Early 20th Century Gadgets

We had a power outage in South East Oakville this afternoon and it really brought home how much we rely on the constant supply of electricity.  Julia had gone out and I was busy working on another WordPress plugin. The computers went down except for a laptop and a netbook, which lost their internet connection because the router was down.  By the time she got home the sun was setting and we were discussing restaurants for dinner because we couldn’t cook. The gas heat would run, but the fan wouldn’t blow, so it could get pretty cold.

The mobile phones partially worked, but only over the cellular network since our wifi was out.  The iPhone made a pretty good flashlight, the Android was not quite as bright but was strong enough for Julia to find the big flashlight so she could find some papers she needed.

We have a tech museum shelf in the library that contains some of the wonder gadgets of the last century or two.

Here we have from left to right:

  • entertainment (gramophone)
  • light (oil lamp)
  • database (spike)
  • communication (rotary phone)
  • finance (piggy bank)
  • desktop publishing (typewriter)

The only one that requires power is the phone but it runs on an independent supply.  The two end devices were invented and promoted by the “Steve Jobs” of the turn of the 20th century, Edison.   He was as difficult to work with, he even got himself fired from a couple of his early jobs for being too creative.

All of the museum gadgets are functional, but the oil lamp is out of fuel, I’m going to fill it up as soon as I can find some lamp oil.

Luckily the power came back on in time so we didn’t need to go out or fire up the barbecue.


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Web Developer at Silver Maple Web
Peter is a partner and Web Designer and Developer on Silver Maple Web. Peter has been building websites since 1996. Currently working in WordPress, Joomla! and Ruby on Rails. He has design experience and programming expertise in PHP, Ruby, Java, APL, HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

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