The invitation this week on Sepia Saturday,
according to the prompt picture,
is a discussion over telephones, switchboards and women.
I did feature my own mother before working the switchboard for Quebec Telephone in the '50s,
pictures of my father in his bachelor days and one of him casually on the phone,
also in the 1950s.
I featured those EATON catalogs from which you could order by phone.
I even mentioned Ernestine,
my fave phone operator.
A [very] brief summary of its history
its presence in some media,
in the last half of the 19th century,
greatly influenced research in phonautographs, telegraphs and acoustic telegraphs,
which would eventually lead to a patent for the first telephone in 1876.
If telephones had a certain appeal,
they were not readily available to everyone,
and for those who had them,
they had to share lines,
and ask an operator to place a call.
each household had its own autonomous [and private] line.
No more eavesdropping!!
While car phones existed by the mid-1940s,
it is only in the 1960s that they became more common place for the privileged.
To think that nowadays,
it is now illegal to speak on your phone while driving...
I bet the inventors didn't think of that back then,
the risks due to the attention deficit...
But the presence of telephones in our life is insidious,
pervading every spheres,
as it was not enough we had one at home and one in the car,
we now had to carry one at all times with us!!!
From the early 1980s,
these huge phones were ridiculous
and I remember seeing some businessmen standing proudly on a corner,
speaking on one of these phones,
I remember one talking in one of the corridors of Place Ville Marie,
looking all self important,
turning this way and that,
looking if anyone was checking him out.
The young women passing by didn't pay him the least bit of attention.
Only me watching his feeble attempts at getting some attention...
Major fail here!!!
But these phones had one advantage given their bulk
as they could double as a blunt instrument if the user was mugged on the street...
The design has improved,
the size was reduced,
and it became readily more available to everyone.
I see even some homeless folks around here who have one...
I'm not even kidding here!!!
Here you see actress Ida Lupino manning the board in 1942.
She was a most prolific actress on the silver screen and then on television,
and the first female director.
And this is where this post takes off on another tangent.
Telephones in the movies!!
They are ever present and yet rarely properly acknowledged.
So many movies feature phone conversations...
featuring Grace Kelly as the unfaithful wife,
her plotting husband organizes her murder but the plan falls flat
as she kills the hired aggressor.
The plot thickens as she becomes the police's primary suspect and is sentenced to death,
until the lover and the detective uncover the truth...
A love triangle, jealousy and blackmail,
and a phone call that comes a little too late...
Leave it to Hitchcock to bring a play up on the screen
and make it a memorable masterpiece.
1979 brought us this psychological horror movie
about a babysitter being harassed by phone
only to find out the threat was much closer to home than she had figured.
Woody Allen on the phone
in this 1986 classic.
Is there a funnier man?!?
a 2002 American thriller,
featuring Colin Farrell,
is about an arrogant NYC publicist,
held hostage in a phone booth by a sniper.
Exciting drama that changed his life forever...
I found a couple of gems on the net.
one where you never have to say goodbye.
And this montage by Christian Marclay in 1995.
And on a final note,
why create in 1932 an iconic superhero...
...only to have him changing his clothes into a phone booth?!?
To say the least...
This was my journey into movieland and beyond
while covering this week's topic.
I hope you've enjoyed this
and please hold the line,
I'll connect you directly to
Thanks for calling!!
Your call is important... [to me].