Wyatt on the Phone: “Can You Hear Me Now?”

Illustration by Bob Boze Bell

In 1926, Wyatt Earp wrote his autobiography with a friend, John Flood. In it Earp recalled using a telephone in Tombstone (taking a call from Benson), on March 15, 1881. Although a phone system was being discussed for Tombstone in April of 1881, by the end of the year the lines only connected the major mines around Tombstone and a few locations in town like the Tombstone Stock Exchange. In spite of this, it’s interesting that Wyatt would remember using a telephone in Tombstone. It totally jars our sense of that time and place.

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