This was in the mid-50s, hardly on the heels of the device's invention, nevertheless - having been patented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 - it was still in it's formative years. Coloured models, the Princess phone, and the push button model were all yet to come, to say nothing of wireless home phones and the cell phone.
The telephone, by the way, figured prominently in comedian Bob Newhart's early stand-up routine. In the late 50s/early 60s Newhart made his mark using a telephone as a prop and having hilarious one-sided conversations. It was a device he used for years.
The telephone also played a central role in one of my favourite 60s television shows. The running gag in Get Smart was his shoe phone. And when cell phones first came out, although they were the size of a brick, I always called mine my shoe phone.
In comparing phones of my youth to the devices available today not all that much has changed. Today we have 3 way calling. Big deal. I remember having a Party Line, where we shared the phone line with someone else and could listen in on their conversations. Who needed Entertainment Tonight when you had a Party Line.
Today you can program a distinctive ring tone for selected friends' and relatives' incoming calls. In the 50s a Party Line meant you had your own distinctive ring like 3 short rings or 2 long ones.
Today's iPhone has an array of apps of every description. Back then we weren't so hard-pressed to entertain ourselves and we didn't have to pay an additional charge to phone a perfect stranger, ask them if their refrigerator was running, pause, then tell them they better catch it.
And we were far more polite back then. There was no such thing as call waiting which in and of itself is a misnomer. If someone called when we were on the phone they got a busy signal. Today one usually let's the first caller go or puts them on hold in order to talk to the second person that's calling. What the heck does that say to the first person who called?
The best thing about telephones in the 50s? Mobile phones were yet to be invented. When you left home, you left your phone behind.
Oh, and Bob Newhart? Who would have guessed that today you can watch him doing one of his phone routines on...are you ready...your phone.
If you want to know more about the telephone drop by Theme Thursday.