Hi guys! Gael here. 😊 Yesterday, I was doing research on 19th-century communication technology for a scene I’m working on in The Gryphon Chronicles Book 8 and came across “speaking tubes,” the Victorian version of an intercom. Check this out! And so very steampunk!
Speaking tubes, also known as voice pipelines, date all the way back to 1849. Way before Jake’s time. How cool! Have you heard of these? Oh, my sisters and I would’ve had great fun playing with these as kids.
Clearly, speaking tubes would be useful in an office or factory setting (or a very large Black Fortress, ahem!). But they were also used in large middle- to upper-class Victorian homes to connect various regions of the house, particularly, servant work areas.
So, instead of yelling up and down the stairs to family members or staff all day long, all you had to do was: 1) blow into the correct speaking tube to signal the person on the other end to open their side (when not in use, the tube ends were fitted with whistle flaps), 2) then the person on the other end opened their flap, and 3) speak normally into the correct tube that would then transmit the message. There were multiple tubes running to and fro all throughout the house.
I would imagine that you’d have to be careful what you say, lol, when speaking tubes were around. You might think you were speaking the latest gossip in private around the water cooler when in fact you might very well be broadcasting the latest scandal to the boss, or the entire office.
The below image is from 1903. Do you see the 4 speaking tubes on the side of the desk? Judging by the scene in the picture, where do you think those tubes might be connected to? Would speaking tubes be handy in your house or work?
For more info on speaking tubes:
By Photographer not credited - http://www.officemuseum.com/photo_gallery_1900s.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9744722
Midsummer's Day occurs later this week, and you know what that means -- the fairies are restless! Folklore tells of great celebrations as fey folk, sprites and pixies dance around the fairy rings on every barrow beneath the midsummer moon.
Happen across them, even by accident, whatever you do, don't step on any mushrooms or you might make them angry. You could find yourself whisked off to fairyland, their captive forever!
Pictured below is Sânziene dancing honoring the fairies during the Cricău Festival in Romania. (Not to far from Janos's castle in the Carpathian Mountains, by the way.) This celebration takes place annually on June 24th.
Do you celebrate Midsummer's Day? How? Do share!
By Saturnian - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26838120
We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with the writing of Gryphon Chronicles Book 8. Probably about 6 more weeks of actual writing and then this installment goes into post production. Yeehaaw!
We decided to take a day off to refill our creative wells. For us, that almost always involves nature. A hike in the mountains did the trick. Thick woods, creeks, a waterfall, and all the sights and sounds that the Laurel Highlands has to offer. Ahhhh! Feeling ready to dive back in to the final push of this book.
What refills your well?
What will tomorrow hold? We have no idea.
Visit again soon and find out!
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