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Relic of the Empire: Pay Phone Mount

Spotted at the NSQG World of Quilts show in the WCSU O’Neill Center:

Payphone mounting plate

Payphone mounting plate

I’m mildly surprised the (apparently recent) wall reupholstering didn’t cover it up. I’m certain many students don’t recognize it.

The FCC says the US is down to 100 k pay phones from a peak of over two million; they don’t tally the number of bare wall mount plates, though.

 

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  1. #1 by MishaBurnett on 2018-05-12 - 11:28

    We had two left on our campus until this year, actually. I think it was because we have a large number of international students and in some cases it was cheaper to call internationally using a pay phone. But they are both dead now, evidently no longer supported by the phone company. They are still up on the walls, though, until we can decide who owns the hardware and who has the responsibility to remove it. I hope we get to take them down, I really want to pull one apart and see how it works. (Not looking forward to opening it up, though, the locks look formidable and there is a fair amount of hardplate around them. Probably take an angle grinder to it.)

  2. #2 by RCPete on 2018-05-12 - 12:04

    I got a cell phone in 2005 when I was going to be stuck in town for several more hours than I had expected. Finding a phone booth in the small city (Pop. 20,000) was a challenge, so part of my waiting time was spent at the Unicel store. Not sure I’ve seen a working pay phone in 5-10 years.

    One side effect; you could usually find a phone book at the pay phone. Since I don’t use smart phones, I have to plan ahead for phone numbers. Not even sure CenturyLink has a phone book for our area, any more.

    Thought on the pay phone lock; there should be a standard key for each company that had them. A decent locksmith probably has one on hand and could open the phone. Beyond that, there’s a liquid nitrogen method of defeating the lock, from what I’ve heard.

  3. #3 by RL on 2018-05-12 - 12:14

    It would be a shame to force open the payphone. If you really want to know what’s inside, here’s a reference. http://www.beatriceco.com/bti/porticus/bell/telephones-payphones-modern.html

    • #4 by Ed on 2018-05-13 - 08:40

      Says the site:

      if you have only a standard dial-up modem you will have to wait a while for it to download

      There’s such a thing as taking nostalgia too far! [grin]

      But I still remember using wood-boxed acoustic modems next to Selectric terminals …

  4. #5 by Olli on 2018-05-12 - 13:02

    The sticker says: “Counterstrike against vandalism, call 10022”, the year was 2013 (May), but the local phone company made a preemptive strike and removed the phone & padlocked the booth in 2009. In Finland the lifespan of a telephone booth was 1912-2009.

    http://tapahtuipakerrankuopiossa.blogspot.fi/2013/05/erilaisia-nahtavyyksia-osa-3-suomen.html

    • #6 by Ed on 2018-05-13 - 08:29

      I suppose padlocking the empty booth was cheaper than removing the booth and leaving the concrete pad. Maybe the booth serves as a memorial?

      • #7 by Olli on 2018-05-13 - 09:42

        Hmm, or maybe a microapartment…
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microapartment#USA

        • #8 by Ed on 2018-05-13 - 12:41

          Nanoapartment?

          I’d want a little more space for the shop, but, as far as living room goes, deal me in!

          • #9 by Olli on 2018-05-13 - 13:06

            Yep, nanoapartment. Tiny apartments and mobile living will be a solution to increasing housing density in overpopulated areas. So it needs wheels, no sweat, dude…