“Das Pferd frisst keinen Gurkensalat” – The horse doesn’t eat cucumber salad – these were the fairly unfamous first words ever said on a telephone… And rest assured much bigger nonsense has been spoken on phones since 1861. That was the year German inventor Philipp Reis introduced a new device called the “telephon” to the Frankfurter Physikalischer Verein. He used the difficult to understand sentence to prove that words could be properly transmitted at a distant end of the new machine.
Reis actually succeeded, and his invention, originally meant to transmit musical tones, worked pretty well for speech. However, he failed to properly claim the patent so that only a few years later A.G.Bell could claim novelty.
This Frankfurt monument was set up in 1919 in Bockenheimer Anlage, close to where the Frankfurter Physikalischer Verein used to be, to honour Reis who also was from the region.
The two naked men caused a scandal in 1919 as they drew more attention than the attribute itself, the telephone. Today, close by Hamburger Am Turm, a fancy illuminated Burger Stall draws even more attention away from the guys on the phone.