Posted by Bernard de Neumann on the MOGS forum on the 28th January
After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, Australian scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.
Not to be outdone by the Aussies, in the weeks that followed, an American archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet and, shortly after, a story was published in the New York Times: ‘American archaeologists, finding traces of 250-year-old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network 50 years earlier than the Australians’.
One week later the Council in Essex reported the following: ‘After digging as deep as 30 feet in Writtle, near Chelmsford, Jack Lucknow, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely bugger all. Jack has therefore concluded that 250 years ago, Britain had already gone wireless.’
Just makes you bloody proud to be British!
Always curious about of the origin of anecdotes like this, I thought ‘let’s Google it and see what comes up’. Nothing better to do, you see, just the MVA Newsletter and there’s no great rush for that! (Tell that one to Barry Powell.)
I didn’t bother to find out where or when it originated, maybe in December and kicked off by an Aussie, but it had gone viral, and there were versions interchanging Aussies, Americans and Brits in all three roles all over the globe, and even in the British version the self-taught archaeologist had made his find in almost every corner of the UK.
But Bernard – I like yours best. Ed.