Requires no skill to operate


The man who invented the world’s most intrusive device described his instrument as: “The telephone may be briefly described as an electrical contrivance for reproducing in different places the tones and articulations of a speaker’s voice so that Conversations can be carried on by word of mouth between persons in different rooms, in different streets or in different Towns
. . . The great advantage it possesses over every other form of electrical apparatus is that it requires no skill to operate the instrument”.
[My italics]

[A]lexander Graham Bell (if ever a person’s name was better suited for his invention, I’ve yet to find), couldn’t have imagined what his invention would lead to in the 21st century or for that matter what idiots would make use of it.

So what has the latest reincarnation of Mr Bell’s invention got to do with CabbieBlog I hear you muttering amongst yourselves? Well, driving in London is becoming ever more stressful with pedestrians engrossed in using their i-phones walking into the road, then looking up with a startled expression when they see my cab bearing down on them.

Women are often accused of lacking spacial awareness, but men, sorry chaps it’s usually the male gender, that seems engrossed in their phones, and whatever they are doing on it, certainly excludes any road sense.

So when Alexander Graham Bell informed the populace that his “apparatus . . . required no skill to operate he should have added the caveat – but retraining might be necessary in the art of crossing a road, for how to talk on one’s phone and cross London’s busy roads needs a skill that many have failed to acquire.

FOOTNOTE: Around the mid 1800’s many were trying to invent the telephone, the most unfortunate was the American Elisha Gray who actually filed something called a patent caveat – a sort of holding claim that allowed one to protect an invention that wasn’t quite yet perfected – on the very day that Alexander Graham Bell filed his own, more formal patent, unfortunately for Gray, Bell beat him by a few hours.

Thanks for checking out CabbieBlog just don’t do it while crossing the road.

And thanks to Dan Forys at for permission to use his cartoon. Check it out the site is very funny.

2 thoughts on “Requires no skill to operate”

  1. Bell invented the telephone, i.e, an audible device which you place contiguous to your ear, leaving the vision unimpaired.

    The mobile phone users who are such a nuisance today, wandering about like zombies, getting in my way on the pavement, as well as yours on the highway, are not listening and talking on the phone but reading the screen and typing on the keyboard. Their ears are unimpaired but their eyes are occupied. They are not really using the telephone (the word means “sound at a distance”) in the original sense of the word.

    Texting and Instant Messenger are a strange reversal to an earlier age of communications using the written word. Unfortunately, they cause those of their devotees not sensible enough to perform their transactions sitting down to wander about erratically like drunkards.


What do you have to say for yourself?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s