Chana and I have been commenting back and forth with each other today about rotary phones and party lines, so I thought I'd ask my 101 year old Daddy about a vague memory I have of my Grandmother's house in Chicago.
I seem to remember her calling on the phone by connecting to an operator and giving a phone number, rather than dialing it herself. He says I'm remembering back before rotary phones, when you did talk to an operator. I did a little research, and Illinois Bell employed over 12,000 female operators in 1928 in Chicago alone.
But then he really dropped a bombshell on me. He started telling me about his memory of the phone they had on the wall in the dining room that had a slot that you put a nickel in to connect to the operator. He said they came around once a month to collect all the nickels that had accumulated in the cash box!
They were called Nickel-in-the-Slot Phones!! These phones are credited with getting average people accustomed to the idea of using a telephone as part of their normal everyday lives.
nostalgia, early telephones