Hawaii Real Estate Resource


Foto Friday--Olde Tyme Phone

I doubt that too many remember using these kind of phones.  They were wall-mounted and had 2 large dry-cell batteries inside.  The hand crank alerted the local switchboard operator that you wanted to make a call.  She sat in front of a switchboard with cables everywhere and plugged them into the correct sockets so that you could talk to another party.  I'd say my Blackberry is one giant leap for man (or is it mankind?).

Our operator was Floy.  She was the only one so worked 6 days a week.  Calls were not allowed after 8 PM or on Sunday as she needed a little time off to eat and sleep and such.  I even remember our phone number which was 45R4 and it would ring 4 times so that we knew it was for us and not someone else on the party line.  In retrospect, I'd guess the number probably stood for line 45, ring 4 times.

What fun!

 photo of wall phone


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Richard T. Dolbeare, R(B)

Keller Williams Realty(808) 651-4550


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Comment balloon 9 commentsRichard T. Dolbeare • October 03 2009 02:21AM


Richard - Times were much easier then.  Well except for Floy!

Posted by Bob Murphy (Keller Williams Realty Consultants) over 9 years ago

Not that one but I remember the next generation. I also remember the party line. It was a day to celebrate when we got a 'private' line. Not long after we got the 1st tv for blocks around. B&W and it took awhile for the tubes on that tiny screen to warm up. There was always a crowd around hoping there was a good signal on just 1 of the 3 fuzzy channels even though the antenna want 45' up along side the house. The cops caught my cousin shoot a window with his Daisey BB gun and brought it to my dad. Dad gave it to me and the real fun began as all the pre-teen boys had one. Now when we played war there were no questions on a miss or an 'ouch' as when we used air guns and mud previously. No one lost an eye-- but don't tell my mom!

Posted by John Rakoci, North Myrtle Beach Coastal Carolinas (Eagle Realty) over 9 years ago

Glad it struck a cord with you Bob.  I remembered after my original post that Floy took Sundays off so I edited that in.  No calls on Sunday allowed!

John-Yeah, I remember BB gun fun and I got into trouble too.

Posted by Richard T. Dolbeare, R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist (Keller Williams Realty Maui) over 9 years ago

Boy oh boy, do I remember trying to call girls who shared a party line with long talkers. How frustrating was that. Also, when you had made contact, you were scared to death that some snoopy person had "picked up" and was listeneing to your conversation. Those were the times!

Posted by Dave Humphrey, Broker, Real Estate Advice You Can TRUST! (RE/MAX Marketplace) over 9 years ago

I took my 11 year old to a home we have listed. On the wall is a rotary phone. I handed her the receiver and said. Call your mom.  She gave me the "what the heck look" and said. How do I use this thing? Times have changed.

Posted by Jason Simonson, Realty Executives - Menomonie WI over 9 years ago

Richard never used one of these, but I do remember the party lines. When people would say, don't answer that it isn't our ring. I do have a replica hanging on my kitchen wall.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 9 years ago

Dave- Back then, I was scared to death just to have a girl on the line, lol

Jason- The first time I saw a rotary phone where you didn't have to ring the operator was in Washington DC.  I kept dialing the time number until the operator asked "who is this".  It was before it was all computerized.

Michael- How cool that you have one on the wall.  I wish I did.

Posted by Richard T. Dolbeare, R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist (Keller Williams Realty Maui) over 9 years ago

Your photo is missing... but it sounds like it is a great phone.. :)

Posted by Konnie Mac McCarthy, Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!" (MacNificent Properties, LLC) over 9 years ago

Hi Konnie.  It's there, you just have to hit your browser refresh button for it to show.  I usually post a notice about that but didn't in this case.  It's a frequent issue and I have no idea why.

Posted by Richard T. Dolbeare, R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist (Keller Williams Realty Maui) over 9 years ago

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