144 years ago…

These words were heard…

“Mr. Watson, come here, I need you”

And the downfall of human communications began… 🙂

Full article HERE. However, there is STILL dispute as to whom actually invented the telephone… Article, HERE. Interestingly, Elisha Gray actually founded what became Western Electric, which was the largest supplier of telephony equipment in the world.

Just in my lifetime I’ve seen us go from this, on a party line no less.

To this bakelite monstrosity that weighed ten pounds,

To now this… thing… that does everything, but actually inhibits people actually talking to each other because of all the ‘other’ things it does…

Look at any given group of people in a restaurant or kids at a sleepover and they are ALL texting or looking at their phones… sigh…


144 years ago… — 27 Comments

  1. I wonder if the T Rex started with long arms, began to text, and then evolution took its toll.

    Your are right, the art of face to face conversation is sliding downhill.

    • The T-Rex had such wimpy arms, only able to lift around 500lbs. Weak in comparison. People forget that. ‘Little’ arms in comparison to the legs and head. But still strong enough.

      But… Yeah…. My wife comments all the time about women with their t-rexish arms, and now all the phone users.

  2. It’s remarkable how far we’ve come and how much life has changed since that moment because we learned to communicate in that way.

    Some will assert that it’s caused a lot more trouble, but I see much more good than bad, despite how some of the tech was used.

    And 5G is here now as well.

  3. My phone seems to be a device used either techs wanting to work on my computer which is full of viruses, or representatives of the IRS wanting to collect back taxes via Target gift cards.

  4. Hey Old NFO;

    I wasn’t around for the party lines, but I do remember the bakelite monstrosity, then the wall phone, then the bag phone, then the lighter wall phone then the early cellphones. Now people don’t even have wall phones or landlines anymore.

    • I have a land line because I live in a WIFI dead spot. And I have a flip-phone.

  5. All right smart ass kid. My phone number is Cypress 5 1041.
    $5 says you can’t call me

  6. I don’t even know my significant other’s phone number I still have the number of the woman I was dating in 2002 memorized…

  7. All- Good ones… Gerry, I AM old enough to remember how to dial that… LOL

    Posted from my iPhone.

  8. There were a lot of positives in those Bakelite phones. They were easy to hide a tap in, made a great blunt instrument in a fight, could hammer nails with’em, easy to hide black jelly beans in for Easter egg hunts, and Bell would replace’em if they broke or quit working. Downside was that if you got a nifty outside WE phone you had to disconnect the bell or Bell would hit your line and notice the new phone and show up to confiscate it or disconnect your line.

    • What you said about the bakelite and other heavy plastic instruments. Made an acceptable impromptu kosh. Can you imagine trying to bean someone with your i-Phone? Might as well try potshotting from 50′ away with a .25ACP Jennings.

  9. I was looking at one myself, in a restaurant, within the last hour or so… reading on the e-reader app.

  10. “I Remember…..” when The Phone Company came to install our first phone in the house I grew up in.

    My sister got her own Princess Phone (just an extension; same number) for her 16th birthday.

    Once I got into radio and electronics I “hot wired” my own phone, bought at a hamfest, to the incoming phone line. I was careful to disconnect the ringer, as Ma Bell used to monitor the ringer current drawn, and if it went up, they knew you had an “illegal” phone on the circuit.

    It was wonderful to know you couldn’t be contacted while “away from the phone”, and I had a phone company “calling card” that would allow me to charge calls to our home phone when I was older.

    Now we all carry a Star Trek communicator around. Progress? Only if it has an “OFF” button!

  11. All- Good points, and yeah, charged for the ringer current. I’d forgotten about that… Ours was Star 1-3512

    Posted from my iPhone.

  12. When Ma Bell came out with Touch Tone dialing (DTMF – Dual Tone Multi Frequency) around 1960 they charged extra for the DTMF capability on your installation. In the 80’s Touch Tone became the standard dialing protocol. I went into the telephony industry after my Navy career writing code for large digital branch exchanges. I discovered that although no one used the rotary dial system anymore a rotary dial phone would still work on the system. Also phone companies were still charging extra for the DTMF capability.

  13. I remember:

    The party line.

    The unique sound of the rotary dial, especially when dialing the “higher” numbers.

    (Later) The “kitchen phone.” A wall phone whose long cord kept getting caught in everything.

    My number was FO(rest)x-0366. Joined the Air Force, given serial number AFxxxx0366. So my laundry mark in Basic was, yep, F-0366.

    Funny how I remember my 1963 AF serial number but can’t remember why I went to the next room a little while ago…

  14. The first phone I can remember was a party-line phone, and our number was 4682. We got a direct to us phone to replace it, and it came from Temporary Dorm 3 (girls)(college town), and the boys trying to call those girls were greatly surprised when my Dad picked up the phone

  15. A day late and a dollar short here — but we still have — and use — the rotary dial phone which Bell installed in our house in 1954, when dial and private lines came up the road. Same number, too.