The Switchboard Operator – a Film from Bell

I’m obsessed with switchboard operators. Every now and then a job appears thanks to new technology and is then suddenly wiped out thanks to newer technology and no job sums that up like that of a switchboard operator. Here’s a short film from Bell about the lives of switchboard operators.

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What people in the 1900s thought the year 2000 would look like

Great article in yesterday’s Washington Post about “France in the Year 2000”, a collection of fancies published as postcards in fin-de-siecle France, featuring inventions such as the chicken egg hatcher above and this electric scrubbing brush machine.

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Wilhelm Reich and the Theory of Orgone Energy

File this under “stuff THEY don’t want you to know”… I’ve recently become fascinated by all kinds of pesuedoscience, and read up extensively on Orgone Energy, one of the many forms of mystical “LifeForce-like” energies described by gurus and quacks alike throughout the history of mankind. Here’s a great documentary looking into the “science’ of…

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Westinghouse – A Full Feature Documentary

Every day for five years I would stand at Newark Broad Street station in front of the big brick abandoned Westinghouse factory there and wonder what marvels had come out of it. Probably just washing machines, but still they are marvels. That building was demolished, and had been heaped into a pile I called Mount…

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Vintage Video: A day in the life of a rookie B-29 Flight Engineer

Another video for all you my old aircraft enthusiast friends. The Flight Engineer was responsible for everything from an extensive per-flight check, through managing engines and other critical systems in flight to ensuring that all necessary repairs and maintenance were preformed after landing. All aspects of an Engineer’s role are shown in detail in a…

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The Future of TV – According to the Zenith Radio Corporation in 1955

Research, development, and design projects related to solid state physics being undertaken by the Zenith Radio Corporation laboratories in the 1950s. Advances in color television technologies are highlighted.

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In the 1940s making long distance calls wasn’t easy

This promo from AT&T promoting the intricate workings of the Bell System, and those who operated and maintained it. According to the Beatrice Portico Archive, The Bell System, a.k.a. “Ma Bell” or simply “THE telephone company”, was not a “company” but rather an aggregate term for AT&T encompassing 24 Bell operating companies providing local exchange…

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A Lovely Documentary about Programmed Cell Death to Pass the Time on a Sunday morning

Death by Design – The Life and Times of Life and Times I believe this was shown one night on BBC2 as part of their Horizon series. By the end of it I had become obsessed with the concept of Programmed Cell Death or Apoptosis, and spent a lot of time researching it until I…

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Those Magnificent Russians and their Flying Submarines

They put the ‘mental’ in ‘experimental’. War History Online recently reported on a Russian experimental submarine-plane designed around 1937-38. The project never left the drawing board as too many factors complicated the design. In other words, it was a plane able to submerge in the water. It underwent many modifications, in its latest version it…

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