Now that I found my dial phone, I can write the post. And a Copyleft picture of a dial phone is now available for student projects on the history of the phone. (Students, be sure to search the web for "Strowger". It is the original central office equipment that caused the invention of the dial-pulse phone. See this Video for an example of a switch in operation. If automated switching equipment had not been invented, there would not have been enough women to fill the needed operator positions. And another tidbit is that operators were originally men, but the industry soon learned that women did not spend as much time fighting with each other. Oh oh, I'm going stream of conscience -- one thing we learned at the Caterpillar visitor center in Peoria, IL, is that mining companies now hire women instead of men to drive the huge trucks in mines because they don't tear them apart with their driving. I wonder how many men have tried to pop a wheelie with a two story dump truck.)
In addition to a dial-pulse 500 desk set, I included a touch-tone 500 and a more modern phone that still needs a cord. If I ever see a pay phone again, I need to grab a picture of it also. The beige wire was the standard 7 feet. The green wire was originally the wall phone in our kitchen and would stretch to 13 feet so you could reach the refrigerator and counter while you talked.
So the "alert tone" of an older phone was metal mechanically hitting metal. Not some microprocessor playing a tune with a speaker. The yellow cylinder is a solenoid that responds to the 48-volt AC ringing current to create a magnetic field that moves the clapper.
Since the easiest way to make an audio recording in the 21st century is to make a video, that is what I did. I had to use two phones in the video because I discovered that the dial-pulse phone will no longer ring. And it is not because someone taped some padding on the bells. I had removed that before making the video.
While making the video, I discovered that I can't make a call with the dial-pulse phone. I was surprised because the phone company used to maintain upwards compatibility. Then I remembered that I now get my phone service from the cable company instead of the phone company.
I've always wondered what kids think when they hear someone say "dial the number." When I tried remembering if I have ever heard someone use that phrase, it occurred to me that kids don't even make phone calls. They text instead.
|Dennis Popiela posted|
At one of the Illinois Rest Parks along I-57 I noticed an Illinois Bell sign about a pay phone. So I looked for it on the inside:
Unfortunately, it did not occur to me until I wrote this that the sign itself, "Illinois Bell" is also history. I wish I had taken a picture of the sign.
While waiting in the grandstands at the 2016 Sycamore Steam Show for the Parade of Power to start someone commented about an old phone. And then I saw what they were talking about (below). Someone had probably just bought it at the flea market and was carrying it back to his car. I assume the ear piece and cord is in the bag he is carrying.
|Bruce Edwards posted|
I'm getting rid of old desk phones at work and put out a building-wide call for any old phones sitting in cubicles. I had over 20 old phones show up, including this one. Man, does it bring back memories.
I had to play with it for old time's sake.
[I believe this was called a "key set." The buttons on the bottom allowed you to connect to different phones in the office.]
|1, Something like this, but this has the hand-crank. I think the four screw heads secure the base of the alternator.|
|2, Just the desk unit, again a hand-crank model.|
|3, Again, but with a later style handset. These all look like the lid hinges for the other side. But as I said, they made these for decades and there are bound to be a lot of variations.|
A video on how to use a dial phone from Patti Garland.
On the other end of the dial pulses were step-by-step switches:
If automated switching had not been invented, then eventually every women in the US would not be enough to handle the call load.
|Hayden B. Baldwin posted|
Back in the day when you actually talked with some at the telephone company! 1913
|Kara Beth shared|
|Charlie McCarty posted|
This phone came out of the phone booth at Sun, LA. GM&O RR. It is all complete.
[Charlie mentions three antiques: the phone, a phone booth, and a railroad passenger station.]
|Bob Eqaniuk posted|
It was 54 years ago today when Bell System officially introduced its Touch-Tone telephones, the first push button telephones available to consumers, in 1963. What kind of telephone did you grow up with (share a pic in the comments)?