This is what our first telephone looked like … the first I can remember. It was heavy, made of bakelite, attached to the wall and we didn’t OWN it … it was like … ‘rented‘.

This post has a certain connection to my previous post about the Filofax … old vs. new. I was reminded of this old phone yesterday, when I went to Bell to buy a phone.

We have cordless phones here, and I was never a huge fan of them — I’m a bit of a dinosaur (!) in that case. So far, I’ve never come across one, cordless phone of good quality. I don’t hear well with them, and there’s nothing wrong with my hearing. Even though you try and take good care of them, with regards to charging batteries and so on, they lose power — you have to buy new batteries and after a couple of times you’re up to the same amount of money as a new phone. We had one that even affected the internet connection. When someone was talking on the phone, the internet went DOWN! Grrr…  Those are probably gone now, though.

Hence, I always want at least ONE, corded, traditional phone … one that I can trust. Back home, when I wanted to buy a good quality phone, I went to Telia which is the Swedish telecom … so here I thought BELL would be my best bet.

Found one right away, it was even marked Bell-Aliant so I knew it was good. I asked the girl how much it was and to my amazement she told me it wasn’t for sale!!! I could rent it for $6 per month!!! This is year 2011 and they still have that system?! I wonder who would go for that … if they still have people renting telephones, that must be a goldmine!

However, she was very honest and told me that the exact same phone was available in the drugstore (!), so I went there and bought it for $24. It’s really good 🙂


19 thoughts on “telephone”

  1. In France back in the late 50s and early 60s, the only phone was in the drug store down in the village. If someone called for you, which rarely happened, they would send someone to your house and get you. Imagine. The first phone i actually saw was one like in your picture. My grandfather had one IN HIS HOUSE when we moved back to Canada. Wow, that seemed so magical to me. The first time I remember answering the phone was when my mother called from the hospital to say my baby brother had arrived. Now, of course, my daughter has a phone that does everything but cook supper. heh heh.

    1. Joss,
      Fascinating! I can’t remember the first time I was allowed to pick up the phone myself. I do however remember that when my mum was about to make a long-distance call, she had to, sort of, “order” it beforehand … 3 minutes, for example. That was BIG.

      Today’s cell phone can do many things 🙂

    1. …yes, and I prefer having the key pad separate from the receiver. Nowadays there are so many selections to be made before you [possibly] get through to a real person.

    1. That’s a very important aspect of it! When Gerry was moving the last stuff from Quebec, he’d borrowed the neighbour’s cordless phone. I kept calling him from here, he didn’t answer and finally I got really worried. Turned out there was a thunder & lightning storm in QC, so the power went out. Who would have thought about that..

      Many people seem to give up the landline for a cell phone, but the coverage here is so bad so I’d never do that.

  2. That is what the phone in my house with my parents looked like. But. When I got married, look here to see the phone we had. From 1966 through 1976, we had old crank phones and we were on a party line of 12. if they all listened in, you could barely hear. We were the last in Kansas to get dial phones, and maybe the last in the US.

    I like our cordless phones. Never had trouble with them. But I always have one regular phone when the electricity goes out. Otherwise no phone service.

    We used to rent phones also. Stupid idea. And when you bought a phone in a store, in the directions you were to let your phone company know that you had this phone, etc. I never did and no one ever said anything.

    1. Wow … that was really late, to have a crank phone! I do remember hearing about villages that had a switchboard and they were on party lines, but I’ve never experienced it myself.

      I haven’t had any luck with the cordless ones except one. It still feels kind of fun for me to buy a phone in the drugstore 🙂

      1. I have a set of cordless phones. The main one has an answering machine and must be connected to the phone line. Then it has 3-4 other phones that only need be hooked to an electrical outlet. They work great.

  3. We still have a landline phone, because if there is a power cut, the cordless ones will not work.
    You did good buying that phone for $24 as opposed to renting it for $6 a month! Yaaay for the sales girl who put you onto it!

  4. Hi,
    You can still rent phones here in OZ if you want to as well, although I don’t think many do. I have 2 cordless phones in the house, but I keep an old phone here as well, it has come in handy more than a few times. We usually get power black outs in storms from trees falling onto power lines, and the only landline phone that will work are the old phones, so it will stay with us for a long time.

  5. This is just bizarre. I joined a group that remembers things in my hometown when they were young and growing up. We used to have letters in front of our phone number like TE 84832. The TE was for Temple, there were others. In the 70’s I believe it was changed to the numbers. Just recently they say they have run out of numbers to go with our area code so they made up a new area code and now you have to dial that as well. So many things change over the years. But that brought me to our phone which looked just like the one above. I was thinking I ought to write this stuff for my grandson and use a photo of a phone like that. I also don’t know if my parents rented theirs but it could be moved and my sister and I had stretched the cord so it would go through two rooms so we could sit in the closet while we talked to our boyfriends. Love the memories.

    1. Suz, I’ve seen those groups in FB. They may split our area code into two, back home where I lived in Sweden, and quite some time ago, they had to add one digit to the numbers. That idea about writing something up, with pictures for your grandson is brilliant. He’s so little so he won’t have any idea about what things like this were like … typewriters too.

  6. I’m shocked that you can still rent phones! I remember the day, too, and now my grandkids don’t even know what a corded phone is, much less a rotary dial. Lucky you to have found a corded phone.

    1. I was amazed too …. very much so, and wondering WHO would do that?! The kids nowadays … there are so many things they wouldn’t have seen or used

  7. That was the first phone my grandparents has here in Owen Sound! I first used a phone when I was 4 years old; have photos of that…it was a more rounded black phone…I was mesmerized to hear my Father’s voice coming from it…fell in love with the phone from that moment!! I too rememberour phone number in Hamilton in 60’s thru’ 80’s being JA##### JA was for Jackson exchange…now it is all numerical & yes cordless….I have a 6.0 mgh V-Tech phone with adjustable volume….i can hear very well with it…all $60. worth, lol….I buy replacement battery from Dollar store & they work as well as the “name brand” types. Like mos,t I have a Landline phone; basic beige push button that works when power goes off…technology is both a blessing & a curse isn’t it?? I DO love computers because I have met people like you who i would not meet w/out this technology….so we take the good with the bad & make the best of it all…:)

    1. Cool … I remember almost all phone numbers I’ve had … I’m strange that way LOL .. Mostly I find it to be a blessing … and you’re right — so many people I’d never, ever had met had it not been for the Internet! Love it!

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