NOVEL WEEKLY SERVICE KEEPS PHONES GERMFREE (Jul, 1937)

This reminds me of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

NOVEL WEEKLY SERVICE KEEPS PHONES GERMFREE

Telephone subscribers in a number of eastern cities may now avail themselves of a service that undertakes to keep the instruments free of germs. Once a week, a uniformed representative calls, undoes a kit resembling a physician’s case, and applies an antiseptic paste that is said to keep the telephone in sanitary condition.

6 comments
  1. jayessell says: May 24, 20117:44 am

    a) And as a result, the Golgafrinchans who remained on their planet
    all died due to a deadly virus spread by use of the telephone.

    b) Ohh… No one wanted to admit they had toilets that needed cleaning?

  2. GaryM says: May 24, 201110:54 am

    I knew the first comment would be a Hitchhiker’s reference.

  3. John Savard says: May 24, 201111:03 am

    Indeed. This item shows that Douglas Adams had a real-life inspiration when he wrote that scene into his novel…

  4. Mike says: May 24, 201112:20 pm

    …and by 1940 all germs were eliminated!

  5. John Savard says: May 24, 20116:34 pm

    Looking at the largest version of the photo, I saw that the legend on the woman’s sleeve read “Hygienic Phone Service”. I was able to search for that, and found a New Yorker article from 1939 which noted that Walter Morris started the service, and that a similar commercial service existed in England (hence, HGG). Other references show that they were still in business up to at least 1954.

    Also, Walter Morris’ wife Isabelle was apparently a Vaudeville performer.

  6. Thundercat says: May 26, 20113:15 pm

    I also believe that Nigel Tufnel’s father was a professional phone sanitizer.

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