Rotary Phones Explained To The Young

Rotary Phones Explained To The Young — A mind-blowing sign of the passing of time is this U.K. website that treats rotary phones as exotic artifacts and explains how to use them.

To start making a call, the caller lifted the handset from its cradle and waited to hear the dial tone, also known as the dialing tone, in the earpiece. If there was no tone, the phone either wasn’t working – a not uncommon situation in and after the Second World War or was one of the very early phones.

On hearing the dial tone, the caller put a finger into the dial hole with the first letter to be dialed and dragged the dial round to the ‘stop’.

On removal of the finger, the dial returned itself to its original position, ready for the next letter to be dialled. As it returned, it made a clicking sound: one click for the first hole, two for the second, etc. After dialling the last of the three letters of the area code, the process was repeated with the numbers part.

Note that it’s British which explains the spelling and the communication problems relating to World War II.

It does kind of make one feel old. Think we’ll go listen to some Dead Milkmen or something.

Rotary Phones Explained To The Young

4 thoughts on “Rotary Phones Explained To The Young”

  1. Yep. That is the phone we had. Same color, too. As a kid I used to let my finger “ride” back as the dialer returned to its original position.

  2. My mom still has hers. It’s even older in the one in the picture, black and a slightly different shape. Probably worth more than she paid for it, now that it’s an antique! It still works, too.

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