411 -- Telephones
A. The Wall Phone Box. Western Electric first manufactured this phone in 1907 and continued it, with only slight changes, through 1937. I can remember, as a child at summer camp, speaking to my parents each week when they called, on a phone that looked exactly like this. It was high on the wall, for the convenience of an adult, and I had to stand on a chair in order to speak on it. The portion of the box that looks like wood was actually wood on the real phone. The little handle on the right of the box was the ringer and it was how you got the operator's attention. You turned that and it rang a bell that was heard by the operator. When she responded to you, you then gave her the number you wanted. (At summer camp there were only 3 digits in phone numbers then.) You can see the receiver on the left side of the phone box, the two bells on the upper portion of the box are one for incoming and one for outgoing calls, the mouthpiece is the device in the center of the box and the base of the box was meant for a writing surface. Inside, another kind of bell, painted, this one was used as the Bell Company's Insignia. The clasp is unimportant to the box. Retail: About $223.00. Our price: $201.90.
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C. The Desk Set Phone II Box. This was the second major change in the appearance of the telephone and, as you can see, it was vastly different from it's predecessors. Notice that it had a dial because by the time this phone appeared almost all calls were dialed--automation had started although we did not think of it that way. In those days telephone operators were all women, it was one of the few jobs that a man would not even consider. It was thought of as women's work. Bell Telephone's slogan was "The Voice That Smiles." Telephone operators were extremely polite and very helpful. There were no extra charges for information or for the operator helping you to get a number. Inside, painted, a Candlestick Phone. The clasp is unimportant to the box. Retail: About $165.00. Our price: $148.90.
D. The Touchtone Princess Phone Box. This phone arrived in 1964 when the touchtone system was first introduced and there was not a young girl anywhere who didn't want it for her own. They marketed it in pink and it was one of the great marketing successes of the time. It had been preceded by the dial style Princess in 1959 but that didn't get nearly the attention that this model received. Something about this phone struck a chord with the teenagers and they drove their parents mad until they were given a Pink Touchtone Princess Phone. The receiver on this one lifts off. Inside is the Princess' crown, painted. The clasp is unimportant to the box. Retail: About $165.00. Our price: $148.90.
E. The Cell Phone Box.
Is there anyone, anywhere, excepting me, who does not have one of these.
This has been the greatest boon to the communications industry ever. Every
body and their uncle has one. You walk down the street and you see people
with one of these little boxes glued to their ear, talking. Walk into
a supermarket and there are husband's checking with wives for last minute
shopping, on their cel phones. Kids, wherever they happen to be, talking
on their cel phones. People in cars talking on their cel phones. People
in airplanes talking on their cel phones. This invention has connected
everyone to everyone else no matter where they are. Our version has an
antenna that can be raised or lowered. The box lid closes over the keyboard
and the screen says, "Hello" and in very small print, "
New York". Retail: About $215.00. Our price $184.90.
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