the good ol’ days – long distance telephone

I've always liked long distance communication, whether it be by telephone, shortwave radio, ham radio, or Internet.

When I was a young'un, the hardwired telephone was the main way to communicate instantly, and I really liked long distance. The bad thing was that long distance was expensive, and sometimes terribly so, unless you knew how to game the system, though I never did that. :whistle: I've always had a tiny bit of respect for Kevin Mitnick and Captain Crunch.

Back during the 60's and 70's, you could tell when a call was long distance. Even a call of 50 or 100 miles had a distinctive sound to it, usually a soothing hiss or slight whoosh to it. Calls to greater distances sometimes involved talking louder, or sometimes even yelling, to overcome the louder hiss or roaring noise. International calls were sometimes a guessing game as to what was being said. Nowadays, calls from the other side or the planet are usually strong and noise free. Sometimes reliability like that decreases the mystery and fun, lol.

Dialing calls was more fun back then, too. As you turned the dial, you could sometimes hear the phone company's switches and relays clanking and popping as the connection was made. A savvy young whippersnapper like me sometimes knew alternative ways of dialing calls to achieve a special, and often more circuitous route. It was all part of the fun.

One of the most beautiful telephones ever made was the rotary Trimline. It had to be the model 220 made by Western Electric for the Bell System. I did not like the other brands or foreign models. The 220 Trimline had the perfect shape and weight, and made the proper "quality" sound as the dial turned. The lighted dial flickered to the pulses as you turned it. By the 70's, the touch tone models were widespread. Though not as sexy as the old dial models with the moving finger stop, the bonus was that they came in lots of groovy colors. I had a hot yellow one that I wish I'd never turned back in to the telephone company.

Speaking of "dialing", do people still say that anymore? I do once in awhile, like, "Just a sec, I'm trying to dial my mother". Are there any advertisements left that say, for example, "for service, dial 885-4321"? Do young kids today understand what to dial a call means?

Hey my friends on my opera, dial me up sometime!

2 responses to “the good ol’ days – long distance telephone

  1. hey this yellow one looks so cute :heart:by the way "dialing".. well. we still have a word "dial number"like some company use the word to suggest their number 😉

  2. COOL! thanks for the nice post.

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