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Oct 27, 2020 - 4:12:46 AM
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janolov

Sweden

40791 posts since 3/7/2006

Do you remember the rotary phones. Here is an example from Facebook how today teenagers handle a rotary phone

https://www.facebook.com/bosse.gustafsson.37/posts/10214419888851647

Oct 27, 2020 - 4:44:20 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

25110 posts since 8/3/2003

Hilarious.

Oct 27, 2020 - 4:45:08 AM
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3012 posts since 4/29/2012

Great video. But why should they know ? As likely as me or you knowing how to us an abacus or an astrolabe.

Oct 27, 2020 - 5:29:41 AM

5879 posts since 9/5/2006

yep rotary and party lines,, we had them when i was real small and granny had a party line for years on up into the late 60s.

Oct 27, 2020 - 6:43:35 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

25110 posts since 8/3/2003

We had rotary phones and party lines when I was a kid. I remember picking up the phone and hearing my neighbors talking, so I had to hang up and wait a while before making my call. I also remember thinking those "new-fangled" push button phones just weren't going to last (wrong again!).

I know how to us an abacus but not an astrolabe (I had to look it up to find out what it was).

Oct 27, 2020 - 6:51:26 AM

KCJones

USA

966 posts since 8/30/2012

I might be one of the younger people to have experienced rotary. We had one up to the mid-90s. And then when we finally got a 'touch' phone, we still had 'pulse' dialing because ATT charged an extra $5/mo for touch-tone service and my dad was thrifty. When you called an automated line, you had to dial in pulse and then use a switch on the phone to move it to touch so you could enter commands to the system.

Oct 27, 2020 - 6:57:08 AM

2254 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

I might be one of the younger people to have experienced rotary. We had one up to the mid-90s. And then when we finally got a 'touch' phone, we still had 'pulse' dialing because ATT charged an extra $5/mo for touch-tone service and my dad was thrifty. When you called an automated line, you had to dial in pulse and then use a switch on the phone to move it to touch so you could enter commands to the system.


Your dad would be made an honorary Yorkshireman for thrift like that smiley

Oct 27, 2020 - 7:07:40 AM

2254 posts since 4/22/2018

My friends parents put a lock on their dial phone to stop my friend using it - she used to bypass it by lifting the handset up and then tapping the cradle to dial a number - I could never manage to do it myself despite lots of trying.

Oct 27, 2020 - 7:14:21 AM

Owen

Canada

6815 posts since 6/5/2011
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I dunno.  Somehow, I don't think the two guys are a representative sample*.  At the :30 mark they apparently already knew how to "cancel" the call by lifting the handset, but couldn't figure out the dial??  I have my doubts.

* = I guess my main measuring stick is my grandkids [i.e. another non-rep. sample].... but without having put them to the actual test..........    Maybe there's a diff between urban and rural kids???

One of my neighbours back when I was trying to farm, made more than his share of dialing mis-cues. He blamed it on his "big fingers," although they didn't look abnormal to me.... said "It's no wonder I couldn't pass typing in school."

Edited by - Owen on 10/27/2020 07:18:34

Oct 27, 2020 - 8:01:29 AM
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382 posts since 3/26/2009

I have a 17 and a 15 year old. They have always had the internet, and really don't have any comprehension of life when that phone was common, but I wouldn't expect them to try to dial it without picking up the receiver. We have a home phone wall phone that hardly gets used but they know how.

Times change.  Put this thing in front of my generation and most might be confused. Thing is, I have used one of these quite a bit.



I turned 50 this year, so I probably shouldn't remember when phone service became available at my house but I do. This was about the time I started kindergarten in the 1975. I live in rural west Tennessee, about 1/4 mile from where I did then.  Electricity got there in 1952.

Before Ma Bell came knocking we had one of those old crank phones on the wall. My parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle, and a great aunt and uncle lived within about 1/4 mile were all hooked together on them.  They ran on a single insulated wire and a ground rod. Used a battery about the size of a 16oz can.  We had the wire on ceder poles and trees.

Everyone had a "ring" on the little party line. Grandmother and Granddad's was "two longs and a short" because that is what it was when he was a kid. The original phones had went in way back in (19teens? according to Granddad, who grew up in the same house with the same phone in the same place on the wall). The lines fell in to disrepair apparently not too long after, but little pockets still existed.

