Instructions for New Telephones

Oh my God, this is amazing! Instructions from 1927 on how to use the "new" dial telephones. I've clipped some screen shots to wet your appetite, head over to Don't Jiggle the Switch Hook at to see the entire 7 minutes of historical educational goodness.

Dialing a phone screen shot 1 Dialing a phone screen shot 3 Dialing a phone screen shot 2

Direct dial telephones are so ubiquitous it's hard to imagine a time when someone didn't know how to use them. But of course there would have been a time when you'd need to describe the difference between a ring tone and busy signal, or that you don't dial the dash (-)! And I wonder how many of today's teenagers would know how to use a dial phone? My sister said my niece was confused when confronted with one. How many of us clue into the weirdness of "dialing" a push button phone?

What I'm marveling is how gloriously simple the concept of a telephone is. We've replaced the dial with buttons, shrunk it, and made it wireless, but it's still basically the same device . . . except for the ring tones, directories, instant messaging, downloadable games, hamburger/Elivis/Starship Enterprise motifs . . . never mind.

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