Just 65 years ago, Bell Telephone rolled out dial phone technology. How many people remember dial phones today?

Β· SubwayTooter Β· 6 Β· 2 Β· 2

Last fall, I went to a cast party at a cast member's house near Pittsburgh, PA. He still had one of the old fashioned candlestick phones and it worked up until they got FIOS service. But he knew a lot about the history of phone numbers and area codes. What he said was that the desirable phone numbers were the ones with the lower numbers or first letters of the alphabet because it would take a shorter amount of time for the dial to reset after dialing them and so it would be quicker to dial the number. 1/2

This is why Washington, DC's area code is 202 and New Jersey's initial area code was 201. Pittsburgh's initial area code was 412 which was one of the faster ones to dial however Philadelphia initially received 215.


I remember the interminable wait for the dial to rotate back around after dialing "9"

I remember our '50s phone number: Tuxedo 8- 2236. For the longest time we didn't have to dial the "888" prefix.

I remember 'scamming' the phone company by placing "station-to-station" calls to myself to let folks know I made it back to college.

For the good times:

@adelheid I work for a fiber optic ISP and rotary phones work on our network. Still blows my mind.

I used to use my rotary phone to try and win concert tickets, dialing 6 numbers and then trying to time dialing the last number to be the correct caller!

@rickscully @adelheid I wish my Vonage ATA supported rotary. My first one did, but not this newer one. Neither of my other ATAs support rotary, either. It's sad.

@adelheid dial service began not long after Bell strung up his first lines because Almon Strowger discovered he was being punked by an operator in the 1880s

That Bell stubbornly waited about 70 years to mass-move to dial had very much to do with Strowger's step patents. (Bell countered around 1915 with panel, but still preferred manual service)

@adelheid while I grew up primarily with touch-tone, rotary dial always fascinated me. Just the act of swinging the dial round to the finger stop was awesome

I want to get hold of a #4 or #2 dial that actually clicks as each pulse comes out. All I have are phones with #6 and #9 dials (WE 5302 and a 500)

@adelheid When I was a kid, we had these dial phones. If we dialed nine, we would hear nine clicks as the dial rotated backwards. Later we had dialpad phones. They used either tones or clicks. I figured that the clicks emulated the dialers. So, one day I tried to dial using just the button where you hang up. I discovered that you could quickly press the button three times and it would register as number 3 (like you had dialed it). I had found a way around the locks on dialers and dialpads.

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