The Telephone we take for granted!

by TerryWalstrom 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • TerryWalstrom

    Image result for history of telephone
    March 10, 1876
    : “Mr. Watson —Come here—I want to see you”
    The voice of Alexander Graham Bell is transmitted. He wasn't the first to invent it but the first to own a patent.

    In 1910 telephone "subscribers" had 4 digit telephone numbers.
    Soon, larger cities had 5 digit numbers.
    Mark Twain was one of the first to have a phone in his home.

    The first phones had no dials or buttons. A crank was turned to alert the "Hello Girl" at the substation somebody wanted to make a connection.
    Image result for history of telephone

    To make memorizing a phone number easier, the use of a word for part of the series was employed.

    Up until about the 1950s, phone numbers were alphanumeric, eventually settling on a 2-letter, 5-number system that usually identified the region of the phone number and also aimed to make it more memorable.

    The rotary dial became commonplace and wasn't replaced with touch-tone buttons until 1961.

    There was no Emergency number until the 1980's when Nine One One (911) was standardized.

    The first mobile phone call was made April 3, 1973.
    Image result for smokey and the bandit

    SMOKEY and the BANDIT

    In the 1970's, oil shortages and low speed limits drove people to lawbreaking. Citizen Band portable radios in cars and trucks allowed people to warn each other of Highway Patrol cars hiding on the freeway. A craze exploded and Burt Reynolds had a career boost.
    Image result for earliest cell phones

    The first portable phones had the long telescopic antenna.
    Just watch Wall Street with Michael Douglas and enjoy a chuckle.
    Image result for michael douglas using portable phone

    Cellphones appeared in the 1990's. They were ugly.
    Image result for earliest cell phones

    Do you realize how recently your iPhone was invented?

    Image result for earliest iphone
    Apple released four advertisements announcing that iPhone would be released on June 29, 2007.
    Only seven years later in 2014, the number of mobile phones in the world overtook the number of people.


    I was born in 1947. I lived the first 50 years of my life without a cellphone.
    We had a "landline" and I used telephone booths.
    Image result for old telephone booth in america

    QUESTION: Where did they all go?
    They are in graveyards!
    Image result for phone booth graveyard

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD

    What is Dr. Who going to use if there is no phone booths? Just to let you know Terry we had a old wooden crank phone hanging on the wall when I was a child. We finally go a dial phone in 1962 which was on a party line. One ring was 2 longs and 1 short, the other was 2 longs and ours was 1 long and 2 short rings. Depending on the ring we knew who was getting a phone call. What memories. Still Totally ADD

  • blownaway

    Funny, but I own a 1940s payphone converted to use on a land line but I don't have a land line anymore. A brass candle stick phone by Western Electric. and a 70s Rotary phone. Always loved them. Also there is a working phone booth about 30 miles from my home. I actually saw some kids being told what it was on some kind of field trip, there is a brass plate out front like a historical marker.

  • hoser

    We had a party line until the mid to late 1980’s

  • blownaway

    The phone booth still in operation today.

  • LevelThePlayingField

    Totally cool. I remember using a payphone. At first I had to drop a dime to make a call. That's where the expression came from. Then it went up to 25 cents. Then went out of existence.

  • humbled

    Blownaway—is that in Prairie Grove?!!

  • sparky1

    I am 63 years old this month and do not have a cell phone. In many ways I resist the over mechanization of society and the creation of a techno-human being culture. As an interesting side note, I live about 2 hours from the last town in the United States to give up the crank phone. Bryant Pond Maine gave up the crank phone for dial-up service in October of 1983!

  • cofty

    I used to fix these sort of telephone exchanges for a living.

    They were called Strowger after the funeral director who invented them. His rival's wife worked at the old manual exchange and passed on all the work to her husband.

    I worked on the new electronic exchanges during my last year in BT.

  • TerryWalstrom

    Ahhh, the PARTY LINE!
    It was an economical compromise between a higher phone bill (for private) and sharing the same phone number with an anonymous "other" family.
    Naturally, the temptation was always there to eavesdrop on private conversations.
    If you screwed off the speaker end of your receiver mouthpiece there was no chance your nefarious listening in would be detected.
    This sort of aural Peeping Tomism was a guilty pleasure for many.

    I remember in 1983 when I moved back to Texas from California. I stopped at a phone booth to make a call and dropped in my dime. I couldn't get the blasted thing to work.
    Long story short, after contacting the phone company I discovered the cost of a call had skyrocketed to 25 cents!!
    I remember shouting: "I WILL NEVER pay that much for a call."

    You see, I had lived many a year with the cost at a nickel. When it doubled to a dime--well--that was scandalous.

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