Monday, April 23, 2007

New for you - a more useful telephone number

From the Bell System Memorial.

As shown in this ad, area codes were something to brag about when they were introduced.

Note also the "portable phone of the future" in the lower right corner. While this device at first looks very ahead of its time, I *strongly* suspect that what is shown is this photo is not a phone at all, but an early DTMF generator (like this one).

Note, in particular, the lack of anything that could be used to "hang up" the phone. Any actual portable phone would need some equivalent of the "talk" and "end" buttons on a modern cell phone.

Note also that there is no microphone. Just a speaker for the DTMF tones to come out.

Of course it's unlikely your grandmother would know any of that that by looking at the ad (unless she happened to be a Bell employee or a phone phreak). To her it was a phone of the future.