In the winter of 1906, the year San Francisco was destroyed by an earthquake and SOS became the international distress signal, Britain’s Punch magazine published a dark joke about the future of technology.
Under the headline, “Forecasts for 1907,” a black and white cartoon showed a well-dressed Edwardian couple sitting in a London park. The man and woman are turned away from each other, antennae protruding from their hats. In their laps are little black boxes, spitting out ticker tape.
A caption reads: “These two figures are not communicating with one another. The lady is receiving an amatory message, and the gentleman some racing results.”
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