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cartoon of sneakers tied telephone wires
A curious solution devised by the pioneers of telephone technology was to use a pair of sneakers as makeshift telephone wires. They attached a wire between one shoe and the other, then connected the two to a telephone, enabling them to have a much longer wire than was traditionally available. This primitive technique bridged gaps between far-apart houses and buildings.
Though a far from sophisticated setup, using sneakers as makeshift telephone wires was surprisingly sufficient to carry on a conversation with acceptable sound quality. Unfortunately, this strategy didn’t provide much in terms of durability; oftentimes, the wires would surrender under the strain and require new shoes to be substituted.
For several individuals, sneakers spanned the communication gap in the earlier days of telephone innovation, when this was their only recourse. Not until robust materials appeared could this old-fashioned approach be put aside.