Phone booths are disappearing. Kids nowadays don’t even know what it is when they are looking at one. But this booth in Prairie Grove, Arkansas is one of the last remaining specimens of a passing era, and just has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. When’s the last time you’ve used one of these…
This is so fun and great that I wish it would never end. Burger Fiction stitched together this super long scene of phone calls from movies so that it looks like different characters from different movies are all talking to each other on the phone, like one never ending game of telephone that breaks the boundaries of…
Before the 1960s, the United States didn't have one universal phone number for Americans to call if they needed help from the police or fire department. Callers simply had to know the phone number for each department in the area they were currently in.
Before Ma Bell came to town, and long before DSL, it was barbed wire, of all things, that brought rural communities together. A Sears telephone hooked up to barbed wire—miles of which were already conveniently strung along fences—connected far-flung ranches in the recently settled American west. Thus an ingenious and…
You've almost certainly got a telephone in your pocket (or clutch), but don't think for a second that it makes you any kind of pioneer. People were predicting—and using—pocket telephones more than a century ago, for reasons every bit as lethargic as your own.
It's possible that some of you have never seen a rotary phone in real life. It's likely that many of you have never used a rotary phone: heard the pulse take the place of the tone, mustered your patience as the dial rolls back it its reset, cursed a number with so many zeroes in it because it takes so long to call.…
When the telephone was first introduced to households and offices, many of the procedures and courtesies that we take for granted weren't intuitive. In fact, a lot of newbie phone users experienced stage fright upon picking up the receiver. In order to help people adjust to this radical new technology, the Chesapeake…
We now know that it took no more than eight years following the invention of the telephone for people to realize the comedic potential of playing practical jokes via landline.
Phone numbers are intangible, frivolous things. No one in their right mind would collect them, right? Wrong. Meet Dennis Mykytyn, the man who purchased 100 coveted phone numbers with 212 area codes for $30 a pop in 2007. Yes, this guy spent $3,000 on phone numbers.
I'm so depressed. I google one of the most important technologies ever invented, and I get a video of 25-year-old wearing sunglasses made out of cigarettes. Two versions of it before Alexander Graham Bell is even mentioned.
Look, we all know the phone is scary. But sometimes you can't avoid it. Herewith, a few tips for making calls without sounding like a weirdo.… [Jezebel]
I have no idea what my mom's cell phone number is. I don't think I've ever known the phone number of a girlfriend. Why would I? You probably don't either! Contact lists killed them. But web service Go800 wants to skip the whole number thing entirely, letting you hit people via their Twitter handle to connect a call.
In this ad from the March, 1957 issue of Scientific American we see John Q. Businessman making a “face to face” telephone call. The ad declares that thanks to the Hughes Tonotron and other products from the Hughes Aircraft Company people will soon see “on the wall television, electronic control of factory production,…
When the World Trade Center collapsed, it took out a critical AT&T switch, crippling service. It was restored in 52 hours—including the time to drive a caravan of eighteen-wheelers from Atlanta to a lot in Jersey City.
Long ago, someone wrote about how Google is out to control your dog and marry your wife. I don't know how right he was about all that, but I certainly know that Google Voice is out to ruin relationships.
There are times when I let my voicemail fill up to the point of callers getting the "Sorry. Mailbox is full. Please try again." message. This is why.
The 1976 book Future Facts is filled with predictions of artificial life, underwater cities and traveling from New York to Los Angeles in 21 minutes. Though the last excerpted line is pretty hilarious, this prediction of the "portaphone" of the future is surprisingly accurate.
Before there were computer hackers, there were phreakers. And before there were Macs, Jobs and Woz kept themselves busy building their own blue boxes (above) which would emulate precise control tones to seize control of the phone system.