Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates the telephone to Queen Victoria in 1878 – “I’m on the throne!”

Posted on March 3rd, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

To celebrate the birth date of Alexander Graham Bell (born in Edinburgh on this day in 1847), here is a newspaper report from 1878 about the interactive demo of the workings of the telephone, given by Alexander Graham Bell to Queen Victoria in 1878.

Bell’s demo by royal appointment took place at Osborne House in January 1878, and it looks as though the experiment went very well – luckily for the Queen and Bell, PowerPoint hadn’t yet been invented to amuse.

Especially interesting is the account of the songs that were played down the phone, which perhaps suggests that the royal chit-chat of ‘What do you do?’ and ‘Have you come far?’ don’t easily translate to phone conversations.

Then again, ‘Go on, give us a song!’ would certainly help to enliven many of the monosyllabic “I’m on the train” lines that pass for conversations these days – though the line, “I’m on the throne!”, does have great appeal.

alexander graham bell ad queen victoria

Source: Staffordshire Sentinel – Thursday 17 January 1878

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000346/18780117/039/0004

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013 at 11:18 am and is filed under Headlines from History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates the telephone to Queen Victoria in 1878 – “I’m on the throne!””

Jeannette RookOctober 6th, 2015 at 2:01 am

I’ve the movie where Don Ameche. From trading Place and Loretta Young. I love the part when in the movie The part with queen Victoria

Leave a Response