This is who I’d like to talk to –

Mr NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MEETS Mr WATKINS, THE MAN WHO MADE THE VODER TALK

Mr Grosvenor, you and your wife visited my father, Stan Watkins, in his office at the NY Worlds’ Fair in 1939. I’d like to ask you some questions about your visit.

What did you talk about? Did you try out all the exhibits in the AT&T building? Did you have a winning number in the lottery which let you make a free phone call? Did you ask the Voder questions? I wonder if it could say “National Geographic Magazine” or “Welcome Mr Gilbert Grosvenor.”

I have a photograph of you three together. But I never asked my father what you talked about, or what he showed you of the exhibit he managed. If he had a Voder in his office, he could have showed you how it worked.

And did you ever have an article about the Voder in your magazine? I have boxes of them from 1926, so perhaps I should get out the 1939/40 ones and have a look. Google hasn’t come up with anything.

Or maybe I can find details of your trip to NYC and the 1939 Worlds’ Fair in the National Geographic Archives. Put that trip on my itinerary; you haven’t answered my questions, so I’ll have to come and see for myself.

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