Join the Conversation


  1. The picture on the “screen” is quite obviously not a real part of the photograph. The man on the screen appears with better contrast than the user in front. We don’t even have screens today that could appear that dark under flash photography. A CRT from that era would have had a light grey colour under direct light.

  2. Can anyone find a reference to a videophone system earlier than 1927’s Metropolis by Fritz Lang? (In retrospect, I imagine that the sci-fi fans here will bury me in citations…)

  3. they took a picture of a bald guy holding a phone, and then they pasted that picture on the mocked-up “tube”. And then took a picture of that. Look at the 2:30 and 4:00 positions around the bald guy. You can see a shadow of the photograph cast on the “tube”.

  4. From Britannica:

    “The first public demonstration of a one-way videophone occurred on April 7, 1927, between Herbert Hoover (then secretary of commerce) in Washington, D.C., and officials of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T) in New York City.”

    “This was followed by the first public demonstration of a two-way videophone, on April 9, 1930, between Bell Laboratories and AT&T Headquarters, both in New York City.”

    Obviously, AT&T must have secretly had the technology for several years before this.

  5. Gilmoid Anonymous here. I have a National Geographic from early 1937 about a wonderful tour of Berlin. In addition to television phones in post offices they also had movie theaters with tv screens and a system of pneumatic tubes that could send mail anywhere in the city in a matter of minutes.

  6. 80 years after being demonstrated, 120 years after being imagined, and still no one wants them. Poor videophones.

    Now, slap some brass on there and call it a “polyharmonic televideograph” and you’ve got yourself a business model.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *