‘Scarcely believable’: 1919 cartoon’s prediction of ‘pocket telephone’ stuns internet

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Image: Twitter/@ShashiTharoor

Wireless telecom technology has seen a lot of modifications over the decades. While the introduction of this tiny device has brought the entire world to our fingertips, it also leads to some occasional challenges. Though it has immensely helped users communicate with others anytime and anywhere, it can even produce distraction at any crucial moment, resulting in additional stress and hassle. Following this concept, renowned author and politician Sashi Tharoor has come up with a rare reference that will surely blow your mind. It can seem unbelievable but a cartoon comic in 1919 quite accurately predicted the nuisance that humanity could face with the introduction of the modern-age mobile phone.

The cartoon was created by popular English cartoonist W.K. Haselden. The description below the drawing explained, “The latest modern horror in the way of the invention is supposed to be the pocket telephone. We can imagine the moments this instrument will choose for action.”

The comic depicted an individual facing weird problems due to his wireless telephone. Haselden anticipated the telephone would start ringing in difficult situations like when the person is in hurry, his hands are full, walking in the rain, enjoying a concert, and other events.

Dropping a photo of the cartoon, Tharoor wrote in the caption, “Scarcely believable, but predictions about technology (usually wide off the mark) sometimes were eerily prescient. See this 1919 cartoon, when fixed-line telephones were still rare, which anticipated the mobile phone & the nuisance it could turn out to be 80 years later.” Relatable right? Internet users certainly thought so.

A person praised the artist and noted, “This is absolutely a gem of a cartoon. The artist could anticipate an entire Century.”

A user tagged it as a “pretty humorous prediction.”

Another one stated, “Pretty sure this was considered comical instead of it being prescient at that time. I can think of many visionary scatological jokes.”

An individual said, “Well so true sir that it wasn’t even ever thought by people today, The boon at the cost of bane.”

Since being shared on the internet, Tharoor’s post has accumulated hundreds of likes so far. Isn’t it fascinating how Haselden could predict the problems of the technology-driven world more than two decades ago?

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