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Joined
Jan 10, 2005
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Location
Alexandria, LA USA
I remember when houses built in the 20s through the 60s had little alcove's or shelves built into the walls of the kitchen or central hall. I had one in my house that was built in 1940 and so did my mom's house before that. They had the phone jacks built-in and that's where your phone was expected to be put. That house was built in 1940.
 

Hankus

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
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594
Location
Florida Gulf Coast
Those old crank telephones also had a nefarious use. Look up "Tucker Telephone" One lead was wrapped around the big toe and the other one wrapped around the dingdong and sacajawea... Crank that bad boy up and you would confess to anything. The line "You got a phone call" would make you cry before you even got hooked up. A long distance call was reserved for special occasions. You might not survive one of those...
We could do the same with the old TA/312 field phones in the Army. We played some interesting practical jokes using these on newbies back in the day. They stopped this use of them in interrogations during SERE school sometime in the late '80s.
 

caryc

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
8,649
Location
Southern California
I bought this one at Sears in 1962 for $15.00 and refinished it. The magnito is still in it.
They had a bunch of the in a pile on the floor.????

View attachment 28201
Jim, I see by that light switch that you didn't hang the phone right. Weren't they all hung up high on a wall so one had to stand on tip toes to speak in the mouth piece? At least that's how they were in the movies.
 

wolfsong

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Dec 20, 2005
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Sierra foothills, Ca. U.S.A.
A quick phone booth story. Many, many years ago I desperately needed to call home. I was 9 years old; I don't remember what my "emergency" was. The pay phone ate my only dime without placing the call. Oh, no! Panic set in and I dialed "O" for operator. This nice lady listened as I explained my dire stiuation to her. She asked me my name snd address, which I gave to her. She then connected my call and I talked with my mom who then came to my aid. All's well...

About a week later my mom informed me that I had received something in the mail. It was from AT&T. A check for ten cents! I still have that check somewhere in my archives of stuff from the past.
 

mhblaw

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
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946
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North Dakota
Not that long ago, but no red phone booths in the UK any more either. I recall using one in the late 80's in rural Scotland.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
7,681
Location
On the beach and in the hills
I remember when houses built in the 20s through the 60s had little alcove's or shelves built into the walls of the kitchen or central hall. I had one in my house that was built in 1940 and so did my mom's house before that. They had the phone jacks built-in and that's where your phone was expected to be put. That house was built in 1940.
Our rental house has the alcove in the kitchen, right next to the in wall ironing board. Mom's spent a lot of time in the kitchen since the washer was usually in a utility room off the kitchen by the backdoor so they could take the clean wash out to hang on the line. Mom's were also masters at multi tasking before the word was invented.
 

Armybrat

Buckeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
1,711
Location
Round Rock, Texas
Looks like a Willys Overland in the first photo.
Was your Dad an Infantry Captain in 1940?????? The Aleutians was a horrible place to be.
Yes, he was 4th Infantry, 1st Battalion C.O. at the Battle of Attu in 1943 - a Major by then.
He spent a total of 7 months in tents out on the islands….without a hot bath.
Then he was sent Stateside at the end of the year - next he was assigned to training another battalion at Fort Benning in 1944 before he shipped out to France just in time for The Bulge that December.
That's where he picked up a captured Belgian FN BAR copy to send home.
I used it to "play Army" when we lived at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis during the mid 1950s.He retired in 1959 after a tour with the MAAG groupin Taipei, Taiwan.
A few years back my brother donated the BAR to the Military Museum at Camp Mabry in Austin. As far as we know it has never been put on display and remains in their storage vault.
Kind of a scarce gun, I would imagine. It looked just like this one:
63D1FAA9-4F6D-46F2-83CD-DF3F786777B7.jpeg
 

GasGuzzler

Hunter
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
2,985
Location
Cooke County, Texas
Originally the letters did not correspond to numbers. The letters were added to the dial once you could dial a number yourself. Back when the phone numbers first added letters, you'd call up the switchboard operator and ask for XYZ123. She (usually) would use those letters to properly complete the main part of the circuit then "dial" the numbers to that sub-area. I think.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
10,458
Location
missouri
I remember the location of the 'telephone office' in the little town where I grew up. In 1986 when I was promoted to PM of another little village, the previous PM invited me to visit her house for some swapping of information about the community. In that house was the last switchboard used in the area. She'd been the 'operator' and had been allowed to keep the desk/switchboard when it was taken out of service.
 

eveled

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
5,620
My mom was a switchboard operator. They existed into the 1980's in large buildings.

She was also a keypuncher. Remember those cards with the little holes?

At times she was a receptionist too.

She was also s secretary. She could type like the wind and not make mistakes.

She kept reinventing herself as each job became obsolete.

Kind of a sad career.

I had a male teacher who had been a switchboard operator at a busy office. He was saying he sometimes ran out of hands and would but the wire in his mouth to hold it. which was fine until a call came in on that wire. Supposed to have knocked him off the chair. 😂
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
4,199
Location
Northern Illinois
Back when we had phone exchanges, indicated by the two letters before the numbers, it told others approximately where you lived. Some exchanges were of higher prestiege than others, and I recall that my one rich aunt carried on for days when the phone company started using all numbers, feeling that she no longer so obviously lived in a rich area. Where I lived was all lower working class so no one seemed to care when we went from letters to numbers.

And when area codes were added, people went a bit crazy. I clearly remember hearing people say that no one could possibly remember phone numbers that were 10 digits long. Oddly, now I don't know anyone's phone number, even my own kids because I just tap their name in my "Favorites" folder to call them.

All of this reminds me of when zipcodes first came into use. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and lived in postal zone 19. This became 11219. Not a big deal. But when I lived in San Antonio in the 1980's, the final two numbers in a zipcode were a very big deal. If you lived in 78209 it meant you lived in Alamo Heights, not San Antonio itself. You were an "09'er" and that could add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost and value of your home. I had friends who wanted their kids in the Alamo Heights school district, which actually included areas outside of the "09" area. They bought a house for far less than it would have cost if it had been in the "09" zipcode but still got their children into those quality schools.
 
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