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  • Retrotech: Email and Text Messaging, 1932-Style

    Posted by David Foster on November 30th, 2019 (All posts by )

    From here.

    This is the service that would be known as TWX…apparently, the name had not yet been assigned when this ad came out.


    8 Responses to “Retrotech: Email and Text Messaging, 1932-Style”

    1. MCS Says:

      Here’s the Wikipedia link, not political so probably useful:

      TWX was the Bell service, provisioned by Western Electric equipment. I used a W.E. 303 teletype to program time share computers in the 60’s.

      Telex was Western Union and used Siemens and ITT equipment.

      The paper tape from a Telex machine could be fed into a computer as an early form of file transfer. The alternative was usually shipping IBM card stacks around.

    2. Bill Brandt Says:

      Bell Labs was a powerhouse of invention.

      Now I look at my land line – ringer turned off because of all the robocalls – and wish they hadn’t broken up AT & T.

      But then where would we be with the rest of communications?

    3. CapitalistRoader Says:

      A facsimile…a FAX! Now I’m getting the hang of this thing.

    4. Bill Brandt Says:

      @CapitalistRoader – I’ll bet that fax cracked the case! Didn’t realize that they were in wide use in the 70s.

    5. MCS Says:

      They weren’t. IMDB says the episode aired 10 Feb, 1990. They were supposed to be much more common in Japan.

    6. David Foster Says:

      The first criminal apprehension credited to the telegraph seems to have been in 1845…the telegraph in question was not of the dot-dash Morse variety, but rather the Cooke & Wheatstone ‘needle’ type.

      More needles…up to 5…provided easier reading and faster transmission, but an additional wire for each needle was required.

    7. CapitalistRoader Says:

      IMDB says the episode aired 10 Feb, 1990.

      The secretary definitely had an early-90s Seinfeld Elaine Benes hairdo.

    8. OBloodyHell Says:

      You want RETROTECH?

      How about the 1945 version of the internet?
      As We May Think
      (no close relation to the PotUS family)

      “Consider a future device … in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.”

      That’s the internet he’s describing, no question.