Back in the 19th century, travel wasn’t always so easy. Especially travel across the Atlantic. Victorian engineer Alexander St. George came up with an idea centuries ahead of his time: what if there was a different way to travel from New York to London? Like, say, ? And what if, through an ingenious system of mirrors, you could see from one end of the tunnel to the other? Well one century and a little modern magic later, it seems that his dream has come true…
Starting in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the plan was to tunnel outward from the center towards both cities. When the drills emerged next to the Tower Bridge in London and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, it was proof: Alexander St. George had finally succeeded! Who wouldn’t love to travel between the two biggest cities in the world easily–or barring that, at least be able to with the people on the other side?
Funnily enough, the original St. George decided that travelling on an ocean-length tunnel was perhaps a tad inconvenient. But with a cross-ocean tunnel already on it’s way, what’s an eccentric victorian to do? And that’s where the Telectroscope came in: an ingenious system of mirrors that would allow a person on one side of the Atlantic to see a person on the other side, all in real time!
Funded by the London-based creative company Artichoke, the Telectroscope is actually an art project, and not a real live tunnel telescope from one side of the ocean to the other. However, for visitors to New York or London, it’s a fun way to ‘travel’ to the other city without actually having to cross the ocean: you can wave at your nephew, check out the scenery, or even reserve a spot ahead of time to propose marriage.
Even though the Telectroscope is fictional (and temporary) it’s our human capability to dream impossible inventions that allowed us to think up computers, and even travel to the moon. Enough people agree that the Telectroscope is one of the most popular attractions in London and New York–for the next couple of weeks. Gazing into the scope, it is possible to wonder: do dreams really do come true? MR