The Telephone Disaster

This is a family owned postcard which was not ever written or sent. I know nothing of its origins, but it came my way when I took over some of the family postcards in my early teen years. This means I have held the card for more than fifty years.


One imagines that this disaster did not affect many people since it occurred on January 8th in 1908 and there will have been very few telephone users then. We can see the pole has been bent over and the location is Church Road in Haywards Heath.

A search on the web reveals that I have one of the less dramatic postcards of this event. Icing up of wires caused mayhem in the Sussex town. Poles were broken and wires down all over the place. Well, it would certainly have been a disaster if you wanted to use the telephone back in 1908.

For me, this was always a slightly humorous card. I just couldn’t see that one bent pole constituted a disaster. But I now know there was much more to the problem than just this.


As per usual back in Edwardian times – people came out to pose for the photographer.


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