Phones in the Old Days

Submitted: Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:06
ThreadID: 53625 Views:1839 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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Seeing as we are having a mulitple phone thread this week................

We didn't worry about all the crap and hype which goes on today with phones.

We drove thousands of kilometres in to the known and unknown, without a worry in the world.

You used to hold the mouthpiece down, stir the handle to the right a few times, and then put the hearding device to your ear.....and then wait for a few seconds when a friend(or grumpy) voice would ask of you. Number Please?

On many occasion the telefonist would tell you that the person you were calling had gone on holidays or was away for the day.

On party lines(mainly farm lines) your telephone had a particular ring to answer. Our farm's ringtone was two shorts and two longs.
It was an open line with about 20 customers who could listen in(although that was not allowed!!! but it happened all the time) at will. If you wanted to make a call you would pick the receiver up, put it to you ear and ask Line Busy? If there was silence you were free to call.

Then came the auto dial phone. Pick up the receiver, wait for the dial tone, and away you go. Eight digit numbers took forever!!

Then came push button phones....much easier.

The Americans had mobile phones long before us but around the mid 1980's the Bag Phone(like a bag of tools) appeared here.

Then came Analogue mobile phones. Hand held and the size of a small toolkit. They were clear and brilliant. But our phone system went inmto overload and Digital signals was the answer.

Then came GSM

Then came CDMA, which worked quite well.....

And then................................the whole shebang started falling in a heap with Next G.......LOL

MEANWHILE....with a population of 20,000 000 in Oz we apparently own 20,000,000 mobile phones. Most youngsters and some not so youngsters walk around with devices hooked up to their ears.....................Cheeeezes!!!!!

What Next???????

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Reply By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:23

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:23
"Seeing as we are having a mulitple phone thread this week"

Waddayamean this week? How about today. Every man and his dog wants to tell us that CDMA shutdown has been delayed. Four threads so far and counting ...........
AnswerID: 282299

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:26

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:26
Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!

Remember putting a maize cob in your trouser pocket while dancing with a lass..........hahahahahaha

Them were the days!!!

FollowupID: 546791

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:37

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:37
hahahahaha more evidence of a misspent youth.

FollowupID: 546794

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Kath - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 23:02

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 23:02
Willem, did you leave the hairy bits on it still? Did you peel the outer off so it wasn't soft?
FollowupID: 546898

Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:34

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:34
Yep, I can associate with all that Willem. Aaahh, them were the days. My parents had a sheep/wheat property out central western NSW & we used to have a party Line. The number of "rings" were determined by morse code, our number was 65A, the 65 was the party line number & the A dictated the number of either short or long rings. I think ours was a short & a long.
It was bloody hard in those days to have a romantic chat to your sweetheart of the day with all the neighbours listening in!!
Remember when the operator would come on when you were making a "trunk line" call , after three minutes and ask if you were extending? Seems funny now doesn't it.
I bought an old wall mounted phone a couple of years back & have it in our hallway. It has a separate ear piece, the mouth piece is mounted on the front & it has the central round dial mechanism & it still works.
AnswerID: 282305

Follow Up By: Footloose - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:54

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:54
I used to be mates with the male operator(after 10pm). He'd call me up and ask if I was going to a party in town. Why, who's there ? Put hand over mouthpiece while he patches me in and rings to ask. Had many a good time with the phone system, including ringing Melb for a pizza while we were out in the bush. (silly annoying young fools we were). Alice Springs for the weather, Dial a date etc all over the same line and costing us zilch.
And I would talk about Miss Midnight...but I won't :))))))
FollowupID: 546797

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 22:21

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 22:21
Yes, those were the days. When they asked are you extending, they gave you a few minutes to conclude the conversation and say goodbye before charging you for the next three minutes.

A party line meant you could have a chat with all your neighbours at once - all for the cost of one call. How much does it cost to have a 'conference call' these days? Hugely expensive.

Yes, the local exchange (from a neighbouring house) knew what days everyone would be away and say, not she/he won't answer; it's CWA meeting day, or gone away or whatever. The exchange was usually unmanned one day a week - golf day.

And whats more, we survived!



Red desert dreaming

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FollowupID: 546892

Reply By: Member - Axle - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:39

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:39

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 282307

Reply By: Old Dave - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:50

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 17:50
hi Willem

This is wife of old Dave and yes I remember the days of the old style phones,I was the telephonist at TheJunction (Gascoyne exchange) in 1973/4 remember having to pass on messages down the line because line connections were weak. Happy Days not so much stress back then :)

Wife of Old Dave
AnswerID: 282315

Reply By: Member - steve H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:04

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:04
I loved the days before mobile phones where I could go and load the truck early in the morning and drive all day doing the deliveries and coming back in the afternoon and going home. Now when you see a truck driver or courior they have computers and fax machines in the truck. how things have come a long way.
AnswerID: 282319

Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:25

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:25
Ah yes!!!! the old phones, we had one of those when I was a kid, our call was short-long-short but we knew everybody else's ring as well. We had an old lady that lived on a farm a few miles up the road and she use to listen in all the time, we knew when she was on the line because she had a grandfather clock that had a very loud tick which was in the hallway next to the phone, to my knowledge no-one every told her we could here it.

We also have had a mobile since the early nineties (not sure what year) and have been with Telstra since, it was and old Nokia, great phone very clear and almost as big as our current Sat phone, but it was at time when you used to be classed as a "yuppie" if you had one so I use to lean down below the dash of the car if the phone rang while we were out, (of course I didn't do that if I was driving). Those were the days!!!!!!!!!!!!



Simba, our much missed baby.

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Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:34

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:34
Musn't be as old as I thought compared to you lot. :o)

First phone our family had was one hand piece on top of the cradle, and the circular dial.

But then my parents couldn't afford a phone until my teenage years.
AnswerID: 282329

Reply By: Garbutt - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 20:19

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 20:19
In my early days in my current job, I worked many bush places with manual telephone exchanges, it was very convenient, if I was going out, I would ring the exchange, and tell them, I'll be at the pub (or wherever)for an hour etc.... Any urgent calls were then put through to wherever I was, and I could respond accordingly. In some places the operators would even vet the calls and tell the callers not to bother me if it wasn't urgent. Great service.

AnswerID: 282354

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