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Thread: Old and new telephones.

  1. #1
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    Old and new telephones.

    Photo is a wall mounted crank phone and a cell phone. The crank phone was built in my fathers shop ca. 1946 and I helped build it. He had a contract and made thousands. On the stand is my current phone. The technological advance in one lifetime is, to me, astounding. Of course we had the black dial phones in our homes by then but the old cranker was still in wide use also.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "Folks is funny critters."

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  2. #2
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    Very cool, Frank. My sister has one of a similar vintage in her kitchen, but hers doesn't have a neat story to go with it like yours.

    Your photo showing the differences between the old and new reminded me of this one:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
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    My FIL has quite a collection of phones and Bell memorabilia since he retired from there, even part of an old switchboard. Need to help him get it all out of boxes one of these days and get it all displayed.

    I am also barely old enough to remember my parents leasing their phones from the phone company. Had a large selection of cream, squash yellow, pea green, lipstick red, and black to choose from. Also old enough to remember party lines too.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    Darren, when I was a kid you had a choice of phones: Black "Candle Stick" if it went on a desk or table, Black "Wall Phone" if it was hanging on the wall. Hollywood celebrities paid an unbelievable high price ($25) and got Candle Sticks with a chromium cover. And, yes, there were still a lot of hand crank wall phones still in use (these were usually on a 10 party line).

    Hey kids, a 10 party line was just that, one phone line going to 10 houses. All of the phones rang whenever any one of them was called. House #1 might be one ring, space one ring etc. House #2 might be two longs, space, or two shorts or whatever the phone company set up. Of course Rob's nose neighbor would listen in to all of the calls. Can't you imagine calling your girl friend knowing that 5 or 6 nosy neighbors would be listening in.

    Never give an 88 year old an opening---You WILL get an "Old man story."

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    JimB
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C Bradley View Post
    Hey kids, a 10 party line was just that, one phone line going to 10 houses. All of the phones rang whenever any one of them was called. House #1 might be one ring, space one ring etc. House #2 might be two longs, space, or two shorts or whatever the phone company set up. Of course Rob's nose neighbor would listen in to all of the calls. Can't you imagine calling your girl friend knowing that 5 or 6 nosy neighbors would be listening in.
    Hah I remember our first telephone (we may well have been one of the last places in north america to have them) was on a party line. Didn't have a phone until we moved out "to town" (it was only about 8 miles to the local burg current population of 580, which is down a bit I think). We also payed some usurious rate to the telco to rent the "any style and color you want as long as its black, hangs on the wall and looks like this one" phone as well. You could tell when someone was snooping though because the line would get a bit of an "echo" to it (at which point I remember Dad yelling at them). Might have been an artifact of the phones being several miles apart.

    That's a cool phone and a good story Frank. The one thing those old crank phones like that had was style. Agree on the technology curve, can you imagine instantly sending a letter to someone across the country WITH real life pictures even 20 or 30 years ago? The new phones make the "sci-fi" tricorders from start trek look sad (although we still don't have the health scan feature yet..).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim C Bradley View Post
    All of the phones rang whenever any one of them was called.
    We were on a 3 party line, early '60s. Dad used to think the old woman across the road spent an awful lot of time on the phone, until we realized she'd just put the handset off hook so's it wouldn't ring.

  7. #7
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    Agree on the technology curve, can you imagine instantly sending a letter to someone across the country WITH real life pictures even 20 or 30 years ago?
    Yes. I am a history buff. Right now I am reading a book set in 1803 about an English naval adventure. A ship was sent from England, around the Cape Horn of southern South America to deliver a letter to Peru. It did not come back so another ship was sent to try to discover the fate of the first ship. It was found and they both returned but had to fight some sea battles along the way. The time to deliver the letter and report back was almost a year and involved the loss of a number of lives. Today, one click would do it in a second. Amazing.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
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    I remember going to my uncles farm and they were on a party line system, we only answered it is it was three rings.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    My wife worked for years for GTE. Started as a operator and latter became an equipment Tech. The first female equip. tech. in our area. She has a small collection of phones, including one of those wood ones hanging on the wall. It still has the original batteries in it. And yes, I was raised in the era of party lines. What a hassle, and you had to really "watch what you say, someone on the party may be listening" and "don't stay on the long, someone else may want the line", ah, the good old days. Well at least it was better than having the government keeping track of you....
    "We the People ......"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Douglass View Post
    My wife worked for years for GTE. Started as a operator and latter became an equipment Tech. The first female equip. tech. in our area. She has a small collection of phones, including one of those wood ones hanging on the wall. It still has the original batteries in it. And yes, I was raised in the era of party lines. What a hassle, and you had to really "watch what you say, someone on the party may be listening" and "don't stay on the long, someone else may want the line", ah, the good old days. Well at least it was better than having the government keeping track of you....

    We had the five line party line and I don't think anyone ever had a party line without one or two nosy neighbors. Of course there was always one that hogged the party line too.

    Paul,

    I had to respond to your post in case you haven't heard the NSA's new slogan. "NSA, the only part of government that listens to what you have to say."

    Hu

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