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Charlie Chaplin Movie's Cell Phone-Using Time Traveler Debunked?

Illustration for article titled Charlie Chaplin Movies Cell Phone-Using Time Traveler Debunked?

Last week, the internet was captivated by a Charlie Chaplin movie outtake which appeared to show an extra chatting on a cell phone as she walked through the shot. Turns out it was probably just an old school hearing aid.

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Irish filmmaker George Clarke, the dude in the clip above who was really into the idea of the lady being a time traveler, apparently didn't talk to many hearing experts—a few have suggested that the object the lady is holding is likely an ear trumpet, essentially old-time analog hearing aid.

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LiveScience got the scoop:

"As you can tell from these, old-fashioned mechanical or resonating hearing aids were not necessarily long and rounded," said Philip Skroska, an archivist at the Bernard Becker Medical Library of Washington University in St. Louis. "Short, compact rectangular forms were not unusual."

19th-century resonator hearing aids such as ear trumpets were still made in large numbers well into the first decades of the 20th century, Skroska explained, and the basic designs didn't change much aside from incorporating newer, plastic-like materials.

"Besides, I would expect this woman to be over 50 years old, so using a late 19th century design in 1928 would not be a stretch I think," Skroska said.

OK, fine. Or maybe it was a time traveler from the future using an antique ear trumpet... [LiveScience via FilmDrunk]

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DISCUSSION

Actually, we are all time travelers. We only go forward in time, and we all move through it at the same rate of speed, unless we're on the space shuttle or the space station, in which case we're just moving a teensy bit slower than everyone else. Likewise, if we're living in the polar regions, we're moving a teensy bit faster through time than everyone else. As usual, your actual mileage may vary.