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Suddenly, that "Klondike" thing makes sense.

The Last Archimedean

The first phone I ever used was a dial phone. It was in my dad's house the whole time I grew up.

They're actually kind of nifty. I loved that thing. Can't find one now...


Some people...actually a lot of people, still have trouble with that last part. I've had my ear blasted numerous times by people shouting into the phone.


We had a rotary phone growing up. I think we used it till I was about 8. My grandmother had a party line! I still remember sneaking into my grandmother's living room to pick up the receiver and listen in to the other line's conversation. We would pretend we were detective. Of course when ever we got caught we would get a butt whipping, but it was worth it, LOL.


It makes me wonder if they had to make it sound lime people,e were idiots....but it was the 50s so.....I've seen and played with a rotary phone. Probably also used one a few times. They are, or rather, were awesome.

Bored at the Bookstore

Oh my, this makes me feel... ummm... un-young!

I don't remember ever seeing "directions for use" like this, but the whole thing reeks of the forties and fifties. And yes, when I was growing up, back when the Neanderthals delivered the weekly supply of wooly mammoth meat, we had a dial phone. Not until I was maybe four or five, though (same time we got a TV set). Some folks on our block didn't have a phone, but would have people call a neighbor who did. Everyone had a party line - just depended how much you wanted to spend as to how many parties per line.

When I got married in 1968, my inlaws still had a 2-party line - and the other party was an elderly lady who would hang the phone up crosswise of the cradle every so often, not ending a call, and cutting off service to Ma's house. Ma used to send me down the street to the old lady's house to knock on the door, introduce myself, and ask her to please fix the phone. Invariably, she would pick up the handset, hang it up properly and say, "You young people! It was fine!" Oddly enough, the phone line was always okay after that, though.

When we wanted to dial someone in-town, we only had to dial the last four numbers. Out of town, we had to dial all seven. In-state but more than a certain distance away, all seven plus a one; out of state, a one, an area code, and seven digits. And if you didn't choose the right combination, the call wouldn't go through.

Heck, when I was a little kid, "Long Distance" was a magical phrase that could summon anyone from anywhere in the house or yard - "JoAnne, hurry! It's Long Distance!' or, "Sshhhh! Dad's talking Long Distance!"; and if it was "Person to Person", that was even more special. It was also a way to "fool" the phone company into a free long-distance message. For instance, when my big sis went off to college, when she got there she would call home long-distance, telling the operator (an actual, usually female, human being) it was person-to-person for a non-existent family member. Whoever answered would say, "Oh, s/he's not here - call back later!" Everyone would hang up, and there was no charge. And the message was received - Sis made it to school safely. Of course, if you actually spoke with someone person-to-person, it was really costly!

And now we have cell phones... The kind so complicated that I had a lady call the store yesterday looking for a "Samsung 4g For Dummies" book. Pocket size. Oy.

The Singing Library Clerk

@TLA - I don't know if they work as my house doesn't have phone jacks anymore. But I've got a couple of dial phones I picked up at thrift stores. One's a candlestick phone, the other a princess phone. What I love about them is they both say on the bottom that they're property of the phone company. So they're from when you couldn't go into a store and buy a phone. The phone company would come out and give you one.





They were still around and used by plenty of people, young and old alike, well into the 1990s.

Evidently the poster came from a community that has been rather more financially and technologically advanced for a longer time than most regions. And didn't get out much.

NC Tony

That last rule needs to be burned into the brains of people nowadays who are on their cell phones.


Ahahaha, Bored at the Bookstore - I did that "person-to-person" trick, too. Actually, it kind of still works. I didn't have long distance on my phone, but my dad did. I would call him collect, and instead of accepting the charges, he would hang up, then call me back. Unfortunately, it appears that the phone company got wise to us messing with their system, and they blocked collect calls to his number * sad trombone*

The Last Archimedean

Thanks, SLC. I may pop by a thrift store and see if I can snag one. They're nice to have.


I still remember my first phone number and the ugly black wall phone associated with it. It was on the wall just outside the kitchen in the dining room and I had to stand on a stool to dial because I was so short. Because we lived in Cleveland, OH, we didn't have party lines by then, but when I moved to a farm in rural VA in 1977, we shared one with our neighbor. It was that far out. I remember when touchtone came out because my best friend's family got it. She used to play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on it. : - P

I remember when they finally started selling phones to the public. I bought a bright, red, dial phone because I wanted a "Batphone". : - D

When we moved to the first farm in IN, you could still dial just the last 4 numbers if it was local. This was the first I'd heard of it. It ended about a year after I moved there, and then I had to go back to dialing all 7 numbers again. Now that I'm in the Phoenix valley where there are multiple area codes but none of it is long distance, I keep forgetting that I don't have to dial that pesky "1". Being one of the few human beings left on the planet without a cell phone and no long distance plan, I pretty much just don't talk to people unless they call me. This also lets me out of job, dog, and family contacts that don't have a local number.


Humor_Me: 6212666,222,666,621266622654. :D

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