There were some fairly bright people in the world around 1900

In the salon of the apartment there was an earphone hanging beside the fireplace. I had listened to this idly once or twice, but it was completely dead and I had not the faintest idea what it was for. Then one night after dinner, Dr. Max Mertz, the kapellmeister of Isadora’s school, who was visiting us, unhooked the earphone and listened to it. His face took on a beatific expression. I asked him what he was listening to and he immediately waved me down, telling me in my own home, with perfect German manners, to shut up. He now resumed his listening and his expression varied between deep puzzlement and that of someone listening to celestial music. The earphone was connected directly with a microphone in the proscenium of the Paris opera house and was a service supplied for a very reasonable fee by the telephone company. It was called the Opéraphone, and I mention it only to show that there were some fairly bright people in the world around 1900, and that the whole idea of wired shows for which one pays is not a new idea.

– Preston Sturges, Preston Sturges

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