Thursday, December 15, 2011

Phone booths go the way of the dinosaur

Phone booths go the way of the dinosaur

Remember when if you needed to make a call while on the road you had to drive for miles to find a pay phone? In my case they seemed to be everywhere, except when I needed one the most.
I soon learned where the pay phones were in my territory but sometimes they were occupied, for a long time. People got comfy in those booths. "Hey, can you speed it up there?"

Before cell phones, working for a newspaper and keeping in touch was difficult. I got my assignments in the mornings but had to call in every few hours to find out what was going on or to see if I needed to head in another direction. Now phone booths are practically non-existent.

FYI: The first commercial mobile phone was released in Sweden in 1956. The first state to offer mobile telephone service was Kansas; released in Brewster by the S&T Telephone Company.

In 1960, Sweden was the first to offer a partly automatic car phone. It would take another 11 years before S&T applied for cellular service with the FCC. In 1984, Bell Labs developed modern commercial cellular technology. 

Memories: I remember seeing a few "wealthy" people walking around in the mid-eighties with those big-old phones. To say that we have come a long way since then would be an understatement. Once affordable cell phones became available to the public I was one of the first customers in line. I was giddy over my phone. Little did I know at the time there would be days I would curse my phone.  The days of, "Honest, boss, I looked everywhere for a phone booth," and "I got side tracked by a couple of feature shots," were over.

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