Thing is, the great aunt and uncle were life long farmers, with an attachment to what little money they had, so they slammed the door in Ma Bell's face when she showed up. They were getting pretty old so we kept the line up till the mid 80s. By then we were running the old crank phones on ac adapters. We had a little plug wired up to it and a mate on the actual phone lines so we could patch calls through to them over the crank phones.

Not hooked up anymore. But still on the wall serving as a decoration. 

Edited by - steveh_2o on 10/27/2020 08:03:20

Oct 27, 2020 - 8:22:37 AM

177 posts since 9/6/2019

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

I might be one of the younger people to have experienced rotary. We had one up to the mid-90s. And then when we finally got a 'touch' phone, we still had 'pulse' dialing because ATT charged an extra $5/mo for touch-tone service and my dad was thrifty. When you called an automated line, you had to dial in pulse and then use a switch on the phone to move it to touch so you could enter commands to the system.


I remember having to do that. My dad was thrifty too, but by thrifty I mean cheap a$$.

Oct 27, 2020 - 8:23:52 AM
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OM45GE

USA

101747 posts since 11/7/2007

My first wife was from a town at the northern tip of Maine. When I first went up there for a visit in the early 1970’s, the pay phones (another blast from the past) had instruction plates on how to use a dial phone. There were exchanges up there that still connected all calls through an operator.

Oct 27, 2020 - 9:27:35 AM

4057 posts since 10/18/2007

One of our four land line phones is a rotary. I like its loud bell, but it really surprises visitors.

Oct 27, 2020 - 10:03:36 AM
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2198 posts since 1/16/2010

When I was in high school 1997-2001...I bought a rotary phone at a junk store. I used it all throughout high school and then put it in a box and went into the military. 20 years later I still have it, but it doesn’t work anymore. Whatever type of new digital phone line technology is going on, it can’t read the old school analog pulse of the rotary...it won’t dial out.

Ya, I don’t buy that BS those guys got going on. Nobody used a rotary in the late 90’s...but as a teenager, it took me about 1 second to accustom myself to using it. Not like it’s a banjo.....

Edited by - Texican65 on 10/27/2020 10:04:07

Oct 27, 2020 - 10:19:01 AM
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5710 posts since 9/21/2007

Ha Ha Ha! LOL!! Stupid ignorant teenagers can't figure out how to use some obsolete technology... SO FUNNY!

Dad to teenager: "What did you learn in school today?"

"CAD illustration basics for 3D printing and advanced HTML"

Yeah, stupid teenagers, learn to use a phone you will never need to use.

You want to see funny? Watch a man in his 70s try to set up a zoom meeting.

Edited by - Joel Hooks on 10/27/2020 10:19:41

Oct 27, 2020 - 11:09:49 AM

4014 posts since 11/29/2005

I was installing telephones when they went touch-tone, and remember them trying to determine the best arrangement for the "dial pad."

I still have 3 rotary dial phones that work, and use them when the modern instruments go bad. Here's my collection of Jim Beam Decanters that was put out by the Independent Telephone Pioneers back in the early 80's. The one on the right is a 100 number dial - I need to take a shot of the dial - interesting concept, but not really workable these days.


Oct 27, 2020 - 11:27:45 AM

kww

USA

737 posts since 6/21/2008

My first job was with GTE Automatic Electric Laboratories, the descendant of Automatic Electric, founded by Almon Strowger. Almon Strowger invented the step-by-step switch and the rotary dial: in essence, he invented the concept of dialling.

As the story goes, Almon Strowger was an undertaker in Kansas City, and the switchboard operator was the girlfriend of the other undertaker in Kansas City. Strowger suspected the girlfriend of routing all of his business to her boyfriend, and invented dialling so that people could contact businesses directly.

Oct 27, 2020 - 11:43:07 AM

mander

USA

4445 posts since 10/7/2007

I miss our old rotary. The sound was amazing! I can hardly hear on the phone I have today. It isn't worth beans.

Oct 27, 2020 - 1:08:35 PM
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10340 posts since 2/22/2007

Yes, you could actually hear the caller on the old phones, they worked when the power was out, you could drop the receiver without damage, the dial had that rock-solid feel of 20th Century manufacturing, and you didn't have to ever upgrade their operating system!
Now get off my lawn!

