Here's a fun thing that's started circulating on the Internet. Someone watching footage of the 1928 premiere of Charlie Chaplin's film The Circus noticed a female pedestrian caught on camera who appears to be speaking into a cell phone. Since cell phones did not exist in 1928, the footage seemed inexplicable, leading its discoverer to speculate - half seriously, I guess - that maybe the woman was a "time traveler."
You can watch the footage here. If you want to bypass the rather boring and long-winded introduction, the 1928 footage starts around the 3:00 mark.
So what's the answer to this mystery? Was a time traveler caught on film in 1928?
A commenter on the National Review website who goes by the name of ChugBug supplies a better answer. The thing in the lady's hand, which does sort of resemble a cell phone, is probably a hearing aid.
Yes, there were hearing aids in 1928, and yes, some of them were flat and large, like this object. Since the microphone was located in the flat part of the device, the woman was probably speaking into the mike as she walked along. I don't know who she was talking to. Maybe she was talking to herself.
ChugBug helpfully included a link to a Web page that shows a particular hearing aid, the Audiphone, that would match up very nicely with the mysterious object in the lady's hand.
Admittedly, the time traveler conjecture is more fun, and reminds me of a fine old science-fiction story called "Vintage Season."
Hat tip: Ace of Spades.