Here’s something you don’t see every day:
Some wonderfully evocative phrases:
- allen bowling feeling bitter
- woodfull declining warners sympathy
- one side unplaying cricket ruining game
- time decent men get out game
So where is all this from? Here’s the story:
Due to restrictions on commercial radio in the United Kingdom in the 1930s, radio stations were established on the continent to beam programs directly to the United Kingdom. The main station was situated in Paris. One of its advertisers was the Gillette Safety Razor Co. which sponsored reporting of the controversial 1932-33 cricket series played between Australia and England in Australia. These were the days before live radio and television broadcasts of international sporting events. Each day a reporter cabled very brief descriptions of play to Paris where they were transformed into full scripts which were then broadcast to the United Kingdom.
The State Library of New South Wales has seen fit to make the cables available to the world at large, a great and laudable gesture. You can read all about it here, and get to the original cables as well. How wonderful.
Looking at the cables reminded me, at least in part, of Twitter, in terms of the brevity of message, the use of abbreviated words, the terseness of communication. And I couldn’t help but smile at the “business model”, which, bluntly put, was “Typescript, commissioned by Gillette Safety Razor Company”. How long before I receive sponsored news on Twitter, with just a few tweaks on the 1930s model? One way becomes two way, the subscription process is democratic, the subjects covered are infinite, and the writers are global microbrands in HughSpeak?