Monday, February 26, 2018

Your fun memories of the old telephones!

Historical Photo:
This photo was entitled 'Thoughts Have Wings' by the photographer. I believe he knew what he was talking about. Most kids have BEEN THERE!
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I mentioned older phone systems earlier. I am smiling remembering our phone bills. They were divided:
  ........Local calls----_$____ 
   . long distance calls--$_____ 
 (Long distance could have been the next town)
Mother's day was the Phone company's biggest Long distance day.
Long distance calls were expensive and we all tried to keep them to a minimum.

In the military many times we would use the pay phone instead of our house phones. Change was set aside for payphone calls.

You could tell the operator you would like to reverse the charges and they would ask the person you were calling if they would accept the charges for a call from you. Problem was, you could hear the person you were calling say yes or no. I never did near no, but I know people who did.
 Father's day was the biggest 'reverse the charges' day.

 'I remember city+4 digit' numbers. Many of us were around when prefixes then area codes were added. I do remember the sweet voiced operators, “Number Please?”

Did you ever listen in on party lines?
Did your party line have a ‘line hog’?

There came a time you picked up the phone and instead of 'Number Please?' you heard a 'dial Tone' meaning you could use your 'new' rotary dial phone.  Followed soon by 'Ms. Push button' phone.  And then there was long distance 'Direct Dialing'.

My Sherry went to work part time in High School and had the first phone 'ever' installed in their home.

Once my family had the only phone on the block and mama would send me to get Mrs. Green or Phillips because she had a call.

Old Alexander Graham Bell would be shocked to know what that simple device has grown into.

Oh, did you ever play ‘Telephone’ with string or wire and tin cans?

 I know two people here have watched a one person phone board. Me 'n Paula (anymore?). You watched for a light to come on. Pull an unused back wire plug it in where the light is and say 'Number please'. Then take the front wire and plug it into the number requested. Pull a little switch back to ring the number. Push the switch forward to listen for an answer. The operator could also push the switch forward to sneak a listen on the conversation, or to find out if someone had hung up! LOL (I did find a boy operator on the net)

Nite Shipslog
PS: Little known facts about the USA, from Cousin Tony:  
There are around 5,000 commercial airplanes flying over the United States at any given time.

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Methinks this is the economy seats!


Lisa said...

I remember the old rotary phones. I also remember it being a big deal to have a long phone cord so you could sneak around the corner in the other room and talk in private.
I remember there was a number you could call and it would tell you the weather. Thats was a big deal.

From rainy gtown

Mevely317 said...

Yes, what Lisa said. the time-and-temperature line.

I recall, it was a Big Deal for my parents to call their kin ... usually reserved for holidays. Even then, mother had a little hourglass she'd set out so as not to go over 3 minutes. Once my Brownie troop took a field trip to the building housing telephone operations. Watching the operators work the board seemed so glamorous. :)

Amazing, indeed, the changes we've witnessed. But to tell the truth, I'm not sure getting my first cell phone was as exciting as my parents surprising me with a baby blue 'princess' phone for my bedroom.

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my gosh I remember when the phone calls were so expensive and you had to watch how far you called and the tolls. I feel AT&T took us for our money for a long time. I won't go with them now - they never ever let us out of one dime for any reason.

A. Bell would pass out if he saw it now.


Paula said...

I loved that job and would have almost paid them to work there. Like this post Jack.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I used to get so exasperated over the party line we had. It was almost impossible to get a private line but we eventually did. I think they must have done away with party lines as now everyone has their own private number. Some folks have a cell phone and a home phone, but that is too confusing for me. I can only talk on one phone at a time so I have only one. A cell phone. I cannot believe how relatively cheap it is now to talk long distance. I have unlimited use free for the cost of my monthly bill. We used to limit those calls so we could afford them. How things have changed. This is one that changed for the better !

Dar said...

My twin and I would play on the tin can phones all the was cool. I even showed the grandloves how to do it from their treehouse out in the lawn as far as the string would take them. I also recall my cousin having one of those fancy rotary phones, black and gold, pretty thing. The long distance charges were ridiculous. When my first born arrived, the X was in Germany. It was nearly $40 bucks for that short call but she was worth it. We do have both the cell phone, used for travel, and the land line which is the only one that works when our power goes out........which is too often. Things sure have changed, and like MA says, for the better.
love n' hugs from up north where the Mr. is ' finally ' starting to feel better under our sunny days.

Glenda said...

This post is great!!! I really enjoyed reading the evolution of Ma Bell. I can so relate.
Yep, out on the farm, we had a party line in the fifties; and I do remember phones being "out of order", no service.
In 1970, I was a long distance operator for Pacific Telephone or "PACTEL" and placed a few thousand collect calls from Camp Pendleton. During my training my husband, a Corpsman, came in from the Camp hospital and found me fast asleep, sitting straight up in bed saying "Operator, may I have your number please" or "Ma'am would anyone accept a collect call from Johnny?" TOUGH TIMES. They never last, tough people do. Am so grateful our service men and women currently have the technology to keep in touch with home while deployed.
Thanks, Jack for retrieving the memories!


funny how technology has changed. i no longer have a land line only a cell phone. but i can remember party lines.