Oct 27, 2020 - 1:19:19 PM

5710 posts since 9/21/2007

I wonder if "not hearing" the phone and nostalgia for the sound quality of older phones has anything to do with age/noise exposure and hearing loss-- not the device?

Oct 27, 2020 - 1:31:59 PM
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10340 posts since 2/22/2007

Joel, it's a bit of both. I have lost a lot of hearing due to various abuses (electric guitars, motorcycles, guns) over the years, but I can still hear a phone with an actual handset and I could hear my old flip phone just fine. But my new iphone requires near silence for me to comprehend what is said.

But part of the problem is on the other end, as some insist on speaking with their mouths pointing anywhere except at the phone.

Edited by - banjo bill-e on 10/27/2020 13:33:29

Oct 27, 2020 - 1:40:18 PM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

14481 posts since 6/30/2015

I still have one in the closet, but it no longer functions as the phone lines are all digital now, but we used it right up until it didn't work anymore. Sometime in the 1990's I think it was there was an issue someone visiting the grandparents couldn't dial 911 when one of the grandparents had an emergency.

I've heard, don't know if it's true or UL, that when Eisenhower left the White House he did not know how to use a dial telephone. When he took office all calls went through an operator, no dial, and when he was in office all his outgoing calls were made by a secretary so he had no need to use a dial phone. He was president from 1953-1961, so I'm not sure how true this story is. I was born in 1952, and all we had were dial phones, with a party line.

Oct 27, 2020 - 1:57 PM

3704 posts since 12/6/2009

Many years ago there was a part of New Jersey that had a company called United Phone Company. If you ever had the bad luck of using that service what you got was….in a call out: you had to dial operator…..sometimes if you were lucky within ten minutes a lady would come on the line and ask what number you were calling……sometimes I got tired of waiting and just hung up and forgot the call. Also there’d be times you could hear her kids in the back ground fighting with each other.,,,I didn’t live there but I worked jobs in that area and often had to call my boss or a supply house….wasn’t fun…..oh and also lunch???? Forget it no stores with-in reasonable travel distance. If you didn’t bring lunch you starved.

what else is funny i can still remember some of my friends phone numbers from when you had to tell the operator before dial ups. also a while back we were talking about this and I brought up a number my sisters even recalled as they also had friends at that phone number. we laughed because they too remembered it.....curious we looked in phone book and really had a laugh as we found  the grand son (same last name) now owned the house and he kept that number....its been the same for72 years that we know of.... and party lines...boy did we have fun with those suckers....especially the 4 way hook ups......

Edited by - overhere on 10/27/2020 14:05:08

Oct 27, 2020 - 2:43:04 PM
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10340 posts since 2/22/2007

Anyone remember when your phone number had letters or a name included? When a boy, all numbers in town began with EV-, which we were told to pronounce as "Evergreen", as I suppose it was considered just too much to remember seven digits. And, every first digit back then in my small town was a 3, so you only had to remember the last three digits. For example, your phone number might have been Evergreen 3-456 and you neighbor's was Evergreen 3-712.

Oct 27, 2020 - 3:06:07 PM

3012 posts since 4/29/2012

London 'phone exchanges when I was a kid had some great names, truncated to 3 letters for phone numbers. Mostly from the name of the area but not all. PRImrose, ACOrn, GULliver, SPArtan for example. Where I live now was COPpermill from the Copermill stream that runs into the river Lea. It's now a more mundane 520. Scotland Yard was famously WHItehall 1212.

Oct 27, 2020 - 4:00:08 PM
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OM45GE

USA

101747 posts since 11/7/2007

quote:
Originally posted by banjo bill-e

Anyone remember when your phone number had letters or a name included? When a boy, all numbers in town began with EV-, which we were told to pronounce as "Evergreen", as I suppose it was considered just too much to remember seven digits. And, every first digit back then in my small town was a 3, so you only had to remember the last three digits. For example, your phone number might have been Evergreen 3-456 and you neighbor's was Evergreen 3-712.


Evergreen was our exchange when I was a kid in southern New Hampshire too. All our phone numbers started with 382. The letters F, U & C also correspond to those numbers. So a certain two word, seven letter epithet spelled out a phone number in my home town. If you dialed it you got a busy circuit signal. When I got my own phone line I requested it and was told it was unavailable. 

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