Introduction by George Kupczak of the AT&T Archives and History Center
A tour of the World through the "eyes" of the telephone, circa 1933. The premise - and promise - here is that the telephone WAS your gateway to the world, though the images shown, travelogue-style, couldn't have been transmitted through a phone (yet). The film 'visits' Siam, India, The Philippines, Peru, Palestine, Egypt, Austria, Europe, Scandinavia, Italy, and Australia. There's some great early footage of festivals and leisure activities in each country (plus, of course, kangaroos for Australia). The film, like a travel promotion, was simply meant to sell what countries you could reach from your living room telephone, should you have a reason to call (and could afford it).
In 1932, the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) held a conference in Madrid. 80 countries attended - representative of the scope of international telephony at the time. The ITU was (and is still) the international equivalent to the U.S.' FCC, a communications regulatory agency. A 2003 ITU conference drew 174 countries - as much a factor of the growth of telecommunications as of shifting of geopolitical boundaries.
Note: Gateway to the World mentions a musical director, but the soundtrack put in here is not original to the picture; the original soundtrack has been lost.
Original effects: Loucks / Norling Studios
Footage courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