General Question

Charles's avatar

OK, tell me, is this lady using a cell 1928?

Asked by Charles (4823points) May 3rd, 2012
Well, this is pretty crazy: someone found what appears to be someone using a cellphone in the background of Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 film The Circus. Go ahead and take a look for yourself:

The footage in question starts at 2:43 in the below video. What do you think?

If not, what is she using?

Anyone have any explanations?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

He is just scratching his head.

tom_g's avatar

I don’t see a cell phone.

Note: This f*cking guy wouldn’t shut up for 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Here is the updated link. I really wish the concept of an introduction and titles, etc for a youtube video would disappear. Fortunately, youtube allows us to provide the links at a particular time.

syz's avatar

Well, that’s actually pretty curious. It appears that the elderly woman is holding something by her left ear, and she appears to be speaking aloud. Not that I believe there’s any time travel involved, of course. Well executed prank? (It’s apparently new enough that it hasn’t showed up on yet.) Or maybe she was just nutty?

The notes under the clip has an interesting point;

Western Electric Model 34A Audiphone Carbon Hearing Aid
Lutz Ferrando Ear Trumpet

@rebbel I wasn’t aware that there was a remake. How can you tell it’s in 3D?

rebbel's avatar

I see the cell phone, sure, but haven’t you all noticed that the flick is in 3D?
It most probably is the remake Cameron did of the movie…

tom_g's avatar

Also, there is some question as to whether s/he was holding a hearing aid. I don’t know and I’m not sure there’s much more to do here. We’re looking at a blurry clip and applying our current knowledge of technology to this clip.

Plus, are we really trying to determine if someone traveled back in time to appear in a silent movie talking on a mobile phone? To who? Shouldn’t we try to explain how that would be even a possibility before trying to figure out if this is indeed something that did not yet exist?

syz's avatar

Here’s another link.

Brian1946's avatar

Perhaps she’s holding a Siemens 1924 hearing aid.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
marinelife's avatar

It’s a hearing aid. There were at least two models that looked like that.

chyna's avatar

I think it is a hearing aid too, but who the heck is she talking to? There is no one around her that appears to be listening to her.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
syz's avatar

@chyna Maybe she was asking for direction? It was a silent movie, after all, and everyone could have been just chatting away during filming.

DrewJ's avatar

It’s a hearing aid.

Hypothetically, even if a time traveler went back in time with a cell phone, it wouldn’t work. You need a network. – And most the networks don’t even work properly in 2012.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Jeruba's avatar

Ridiculous. If you had looked at this footage 15 or 20 years ago, you wouldn’t have said “Hey, look, that woman is walking around talking into a cell phone that doesn’t exist yet” because you wouldn’t have seemed to recognize that now-commonplace gesture.

Instead you would probably have thought, as I do, that she’s holding her hand to her cheek or the earpiece of her glasses for reasons known only to her, and it wouldn’t be worth any more thought or attention than that. Likewise, a person could mime the act of holding and turning a steering wheel, and we all know it signifies driving a car, but we wouldn’t have thought so a hundred years ago because we’d have had no frame of reference for that conclusion.

AshlynM's avatar

She’s obviously holding something hard and awkward shaped to her ear, that much is clear. Inventions back then were pretty big and clunky. Maybe it’s a tape recorder? Most everyone on other forums are saying it’s a type of hearing aid. But how do you use a hearing aid like a cell phone? How do you talk into a hearing aid? That makes me think it almost has to be something else she’s holding.

Was this really filmed in 1928? This film could just be a hoax. Has anyone actually seen the full movie? What sort of technology for mobile devices existed in 1928?

SpatzieLover's avatar

Sometimes, old people just talk to themselves. I find nothing odd about her mouth moving. She could’ve been moving her dentures about and not talking at all.

It looks like a hearing aid to me.

josie's avatar

No. Cell phones did not exist in 1928. But you already knew that. So what is this question really all about?

The_Idler's avatar

Peharps she was saying, “Come on! Work, you damned useless thing!” to her hearing aid.

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