Yes kids, phones used to have wires and dials as this 1936 newsreel shows

Yes kids, phones used to have wires and dials as this 1936 newsreel shows
This is going to shock many of you who are young enough to have never made a phone call on anything other than a cellphone all of your life. In the 19th century, phones worked on the exchange system. Each phone was connected by wire to a central phone office in each area. This office was responsible for incoming and outgoing calls in a certain area, and employed a switchboard to help connect the calls. The caller would crank the phone and tell an operator at the other end of the line to "connect me with the General Store."

In 1936, Bell developed something new with a dial system that required rotary telephones. At the time, the fastest way for Bell to spread this information to Americans was to film a newsreel containing the information that the public needed to know. The film was played in theaters before the start of the feature.

Today, of course, Bell would have used emails, social media (like Twitter), and television commercials to get the word out. By the way, the rotary phones used electric pulses created by the actual dialing of the phone in order to read the numbers, and make the connection. That was replaced by touch-tone dialing in the 1970's.

It's hard to imagine that there was once a world without smartphones and tablets. When you think back to those days, it reminds you how much better our lives are today thanks to that handset in your pocket.

Now for a moment, imagine that it is 1936. You've read about this new rotary calling that will force you to dial phone numbers to make a call. It's the hottest new technology, and you are about to hear all about it just before Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times is about to start. Now go ahead and click on the video below!



source: AT&T, LaughingSquid via Gizmodo

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23 Comments

1. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

It's part of history that were being taught in the school PA. No need to create an article. Kids today are not dumb.

2. Alan01

Posts: 601; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

It wasn't a serious comment, just so you know. Regards, Alan F.

3. Konsento

Posts: 139; Member since: Apr 10, 2015

I don't think this article did a very good job of expressing that... :/

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30959; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Cool little history lesson F.

21. belovedson

Posts: 1060; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

Ignore Techperson211 as he said kids these days are not dumb. pst Alan maybe they are just plain stupid

5. darkkjedii

Posts: 30959; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Why not just skip the article, if you felt there was no need to create it. You attention seekers are something else.

23. belovedson

Posts: 1060; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

hey techperson211 said it best they are not dumb. maybe they love attention.

25. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Hey dark, I respect every comment or opinion that you have here In PA. Regarding your comment of me being attention seeker. The irony of that. Maybe you should read all your comments from the time you created your account.

11. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

I have to disagree.. Kids today are dumb and have little common sense

13. DirtyDan23

Posts: 280; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

Your parents said the same thing about your generation, and your grandparents said the same thing about your parents' generation. Nothing's changed.

15. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

And all of them were right, as far as common sense.

22. belovedson

Posts: 1060; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

No my generation was smart, fearless, and just didn't give a f. we did what we wanted. this new generation are a bunch of posers.

12. engineer-1701d unregistered

No kids these days are really that dumb I mean really dumb that's right they make fun of it in the new commercial for the movie Neighbor to when she grabs the phone and it has a code on it

4. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Clearly copied from the iPhone and/or LG Prada.

7. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

A bit more history. You could hear the generated pulses as clicks and you could generate your own pulses by rapidly hitting the button underneath the handset the correct number of times. The 0 generates 10 pulses which would get you a live operator if dialed first. Hammering on the button like you see in some old movies got you to an operator because the switches could only count to ten. Letters later were added to the dial to make remembering numbers easier. Your local exchange would have a word associated with it and you'd dial the first two letters and then the numbers (like Tidewater four ten oh nine from Chuck Berry's Promised Land).

16. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It's funny because I remember seeing a similar thing being done in the movie Hackers as a way to make calls without paying for them (it also required a tape recorder with the recording of money being deposited into a payphone to show the operator that they had paid for the call).

24. belovedson

Posts: 1060; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

I actually remember both events. i Must be old

10. Boybawang

Posts: 205; Member since: Jun 02, 2013

This article is too early for me because my Internet DSL provider (PLDT Philippines) includes a phone with wire!

18. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

phone with dial still common tough.. the one that have rotating dial is rare :-/

14. Chidoro44

Posts: 52; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

20th century

19. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

That is the time when people do long distance comunication with style. Damn you Samsung for no release Golden series Globaly

20. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

That is the time when people do long distance comunication with style. Damn you Samsung for no release Golden series Globaly

26. ronjr123

Posts: 88; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Can also remeber the days of party lines. Where you shared a line with one or more households. So before you dial, you had to listen to see if someone was already on the phone in a neighbors house.

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