Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hold the phone.

JayG was wondering if rotary phones still work. Coincidentally, blogger Keads posted about his Western Electric 302 phone the other day; we have one of those in use here at Roseholme Cottage.

I can tell you, they don't make 'em like they used to. How many modern phones could be used to beat an intruder to a paste and, when you were finished, still be used to call 911?

17 comments:

ViolentIndifference said...

Rotary (pulse dial) phones still work. The "land line" phone system is really a marvel of reliability.

Ancient Woodsman said...

We have two rotary phones and they work fine with our digital service. They can't do things that require a DTMF keypad, but that's not really the point of having a rotary phone, is it?

Nolo said...

My cellphone has actually proven tough enough that bringing it down really hard with two hands onto a targets noggin probably wouldn't break it.

CarlS said...

Retro 3-2 Phones here at $45.00
( http://www.coolstuffcheap.com/cr60-crosley-302-desk-phone.html )

Breda said...

On my nightstand. Works fine. (ATF? Alcohol, telephone & firearms?)

Keads said...

Actually Tam I think you could just use the handset to beat the intruder to a paste! Use the base for multiple intruders!

Thanks for the link!

roland said...

Dennis Farina ably demonstrates the rotary phone/paste technique here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RHBOfM9CFQ

Atom Smasher said...

A great Bell commercial from the late 70s/early 80s had a simple shot of a guy on the phone in a swivel chair - he slews the chair around, cord yanks the phone off the table and onto the floor, and he tells the other persn on the line "Oh, no problem, I just dropped the phone".

Simple but telling advertising.

davidc said...

I've got several 500's in different colors , they still work fine. I have a red one on my nitestand, a real loud bell !!! Retired from ma bell a few years ago. I've installed a many of them !!

TriggerFinger said...

Tam, it's not that modern phones are poorly designed for defense, it's that tactical phone defense doctrine has changed since the original AT&T design.

Peter said...

Friend of mine has the wall-mounted unit (in glorious 70's avocado) and saw his teenager's BFF stick her finger through the hole in the dial to push on the number. Had absolutely no clue that the relevant verb here is "dial".

Anonymous said...

Yes, they still work. We got an old rotary dial model 500 specifically for the loud bell. Nobody in the house can hear the stupid little chirps made by modern phones.

BoxStockRacer

wv: quayesp - No, we don't esp. We talk.

Anonymous said...

plus a rotary phone will work if your electricity is out

Noel

Keads said...

Yep, Landlines will work when the power or VOIP goes away. I worked at WE when it was broken up. My first Blog post was all about the landline.

Gewehr98 said...

Still have my bright red Western Electric SAC Alert phone, no dial at all, wired up on my computer desktop. Our Vonage calls come through crystal-clear. The ringer drives my dogs absolutely nuts.

scotaku said...

Late to the game, but it was a year ago to this post that the subject came up: http://scotakuamerica.blogspot.com/2010/01/from-conversation.html

The buddy I was talking with still refuses to believe that either thing exists.

Geodkyt said...

Noel, BoxStockRacer?

The landline touchtones work when the power is out as well, and our old Bell 2500 (a Bell 500, but with buttons instead of dial, same guts, same materials) has a nice loud bell -- we leave it plugged in in the "library" for insurance against power loss or RF interference on our cordless ones.

20 Years ago, my partner at 7-11 demonstrtaed that you can, in, fact, break a Ma Bell handset (for the 2500 that store still used) over a goblin's head when he lurches across the counter like a Sea World Orca who's decided to play Spartecus.

Took three or four whacks, and the cops had to wait a couple of days to read the suspect his rights, but it all worked out in the end. Boss didn't even make my buddy pay for the handset.

This store was not, shall we say, in a "nice" neighborhood. The local PD (not exactly ones to shy away from violence -- NNPD figured "Go Ugly Early" was a Biblical command) used to prefer not to send single cruisers down there.

We had a key ring, large enough to avoid being absentmindedly taken home -- a baseball bat with the keys on a 1/4" Allen Wrench twisted into a loop through the handle -- until corporate made us saw off all but 8" of handle. . . they claimed we intended it as a weapon, just because the guy doing after-midnight trash dumps (usually me) used to carry the keys on his shoulder.

We didn't label the register keys, and regularly reprogrammed location of the "No Sale" key every few days. Somehow, the boss managed to get one pair of keys programmed (the same pair on both registers) so that hitting either of them disabled the keypad until the other one was also hit. I thought it was paranoia, until I saw a half dozen people reaching across the register every shift and blindly trying to play that piano piece, "Ray-Ray Needs Some Crack Today".

The boss intentionally made sure there was just a long enough chain on the register (running to an eyebolt in the foundation) to get just past the threshold of the front door. Sumdude tried to snatch and grab the register -- STRONG dude -- and got yoked up like a kitten leashed to a tree, whereupon the register fell against both thighs -- clean breaks. One of teh cops, apparantly a fan of 48 Hours actually said, "Damn, Speedy, (Speedy was not a stranger to the police) that looks painful!"

I quit after 4 months.