Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian



Great-Grandfather was really father’s father and mother’s father, but when Frederick’s son came along, he was promoted to being called great-grandfather. Great-grandfather had much experience and liked the days of the past. Times were simpler then, but Frederick liked the new times. He and great-grandfather would often get into discussions about which time was better. things were simpler then; they were less expensive and so forth. Today was great; there were wonderful inventions and so forth. This went on and on and on.

After a time, Frederick had to go to America on business. The entire family was worried, but Frederick said he would send telegraphs and letters. The family did receive letters and grandfather was very happy to receive a telegraph from Frederick saying that he had made it ok.

Frederick later met a woman and got engaged. He sent his family a picture and grandfather was amazed that it was such a likeness of her. He would know who she was if she came through the door. The young couple came back to Europe, but there was a terrible ship wreck and they were stranded for a bit, but were rescued. The family had heard about a terrible ship wreck and were very concerned that Frederick and his new bride might have been on the boat, but they receive a telegraph from Frederick letting him know that they were ok.

Grandfather since gave an annual donation to Hans Christian Orsted in the name of advancement.


The telegraph must have been a great worry-easer when it came along. People could know what happened to their families. People could know things without waiting for a letter and that’s just great. The telegraph, as you may know, was a precursor to the telephone, but the telephone wouldn’t be around a while yet. A telegraph worked using electrical signals sent down a copper wire, a bare copper wire, strung from pole after pole and tower after tower, across the countryside. The language used on the telegraphs were dashes and dots, as in Morse Code. There may have been other languages used as well. The telegraph only transmitted signals and nothing else. It’s either a signal or it’s not a signal. Various combinations of dashes and dots made it possible for people to send messages with just off and on, essentially. This is also a concept used in computing. Your entire computer and all of the internet for that fact, works on this basic concept. Something is either off or it’s on. In the computing world the base language is called binary.


While times may have been simpler in the old days and things were definitely cheaper, something can be said for technology. I know I worry over people and having a cell phone lets me call a person and see if they’re ok. Before cell phones were readily available, not until I was around eighteen, I couldn’t pick up a phone and call someone whenever. If they told me they were going to the store, I just had to guess that they were going to the store. I didn’t know when they would be back or what time they would be there. I had to constantly tell my mother to come fifteen minutes early for everything because she was always late. I couldn’t just call her and ask her where she was at and when she would be there. These days I can call my mom on the cellphone and ask her where she is at. Usually where she is at is only ten minutes away from her house because it takes her forever to get out the door. My mother is not one for punctuality.

Up until I was around eighteen, I didn’t know where people were. Sometimes people would just show up at the house. They would be like, “We were driving down the road and thought of you, and we stopped in.” These days, they call on a cell phone to see if I’m home, they don’t just show up. We’re more tethered to each other these days with technology, but we’re also more accountable for each other because of it. If we cannot readily get in touch with someone via technology, we can know something is wrong. We don’t have to wonder or wait like the family in this story. Sometimes people went on a boat and they never came back and you couldn’t Google their name to find out if they were living a double-life somewhere else.

The ultimate idea is that we move forward and lose some of the charm of the past, but gain a greater presence and advancement in the world.


Get off my lawn you whippersnappers!! I’m going to use my cellphone to take pictures of you misbehaving and send them to your parents!!!

Weigh In

Ok, how is great-grandfather father’s father and mother’s father? What happened in this family?

Is inter-connectivity among people a blessing or a curse?


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