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February 23, 2008

Question Shop

There are so many questions and so little time to find answers for them. Before there was Google and other search engines, people relied on friends, family or books to solve their mysteries.

In 1924, a company from New York launched a question answering service: people asked questions by phone and received their answers after a short while.
Offering to answer any reasonable question telephoned to its office, a firm dealing in general information is said to have set up business in New York City. Subscribers to the service are permitted to put as many queries to the "question shop" as they desire. Each patron is given a code name and, it is reported, can receive aid from the station at any hour of the day or night. It is also claimed that eighty per cent of the queries do not require more than two minutes for an answer.

This reminds me of Kevin Fox's imaginary Google circa 1960.

{ Found by Modern Mechanix. Image used by permission. }


  1. It also reminds me of a classic movie featuring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey called Desktop.

  2. Funny - reminds me of the Public Library. Oh, but the library is free to maybe they're not so similar...


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