the mail and the telegraph.”
Seated at a telephone in the American Telephone and Telegraph Company’s office in Quincy Street yesterday afternoon Mayor Washburne conducted Chicago’s end of the above conversation. At the other end of the wire was Mayor Grant of New York. With this simple ceremony the long-distance telephone between Chicago and New York was formally placed in service.
Sixty persons were present to see it done. They were telephone men, merchants, and newspaper men. There were 150 people around Mayor Grant at the company’s office in Cortland Street, New York, and the company so managed matters that everybody got a chance to test the workings of the line. They invited all to stand beneath two funnels fastened to the gas fixture and keep perfectly still. They did so and heard the “Star Spangled Banner” played by a cornetist in New York. Then the New York crowd gathered around similar funnels while Cornetist Cobb of Johnny Hand’s orchestra played the national anthem for them….