Maybe a History of Phone 2.
As I progressed work-wise, I ended up with a nice job, company car, but the need for a home phone. So, I ordered it, the funny thing in the UK at that time was a. how long it took the post office who controlled all
communications to install the line and phone and b. how expensive it all was. In those days you could not buy a phone, you could legally only rent one from the post office. So, if you wanted an extra phone in another room wow the cost. My Mother panicked, who will pay for this expensive phone she wailed, I will I confirmed. Which I did.
My number was Calthorpe 1243, so on that day, no when I think if it is funny, no one ever answered the phone with hello or their name everyone answered with the number, so I would say Calthorpe 1243, which is strange because that is what you have just dialed. CAL 1243.
My first trip to a friend’s house in the USA staggered me, he had a phone in almost every room, including the bathroom. Coming from the UK I could not understand how anyone could afford such a cost, I inquired, he took me to Target, the supermarket in the USA and there were phones of all colors, styles and sizes I think in those days the most expensive one I could see was $6.00 you bought it, plugged it in, no rental cost. I felt I had been done for years in the UK.
When phones were first invented there, as usual, were the negative responses from people who should know better “The Americans require the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” — Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876.
Even in the USA “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — Western Union internal memo, 1876. It’s funny isn’t it – people reactions that is.
I think I am probably an early adopter for what is new, so when the thought of a mobile phone was noted, I had one of the first, it was called a Rabbit phone, it was not a mobile phone as you would know it today. Rabbit phones worked on a wireless signal, but out and about you had to find a place where that single could be accessed, so in the UK it was an upside-down R on a sign usually outside a shop or somewhere like that, you stood under the sign and then you could pick up the wireless signal and make a call. You could not receive a call, so what happened was that you were also given a bleeper with the phone and if someone called
your Rabbit number your phone would bleep and then you had to find that sign and call the person back. As the Tec Knowledge improved and increased and real mobiles became a thing, the Rabbit people (Then owned by Hutchinson Telecom, a Chinese company, later to become Orange and sold on to French telecom) swapped my Rabbit phone for a nice shine new real mobile phone, and as an early adopter it cost me nothing. Nice.
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