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In 1907, there were six million telephones "online" in the United States.
Note how much technical expertise was required to buy one wisely.

The first Apple computer was a bunch of electronics and some batteries in a wooden box (you had to provide your own case). In both cases, the skeptics were sure there was no future for such esoteric devices.

Sears Catalog - 1908
From the E-Media Telecommunications Archive

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