On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made perhaps the most famous phone call in history, from his Boston laboratory, summoning his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, who was in the next room, with the following words: “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” A phrase so short, the entirety of the message could have fit into a tweet.
Little could the Scottish-born scientist know that less than 130 years later men and women the world over would be using an iteration of his primitive device to play Words with Friends when they should be working and teenagers would use it to type random letters like LOL to their best friend Meagan for no apparent reason.
Bell was a pioneer of the greatest societal-changing bleeding-edge technology of his era. One can only imagine, then, what his very first phone call might have been like, had he had the advanced technology of Skype internet video calling available for this momentous occasion. The following is a dramatic reenactment of how many scholars believe the call might have gone.
BELL: Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.
BELL: I said, Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.
WATSON: I’m sorry, Mr. Bell. I can see your lips moving, but I’m not hearing anything.
BELL: Oh, dear. I can see you, Mr. Watson, but I cannot make out a word of which you speak.
BELL: I can see that you’re trying to impart a message, but alas, I am not able to detect the sounds emanating from your lips.
WATSON: Still nothing. Sorry, sir. By George, I’ve an idea. Perhaps you’re muted. Might that be the problem?
BELL: Oh, that’s much better, Watson. Can you hear me?
WATSON: Yes, Mr. Bell. I hear you ju$% fi# $#(%$ $%! Um, as I was say- [The audio drops suddenly.] Like I … unable to #$&% …you’re … &$##(*!@
BELL: What in the Lord’s name are you trying to impart, my dear Watson? I am hearing all sorts of ruckus, and I am barely able to comprehend a word you utter! Continue reading “Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone call – using Skype” »