Far Speaking (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #500 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

Charming Western Electric film about the history of long-distance telephone service up to 1935, and the technological innovations that made it possible. The film is framed by a silly scenes of a couple in 1877 who get their first telephone––the wife expresses skepticism that it will ever catch on––followed by an ending scene of the same couple, elderly in 1935, getting a call from their granddaughter in Japan (this time the wife insists that it was the husband who was originally skeptical). Between this are technical explanations of how long distance developed. These are kept lively by showing interesting graphics and animations of the devices involved, as well as a well-done down-through-the-years montage sequence. It all comes off as charming and fun, which seems to be typical of films made by the old Ma Bell.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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