Category:
Telephones

The Ediphone Sets You Free

Businessman likes to imagine that because he doesn't always have enough time to dictate correspondence to his secretary that he's clearly "chained down like a galley slave."

More info about Ediphones.

The Reporter with Postage and the Mailbag - Sep 1939

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 21, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Technology, Telephones, Advertising, 1930s

Meet Miss Electronic

Once upon a time answering machines were considered strange and dumbfounding.

Wilmington News Journal - Mar 31, 1956

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 18, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, Telephones, 1950s

1963 Prediction of Mobile Phones

In 1963 the Mansfield News-Journal predicted that, "Some day, Mansfielders will carry their telephones in their pockets."

So when did the first phone debut that could be carried in a pocket? Depends on the size of the pocket, I guess. But I think it was arguably the Motorola StarTAC, that came out in 1996 — 33 years after the News-Journal prediction.

Mansfield News-Journal - Apr 18, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 15, 2024 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Telephones, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Dial Comes to Town

Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 30, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Family, PSA’s, Technology, Telephones, 1940s

What will the telephone be like when I grow up?

The day is coming when you will be able to reach any telephone in the country simply by dialing a number.

Perhaps some day in the future you may just speak the number into the transmitter and get your party automatically.

The introduction of universal direct dialing was a pretty safe guess in 1953, since direct dialing had, by then, already been introduced in some places.

It's more impressive that the ad writers also successfully predicted the introduction of voice recognition technology.

Life - May 18, 1953

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 11, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, Telephones, 1950s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Call to Heaven

At least the call wasn't traced to a cemetery.

The Munster Times - Jun 8, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 11, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Religion, Telephones, 1950s

Dead Opossum Design

Reported in the Los Angeles Times (June 3, 1980). Sounds like an urban legend to me. But maybe there really was a lady in Riverside who was matching her home furnishings to her dead opossum.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 08, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Telephones, Interior Decorating

Ads between telephone rings

I can only imagine how annoying it would be to have to listen to advertisements between rings whenever you phoned someone. And unfortunately the technology to do this has been developed. Neil Sleevi was granted a patent for it in 1989 (Patent No. 4,811,382), and Bell Atlantic promptly bought the rights to it.

Omni - Dec 1991



Faced with public outcry, Bell Atlantic subsequently claimed that, even though they did buy the rights to the patent, they never had any intention of inserting ads between telephone rings, dismissing the entire notion as a silly rumor. But I'm pretty sure they would have done it if they had thought they could get away with it.

Baltimore Sun - Dec 14, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 02, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Technology, Telephones, Advertising, Patents, 1990s

Accidental Prophets

From 1966.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 31, 2020 - Comments (8)
Category: Fashion, Technology, Telephones, Zeitgeist, Advertising, Anomie, Exhaustion, and General Malaise

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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