The Collective Picture

Vintage Photography Redefined

admin On May - 24 - 2009
1896 telephone Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and Photographstechnology My significant other (being a computer technician) often has lots to say about current technologies, the progress that has been made and potential directions for future developments. The telephone is one common theme in these discussions because it has progressed so much in the past few years. Personally I was late to the cell phone game, avoiding them at all costs because I liked my freedom and didn’t really want to be connected at all times. I cracked about 5 years ago and have had three phones in that time. The first two were difficult to text on, functional as a telephone but pretty much useless in all other regards. Having saved up my Fido dollars for several years I finally cashed them in (after washing my old phone) and was able to get an iPhone. If I hadn’t used a promotional rebate to make the iPhone more affordable for me I probably would not have bought one. I classified it as an interesting device but excessive for the basic uses that I would need it for.

1985. British Telecom. British Telecom Ltd. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/objectid/O101208

1985 British Telecom Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and Photographstechnology

Once I started using it though I began to realize the changes that had been made in this technology and what this new generation of portable devices meant for the future of communication. My significant other and I often comment on our cell phones being semi-replacement laptops, offering many of the basic functions (minus the large hard-drive to store our lives on), this general idea being the direction that I see the cell phone industry taking in the future. No longer do I drag my laptop around with me to check emails or to update my status on social networking sites to ensure my followers and Facebook friends don’t feel too neglected. I leave my MacBook at home and slip the iPhone into my bag. This line of thinking lead me to siphon through old archives to ground me in how far this industry really has come and the diversification that has occurred in the services offered by phones. As an industry that moves at an exceedingly fast pace it is easy to get caught up in the newest, latest and greatest while being blinded to the outdated that has laid the groundwork for more recent advancements. Telephones have profoundly changed human interaction and with each step forward new and different forms of communication are being forged and it’s important to be reflective about these developments, photos being one way to look at this progression. So below are images of telephone lines in times of war, men and woman who worked to service and maintain the networks as well as a few images of old phones thrown in there for fun. These are the lines of connectivity, the forms of communication that have brought people together in ways that continue to be redefined.

1985. British Telecom. Moulded plastic with metal and rubber. Credit; British Telecom Ltd. http://collections.vam.ac.uk/objectid/O101208

1910 Genevive Clark Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and Photographstechnology

Taken some time in 1910. Genevieve Clark. George Grantham Bain Collection Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

1910 1915 Edw. Bannick Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and Photographstechnology

Between 1910 and 1915. Edw. Bannick. George Grantham Bain Collection. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington.

1917 WW1 Swiss army Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and Photographstechnology

1917. The First World War, Eerste Wereldoorlog, Switzerland. Maneuvers by the Swiss army in the mountains in summer. Putting up a telephone pole to accomplish a telephone connection. National Archief Flickr Commons.  

1918 German rifle as telephone wire pole Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and PhotographstechnologyAug. 1918. German rifle being used as telephone wire pole. Advance East of Arras. Arras, France (vicinity). Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defense. Library and Archives Canada.

39 0584a Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and Photographstechnology

1940.  Standing Rock Agency Photographs. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Standing Rock Agency.1943 Telephone line man Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and Photographstechnology

Jan. 1943 A lineman a top a telephone pole guides wire from transmission tower for circuits 11 and 12. He makes sure that heavy transmission wire will not break telephone wires. Shipshaw Power Development project. Photographed by Ronny Jaques. National Film Board of Canada. Library and Archives Canada.1944 Canadian Artillery testing phone line Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and Photographstechnology

25 January 1944. Gunner R.G. Marquis of the Royal Canadian Artillery (R.C.A.) testing a telephone line near San Tommaso, Italy. Canada. Dept. of National Defense. Library and Archives Canada.1955 City telephone room Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and Photographstechnology

August 17, 1955. City, telephone room. Adolph B. Rice Studio. Library of Virginia, Prints and Photographs.1961 Long distance switchboard Bell Telephone Lines of Connectivity: Telephones and Photographstechnology

Dec. 1961. Long-distance switchboard at Bell Telephone Co. Ottawa, Ont. Photographed by Chris Lund. National Film Board of Canada. Library and Archives Canada.

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