52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Technology

I have always found technology advances with the telephone fascinating. That’s probably because in my lifetime, I have spent a LOT of time on the phone.

My childhood home had one telephone  — a heavy black rotary dial phone that sat on a built-in telephone stand in the hallway. I spent hour upon countless hour lounging on the floor in the hallway with bare feet propped up against the wall, chatting and giggling with my friends. I’m sure we were talking about homework and not about boys. (wink wink)

Picturephone to iPhone

Unisphere at the 1964 New York World's Fair

Me with my dad in front of the Unisphere at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

My first glimpse of the future of communications technology was at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. The Bell System pavilion introduced the picturephone. The picturephone was a big hit at the fair because you could see and talk with another person in a nearby booth in the pavilion. Bell System predicted that every home would some day have a picturephone, so of course, I couldn’t wait to have my very own.

Fast forward 47 years later, and I finally have my own picturephone. But instead of the bulky system that I saw at the World’s Fair in 1964, my picturephone is a portable iPhone that fits in my pocket. With this modern day picturephone, I can call friends and we can see each other while we talk. I can also listen to my favorite radio stations in New York and New Orleans, add ancestors to my Ancestry.com tree, shop for a new pair of shoes and watch live streams of breaking world news — all in the palm of my hand. The technology is even better than I ever dreamed it could be!

About 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

For the third year, Amy Coffin of the We Tree Genealogy Blog has created 52 weeks of prompts for genealogy bloggers. The theme for 2011 is 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History. These are shared on the Geneabloggers.com web site, hosted by Thomas MacEntee.

Week 8: Technology. What are some of the technological advances that happened during your childhood? What types of technology to you enjoy using today, and which do you avoid? This challenge runs from Saturday, February 19, 2011 through Friday, February 25, 2011.

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