Many consumers are not impressed by the endless tricks and functions manufacturers keep adding to cell phones. They just want a sturdy phone that's easy to use.
You will want to read the entire Digg story.
I can't remember for sure, but I believe one of my aunts who lived in Arkansas had a wall-mounted crank style telephone. I have a vague memory of being in someone's home and watching them wind up a telephone and speaking into the black mouth piece, while holding a separate part of the phone to their ear. Those phones are cherished now, and provide a significant look into the earlier days of our homes and our community life.
In our home, we had one black telephone. It sat on our desk, and when we were ready to use it, we lifted the receiver and waited for the operator to say, "Number, please." I recall that our telephone number was 24555, no prefix, no area code, merely 24555. We really didn't use our phone that much, and I have no memory of hanging out on the phone with any friends. During those days, there were many people who had no telephone and sometimes a neighbor would come over and ask to use ours. People who lived in the country often had party lines, so that more than one family utilized the same telephone line. They could pick up the receiver and listen in on someone else's conversation. Lots of jokes about that, and probably many people did eavesdrop, quietly snickering and gasping at what they heard.
Later, our telephone company went to a dial system, but I believe our number stayed the same. The new telephone the company provided for us looked just like the old one–black and squatty–except that now it had a dialing apparatus on the front of it. Not push buttons–a dial. Took quite a while to initiate a call, for each number required a finger to be inserted in the circle, then the dial wound to its zenith, and on to the next number.
Probably sometime in the early 50s, colored, slim, push-button telephones became available. Princess phones, they were called and they were quite desirable. Oh, you could still have the plain black model for free, but if you wanted a pretty one, you had to buy it….
And so the progression to where we are today, telephones everywhere. Some time back, I visited friends who live in a swanky house and when I went into the bathroom, lo and behold, there was a telephone. Now, I'm accustomed to seeing telephones in hotel bathrooms–the thinking being, I suppose–that you are probably there on business–in the hotel, I mean, not in the bathroom–and it would be unthinkable to be out of range of a phone for more than a few seconds. But, I have never before nor since, seen a telephone in the bathroom of a private home. I giggled as I emerged and asked my friend about it. "Oh, yes, hubby does lots of telephone work in there," she said. Beats me.
Not long ago, I saw a family cartoon: The telephone was ringing, everyone was scurrying around to find the portable phone which had been taken from its cradle. A boy stood in the middle of the commotion and said, "Looks like someone could invent a phone that could be tied to one place." Well, we've run the gamut, from a wall-mounted cranker, to a black squatty "number, please", to a dial model, tied down ones, portable ones, cell phones…into an explosion of telephones everywhere…in our purses, garages, airplanes, and automobiles. Children have one, and be assured the drivers on freeways will always have telephones planted onto the sides of their heads. No one gives a second look to people who walk around with antennas poking up from their heads, or things curled around their ears. The air is punctuated with fancy ring tones, symphonies playing, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, a certain sound from Mama, another from Daddy, ascending scales, and deep basement music.
Funny thing. For years in our home, we had the one black telephone, never had a problem with it, we never called the phone company to complain about our service, and no repairman ever came to check on our instrument. Now in this great age of advancement and enlightenment, many decades down the road, I cannot tell you how much money we have spent on telephones in the last few years, how many times we have changed carriers, the many frustrating conversations we have had over service, the complexity of the billing statements, dropped calls, worn out telephones, charging cords that fit only one type phone, so of course you must buy a new one…
Oh, well, I must stop this rambling. Out and about with errands today. My Verizon phone is at full charge and Jerry and I will stay in touch. This evening when I approach 40th St., I will call to say, "I'm starting up the mountain now." Jerry will be happy.
Tags: telephones, Verizon, cellphones, dial telephones, crank telephones, "number, please"