CURSE YOU, FIBER OPTICS!

Some nefarious person replaced the original cloth cord (which tended to wear out) with a more modern, coiled cord (well, not really “modern”, since most people don’t even use these today, but you get my point). 

Barbara Stanwyck being psychologically tortured in “Sorry, Wrong Number”.These phones were ubiquitous in noir films.

Notice the spit cup on the speaking end of the hand set. I don’t know if people back then drooled a lot, or if that was just a poorly chosen name for that optional feature. It looks cool, doesn’t it?

What really drives me crazy is when I make a call on this and all I get is some robot asking me to “Push 1 for English”, or some such nonsense. Someone actually manufactures a handheld number tone gadget that you can hold up to the handset and make the noises into the phone, which apparently will work to communicate to those electronic-phone-robot-menu-things. 

Typed on 1921 Royal 10

8 thoughts on “CURSE YOU, FIBER OPTICS!

  1. Gorgeous phone. I could so easily get into these in addition to typewriters … or radios … but then I wouldn’t have a wife.

    I have a cell, a very unsmart phone, which I usually don’t bother to turn on, driving said wife up the wall.

    • Yeah, I was tempted to get a candle phone and a 302 phone… But the cost was prohibitive and, well, I want to remain married as well. And vintage radios? Forget about it. There are too many cool looking vintage radios to choose from, and you’ll wind up wanting them all. I did get a 1925 Victrola and a stack of 78s, but that’s it. No more stuff!

      On another note: Joe VanCleave suggested I request to get my blog on the Typosphere blog roll. How does one go about doing that? Or is it poor form to ask? Is that an invite-only thing?

  2. You just had to do a write-up on that phone, didn’t ya? Of course, now I want one, but I don’t know if it’s compatible with Australian phone systems. And I’ve got my eye on a big, black bakelite phone that I spotted at an over-priced antiques bazaar (their word, not mine) last week. I know what you mean about cell phones, too. Whenever I tell people “if I didn’t have two small children, I wouldn’t have a mobile phone” (that’s what we call ’em here in Oz), I too get that look of incredulity from people. I’m not a fan of this century so far. Everybody walks around like Captain Kirk.

    • LOL! Well, I intended to get around to it eventually, but you had mentioned it, so, yes, you’re the culprit that led me to post about it!
      I don’t know if these are compatible down under, but I’ll bet there’s someone with the know-how who can figure out how to make it work. I could remedy my own ringing problem by spending an additional $150 on a ring-booster, but I can’t really afford to spend that kind of money just to hear a noise.
      I’m with you about this century. I’m stuck in the past. In fact, it’s like I’m stuck in a time before I was even born. But not back prior to indoor plumbing.

      • Yeah, I could have nicely handled being born in ’26 instead of ’66. Ahh, well…
        And there is indeed somebody in my neck of the woods who could probably convert one of these classic American phones to Australian standards, but something tells me that they would charge an arm and a leg for their services. I already have enough paraphernalia that needs tending to between my fountain pens, wristwatches and typewriters.
        Yep, wrong century.

    • Yes, there are separate ringing boxes which can be purchased if you happen to have one of these phones and lack the subset box. But I don’t think they use the same ringing bell, or if there is even a bell at all. I think they may be the same kind of ringer used by a cordless phone. But like I told teeritz in the above comments, I can also purchase a ring booster, which ups the voltage, but that’s a bit costly – at least for the present moment.
      Hey, thanks for visiting and commenting!

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