Advertisement for the Filbert 2790, the phone of 1911.

During the winter of 1911, magazine advertisements were recommending that bewildered American men who were shopping for Christmas presents, should buy their wife a Bell company telephone (image featured above):

Man, Get Her a Bell Telephone

That you Fondhusband?  This is Clause, – S. Clause. Wondering what to get your wife for Christmas? Suppose we have a telephone put in for her?

You and I know its wonderful usefulness in the rush of everyday business, but in the home – why man, I’m surprised you’ve been without it so long.  It’ll make life much more pleasant for your wife and she’ll always have things ready on time.

Take down your Bell Receiver and get Filbert 2790 this afternoon. The service costs a trifle, you know, and it’s paid for monthly.

Filbert 2790

To any 21st century “Fondhusbands” still struggling to purchase their wives and families the perfect Christmas gift we say: what have you been doing for the last month? And, as it turns out, 100 years later buying the latest electronic is still in fashion.  According to one list, electronics are actually dominating the best selling gifts this holiday season.  The list includes: the 4th Generation Apple iPod, the Palm Pixi Plus Verizon Cell Phone, the Apple Macbook Pro and the Amazon Kindle.   In fact, only two of the ten gifts are not electronic: the Burberry Brit and Love by by Sex in the City (we were surprised by this too.. apparently people really love their cologne) and the Amazon Gift Card (which is probably used for buying e-books for tablets… hence, this is essentially a debit card for electronics and is therefore, basically an electronic itself). This year it seems that Santa’s sleigh will be packed with some high tech gifts, making it a very 21st century holiday season.

To paraphrase a mentor of Spiderman, “With great gadgets comes great responsibility”.  Just remember, when you’re clearing the way for your new techy presents, be sure to properly dispose of last year’s electronic goodies – or you may get coal instead of the iPhone5 in Christmas 2012.  As we’ve reported in the past, the e- waste problem can zap holiday spirit.  About 400 million tons of e- waste is created every year, resulting in devastating health effects on entire communities.  Given the shorter and shorter lifespan of electronics – i.e., how frequently we replace them (especially around the holidays) – it is likely the amount of e-waste will increase in the future. Unless, we do something about it.  Is it too early to start talking about New Year’s Resolutions?  For now, visit to learn how you can sell your old electronics for reuse or recycling.  Do it before Christmas and use the cash towards holiday shopping. Tis’ the season to update your wife’s Filbert 2790.

Advertisement for the iPhone4s, the phone of 2011. 

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