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Old 06-10-2021, 09:27 AM   #1
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Name: You can't call me Al
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Strange things I see while traveling.

I wonder how many people younger than 30 know what this alien-looking symbol is next to the wheelchair.
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:25 AM   #2
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We still have several Superman changing stations on our island. It seems like the original charter for the locally owned telephone system required them. I'm not sure any one knows how to use them.
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by AlanKilian View Post
I wonder how many people younger than 30 know what this alien-looking symbol is next to the wheelchair.
Check your smart phone... it still uses that same phone symbol, as do most bluetooth interface systems in newer cars like on the radio or steering wheel.
Heck, the under 30 crowd is likely more familiar with that symbol than many codgers.
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:37 AM   #4
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I grew up with the old "plugged into the wall jack" rotary dial phones. Back then a "portable" phone was one that had a long enough cord so you could take the phone into the next room. And if you were dialing a local number with the same prefix, you only had to dial the last four numbers. Now you need to dial 10 numbers just to call your next door neighbor. So much for progress...
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:34 AM   #5
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I grew up with the old "plugged into the wall jack" rotary dial phones. Back then a "portable" phone was one that had a long enough cord so you could take the phone into the next room. And if you were dialing a local number with the same prefix, you only had to dial the last four numbers. Now you need to dial 10 numbers just to call your next door neighbor. So much for progress...


Iím old enough that we were on a party line. I wonder how many younger people know what that was?
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Old 06-11-2021, 11:07 AM   #6
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Iím old enough that we were on a party line. I wonder how many younger people know what that was?
We had a party line also when I was growing up.

This was back in the day when you rented your telephone from Bell Telephone and couldn't add another phone without being charged for it.

We got another phone somewhere and I (being probably 10 or 12 years old) wired it in myself without asking anyone how to do it.

Later that day, we got a call from someone at the phone company and so my mom put me on the phone with him.

He said "Well, we've got a problem with your line that's affecting the other person in the party. I'm sure nothing changed in your house, but sometimes one of our installers makes a mistake when they are hooking up another telephone and when that happens, we ask them to swap the yellow and green wires and it fixes it up right away. I just wanted to let you know that, thanks and we'll check the line again in a half-hour."

So I whipped my butt downstairs and swapped the wires and we never heard back.

That was a GREAT service person.
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:16 PM   #7
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We had a party line also when I was growing up.



This was back in the day when you rented your telephone from Bell Telephone and couldn't add another phone without being charged for it.



We got another phone somewhere and I (being probably 10 or 12 years old) wired it in myself without asking anyone how to do it.



Later that day, we got a call from someone at the phone company and so my mom put me on the phone with him.



He said "Well, we've got a problem with your line that's affecting the other person in the party. I'm sure nothing changed in your house, but sometimes one of our installers makes a mistake when they are hooking up another telephone and when that happens, we ask them to swap the yellow and green wires and it fixes it up right away. I just wanted to let you know that, thanks and we'll check the line again in a half-hour."



So I whipped my butt downstairs and swapped the wires and we never heard back.



That was a GREAT service person.
Wink,

Love the story.
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Old 06-11-2021, 01:55 PM   #8
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We had a bell attached to our phone line in the cellar so you could hear the phone ring. Couldn't have another phone down there because that would have cost extra.

My grandmother still had one of the old 1950's Bakelite phones (black, the only color available). Made me realize that it WAS possible to knock a person out with a phone like in the old movies (that thing weighed a ton)! Can't do that with the phones today, not enough mass.
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Old 06-11-2021, 02:08 PM   #9
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They may know what it means, but I'll wager there are some young people that don't know why the phone icon has that shape.

Which begs the question... any other common icons today that preserve an archaic form?

Maybe this?...
Click image for larger version

Name:	Oil <a title=Light.jpg Views: 15 Size: 11.5 KB ID: 141432" style="margin: 2px" />
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:08 PM   #10
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My grandmother still had one of the old 1950's Bakelite phones (black, the only color available).
When I was in engineering school, one of my professors said that that phone was the best designed piece of equipment Western Electric ever made. Why? Because they made millions and millions of them.
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:12 PM   #11
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We still "dial the phone number" while most dial phones have long since been retired.
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:37 PM   #12
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We still "dial the phone number" while most dial phones have long since been retired.
And what's a "Dial" tone?
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:55 PM   #13
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Grandma was on the party line in the country. Crank phone on the wall. Her ring was two longs and a short. People listened in. My dad did not like nosy people so when he called my uncle about four miles away he would first start with personal defect epithets which my uncle would throw back at him. Then they would slide into the conversation and topics of the day. This was liberally laced with the profanity perfected on the war fields of Western Europe complete with ethnic slurs. Probably wasn’t right but got the job done.
Those old ladies would hang up pretty quickly. And give my grandma some long looks next time they saw her in town.
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:15 AM   #14
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Party lines

I work in Telecom (until I get to retire in a bit) and I've talked to some of the old-timers who maintained the party lines. They apparently had to have a ground rod in some or all of those locations with a party line, and if the ground rod got too dry the phone stopped ringing. He said many of the service calls just meant to pour a bucket of water on the ground rod.
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:27 AM   #15
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We had a bell attached to our phone line in the cellar so you could hear the phone ring. Couldn't have another phone down there because that would have cost extra.

My grandmother still had one of the old 1950's Bakelite phones (black, the only color available). Made me realize that it WAS possible to knock a person out with a phone like in the old movies (that thing weighed a ton)! Can't do that with the phones today, not enough mass.

Sadly, today one can inflict far more damage to a person with a smartphone than an old dial phone. 😕
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:41 AM   #16
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Sadly, today one can inflict far more damage to a person with a smartphone than an old dial phone. 😕
Silver lining here:
Importantly, it's possible to hold people accountable for their actions far more easily with a smartphone than with an old dial phone.
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Old 06-16-2021, 12:20 PM   #17
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I remember driving across Canada in the mid-1980s on a tenting trip. I had a TRS Model 100 portable computer with acoustic cups and a 300 bps modem and I would stop at pay phones along the highway to check my email. This was even before the "World Wide Web." It was a time of transition between old phones and the arrival of the internet.
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Old 06-16-2021, 12:55 PM   #18
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Kids today may recognize the symbol, but I doubt they'll have a quarter handy to actually use it.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:23 PM   #19
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The phone that we had when I was a boy did not have a dial. You picked it up and told the operator the number that you wanted. My older sister's first job after high school was switchboard operator at the local phone company. I was a teen when we got our first phone with a dial. It was hard wired to a little box that was screwed to the baseboard. Plug-ins were decades later.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:35 PM   #20
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Really little known info

Story 1. Something I learn years and years ago: telephone companies had to list their services with the Public Utilities Commission (anybody remember that?). If it was listed the service had to be available at it stated cost. Most companies forgot or failed to update their service list, and so long after nearly every party line was cancelled you could still get the service--at it's much, much lower price. My uncle found this out and ordered a party line. The company tried to talk him out of it but he insisted and threatened to report their refusal to the Commission, and so he got a party line, and he was the ONLY party on the line.
Story 2. My wife taught kindergarten for 35 years. In the last few she took an old dial phone to school and asked her students to show how to make a call. None of them know what to do. She did the same thing with an old record player, and the children were amazed by it.
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