The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

For occasional articles, snippets and announcements by the Resident Historians.These articles are presented in date order, but if you explore the back-catalogue, you may find much of interest. Historical information doesn't really go out of date! Any member of the F&DLHS may add an entry or make a comment to an existing entry once they have got their userID and password from the Webmaster.

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Monday, April 04, 2005

Telephones and Carrier pigeons.

A Boston audience listening to a speech
by Graham Bell 15 miles away (1877)

I was puzzling over the date of some photographs of Cavendish when I noticed some telegraph poles. I therefore assumed the date to be in the nineteen twenties. I thought I ought to look up the date of the introductionn of the telephone just to check, and was surprised to find that, by the turn of the twentieth century, there were three million telephone subscribers. Indeed, by the start of the introduction of the picture postcard in 1880, there were already 50,000 subscribers. One article I read lamented the demise of the carrier-pidgeon as an effective means of communication, as a result of the introduction of the new-fangled telephone. It added to my store of knowledge by asserting that the Rothchilds fortune was based on the effective use of carrier pigeons. Evidently, they had a man at the Battle of Waterloo with several pigeons. As soon as the result became certain, the agent let the pigeons fly with the result, and the Rothchilds therby had three clear days with the certain knowledge of victory whilst the stock-market remained in jitters awaiting the result. Whenever a rumour of the defeat of Wellington swept the market, the Rothchilds bought. They thereby had carrier pigeons to thank for being able to buy a considerable number of stocks at knock-down prices. As soon as the news of victory arrived in London, the stock-market leapt in value to the enormous profit of the Rothchilds.


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