As the first splinters of sunlight spread their warmth upon the South Bank of the River Thames this morning, it became clear that after more than a century, the vision of Victorian engineer Alexander Stanhope St George had finally been realized.
In all its optical brilliance and brass and wood, there stood the Telectroscope — a 37 feet long by 11 feet tall dream of a device allowing people on one side of the Atlantic to look into its person-size lens and, in real time, see those on the other side via a recently completed tunnel running under the ocean. (Think 19th century webcam. Or maybe Victorian-age video phone.)
Particularly fun is the story’s footnote, which looks as if it may have come straight from the press release:
Â The Telectroscope will be on display and open to the public 24 hours a day in London and New York until June 15. Artichoke is arranging requests to synchronize special reunions between friends and family or, the company hopes, maybe even a marriage proposal.