Category Archives: Technology of the Day

TRR: Episode 77, “If We Could Move to Mars”



Mars has always captivated the mind and imagination of Man. Here we have an essay written by Garrett P. Serviss, who, like Percival Lowell, was a legitimate astronomer, but that did not keep them from wild flights of fancy regarding what we may one day find on The Red Planet.

“If We Could Move to Mars” (1896) by Garrett P. Serviss

The Reader

TRT: 20:20

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 76, “The Wreck of the Titan”



This week marks the 105th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. In this episode, we take a look at a novel written fourteen years earlier which eerily predicted the disaster.

“Futility, or The Wreck of the Titan” (1898) by Morgan Robertson
“The Titanic Disaster Poem” (1912) by J.H. MacKenzie

The Reader

TRT: 24:39

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 42, “Will Radio Replace the Phonograph?”



As we, like every generation before us, face a changing world, it pays to look back and see we are not alone in our uncertainty. Seeing the old and familiar fall by the wayside may cause some anxiety, but it is nothing new. At one point in the early 1920’s, there was apprehension that the new technology of radio would threaten the dominance of the phonograph for musical entertainment. Such is the subject of our selection, taken from the November, 1922 issue of Radio Broadcast Magazine.

“Will Radio Replace the Phonograph?” (1922) by Winslow A. Duerr

The Reader

TRT: 17:12

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 39, “Solander’s Radio Tomb”



In this episode, we offer a story written in 1927 about the then still-new wonder that was Radio. Humorist Ellis Parker Butler wrote the story and it appeared in “Amazing Stories” magazine, and later reprinted there in 1956. Butler was, surprisingly, only a part-time author. Despite writing several books and over 2,000 short stories and articles in his 40-year long career, Butler was a full-time banker.

“Solander’s Radio Tomb” (1927) by Ellis Parker Butler

The Reader

TRT: 22:12

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 38, “The Homeburg Telephone Exchange”



George H. Fitch, the “Smile King,” was a humorist who was popular at the turn of the 20th Century. Fitch was part of the tradition of gentle, observational humor later carried on by Will Rogers and Garrison Keillor. In this episode, we share a story from Fitch’s small fictional home town, Homeburg.

“The Homeburg Telephone Exchange” (1915) by George H. Fitch

The Reader

TRT: 27:09

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 19, “Dots & Dashes (Part 2)”



The telegraph operator was, in many cases, a woman, just as many telephone operators are even today. In this episode, we survey the prospects for the fair sex in the field of telegraphy, which may lead to a decent wage, and, even the possibility of romance across the telegraph wires.

“Telegraphy” by Gerorge J. Manson, from “Work for Women” (1883)
“The Telegrapher’s Valentine” by J.C. Maxwell (1860)
“Wired Love” (1880) by Ella Cheever Thayer

The Reader

TRR: Episode 19, “Dots & Dashes (Part 2)”
TRT: 24:23

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 18, “Dots & Dashes (Part 1)”



Dots and dashes, the language of telegraphy, and later, what became known as wireless. In this episode, we try our hand at the sending key of the original method of sending an e-mail (an electronic mailing), as we explore the world of the telegraph, its origin, and its effect upon the world.

“A Story of the Telegraph” (1905) by John Murray
“Heroes of the Telegraph” (1891) by J. Munro
“Great Inventions and Discoveries” (1911) by Willis Duff Piercy
“The Romance of Modern Invention” (1907) by Archibald Adams
“Along the Smooth and Slender Wires” (1848) by Unknown

The Reader

TRR: Episode 18, “Dots & Dashes (Part 1)”
TRT: 21:49

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.