Henry James is thought to have had one of the first ever telephones installed in Rye in 1912. In a letter to a Mrs Ford he writes excitedly “I am on the telephone now – 51, Rye, if you please – and am quite proud and heartened up at being able to be conversed with”. Having the “superior power of sound” seemed to bring him great comfort as he was recovering from a bout of shingles. The room where it was kept then became known as the telephone room, and James made it available to his many guests as a writing space.
Plastic telephone, Rye 271.