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khurtwilliams
khurtwilliams

“U.S. Coins Only” — 8 October 2019, Day 4 of 2019 Project 365 — Apple iPhone 11 Pro + iPhone 11 Pro back camera 6mm f/2, 1/60 sec at ISO 2000

I was in Philadelphia today for a doctor’s appointment when, while I was leaving the building, I spotted this rare object in the hallway.

bradenslen
bradenslen

@khurtwilliams Wow. It's been awhile since I've seen a payphone. When I was a kid my dad taught me to always check the coin return for abandoned change. My dad was a lad during the Great Depression so even an extra nickle was something back then.

Later my mother saw me casually check the coin return as I passed a payphone in the foyer of a resturaunt on our way out. She was mortified. I guess she didn't think it was respectable. Dad just chuckled when he heard mom scold me.

I actually made a good haul for a few years there doing that. :-)

islandinthenet.com
islandinthenet.com

@bradenslen thanks for sharing your memories from your childhood. Were the phones you saw rotary dial or push button?My experience with payphones is as an immigrant living in New York City1 in the mid-80s. Before cell phones, a quarter (and sanitizing wipes) was the only way to communicate changes in travel plans. I always had coins in my pocket. For some reason, Sting’s Englishman in New York, popped into my head. Earworm? ↩

In reply to
bradenslen
bradenslen

@islandinthenet.com In the 1960's payphones were still mostly rotary dial. That started changing in the late 60's, first in the cities and more gradually in less metropolitan areas. Dial payphones lingered on in indoor locations protected from vandalism. Sometimes you would even see old wooden phonebooths in old hotel lobbies but they were becoming very rare.

I remember local payphone calls being a nickle and then being raised to a dime for a long while and then a quarter. I too, always tried to have a couple of coins in my pocket just for emergencies.