The telephone

Phew! There were so many telephone calls today! I am a telephone operator at Bell Canada, so it’s my job to direct calls. Whenever someone picks up the phone receiver at home, a small bulb corresponding to that telephone number lights up on the switchboard. I have to answer it and forward the call to the requested destination. Being a telephone operator is very demanding. I have to be extremely focused and polite. The phone is a new invention, and very popular. It costs about $6 a year to own one. But since the average worker only earns $7.78 a week in 1901, only rich people and businesses can afford this service now.

Manufactured goods

There have been all sorts of new inventions at the beginning of this century. The newspapers and catalogues are full of ads. Many of these products are imported from the United States. And the first cars have arrived in Montreal. I wish I had one—and electricity in my home, too. Who knows? Maybe one day we all will!

Every day there seems to be a new invention. Most of them are manufactured goods; that is, products made in a factory. We now have Crayola crayons and toasters from General Electric.

I don’t know where the world is headed with all these inventions, or if this progress will ever end. In fact, a man named Albert Einstein just published a theory on relativity. But will it be useful? I have no idea…

View timeline here in French at: http://www.lignedutemps.qc.ca/t35740/lecture

Author:   Service national du Récit de l’univers social