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The World's First Internet Cafe

Posted by Jim Botticelli  January 19, 2014 12:42 PM

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SouthStationRent-a-Typewriter.10:hour.jpg
Photo submitted by Larry Krasnow. Origin thought to be the Boston Globe

They're all but gone now, the Internet Cafes of the world. Not that you no longer see the tribal non rhythms of large numbers of coffee-shop patrons interacting with the world but not each other. They just aren't called Internet Cafes anymore. For a brief moment in time, the idea of soaking up a coffee shop's heat, plumbing, electricity and good will while nursing a single overpriced cuppa joe was all the rage. And for about a buck an hour why not? It's better than nothing. It's clean, and almost free. And it's still going on albeit wirelessly.

Dirty Old Boston detectives have recently unearthed an amazing factoid. There was a time, nearly 70 years ago, when for .10 an hour one could rent a typewriter at South Station. Proof positive lies in today's photo. There they are, typing letters while waiting on a train. Charming in its quaintness and antiquity, this just goes to show either that people always need to communicate with those out of their range of vision or that people in crowds are not inherently interested in one another.

Please 'like' us on Facebook as Dirty Old Boston. The book Dirty Old Boston coming in 2014
This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Jim Botticelli, a 1976 Northeastern University graduate, is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. In college, he drove a cab and learned the city's cow paths. An avid collector of More »

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