Videophones As Imagined In 1910 Still Had Dancing Webcam Girls

I'm ashamed to admit I was surprised someone had the videophone figured out as early as 1910. I also need to apologise to that old crazy guy in the park—your Prohibition-era webcam stories may have been true after all!

OK, it's a sketch of a concept for what the French thought videotelephony would look like in 2000, not a working videophone, but still it shows people were thinking big at the time.

In fact, even earlier in 1878 a wily inventor named George du Maurier actually published a conceptual upgrade to the era's "speaking tubes" using this drawing below, which depicts a "viewing display" to go along with that generation's literal series of tubes.

Only in 1927, with the help of IBM, would the traditionally accepted view of a "videophone" come to pass. The screen displayed at brisk 18 frames per second and was run using one those room-sized computers. The video was one-way, but the audio allowed then Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, seated in DC, to speak with an audience in New York City. [Wikipedia - Thanks, Blam!]

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