Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Our Love Affair with Telephones

When you think back over the course of western history, there are key inventions that changed modern society. For example, (in no particular order) the light bulb, automobiles, the phonograph and telegraph, airplanes, air conditioning, water purification systems, the telephone and of course, the Internet. While the same argument could be made for any one of these inventions, Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone was one that has changed drastically and continues to have significant modifications today that affect the average person.

At one time, having and using a telephone was considered a luxury or extravagance. But telephones quickly became part of society and how things get done. Hollywood movies used the telephone to add dramatic effect to a scene, usually to deliver shocking news to an unsuspecting female lead in the film. After receiving her news, she would invariably stammer and stare in disbelief. Yes, telephones had become a part of life. The amazing part is how hideous telephones were- FOR SO MANY YEARS. The "modern" advances in design in the 60's and 70's were basically color changes. The push button was perhaps a significant improvement in telephones at the time. I thought it would be fun to present a minor pictoral retrospective of telephones, so here goes:
REALLY OLD PHONES...
OLDEN-DAYS PHONES...
UGLY OLD PHONES...
70's PHONES...
A 70 YEAR OLD WITH A PHONE...

Those giant "portable phones" are funny now...geez, his arm MUST be getting tired from holding that thing.

Since we're all familiar with the home and cell phones of 1990's through 2006, I'll jump right to the new iPhone...which has capitivated me...

Now THAT's a phone!!!

-Rick Rockhill (photo: Joan Crawford, Anne Blyth, scene from Mildred Pierce)

11 comments:

captain corky said...

I saw an adverisement for full internet access on a cell phone for AT&T coming out at the end of this month, or maybe sometime next month. Preatty neat.

Lewis said...

I was quickly reminded of how old I am....actually, of how far technology has come in a very short period of time. I loved all of the colors in the 1970s. Boise only had three telephone prefixes when I was growing up.....and,next week, the I-phone? amazing!

Kerry and Rachel said...

I had a great-uncle who had a love affair with phones. He had one in every room, including the bathroom. If only he could see what they look like today!

Morgen said...

Great phone retrospective!
We were watching Charlies Angels on DVD the other night, and someone had one of those ginormous cordless phones and we had to laugh!

Michael said...

Yes, telephones, for better or for worse, have changed history. One thing I don't care for however is that in this age of cell and "iphones" there is no excuse for being unreachable. Ah, how I long for those days.

On a related note, the automobile has had a profound affect on the way we live and even how cities are designed. I read somewhere recently that the divorce rate corresponds exactly with car ownership throughout the 20th century. Interesting.

T-Bird said...

Ringing phones affect me like waving a red banner at a bull. Mine went off today at work -- had programmed a new ring – the “call to the post” horse track theme -- and it almost sent me thru the ceiling.

What I need is something that gently flickers some soft blue and violet lights – and has a soft harp glissando.

Anonymous said...

love that ne iphone...can't wait to pick one up. fun post, nice job

curmudgeon said...

iPhone: Ten pounds of shit in a five pound gunny sack.

How much more junk are they going to try and cram in a single device?
I dunno, I may be old-fashioned, or I just don't care about gadget thingys an more. Bells, whistles, flashy icons, more things that can go wrong. And since it's 'i' anything, it will be proprietary, self-contained and un-configurable.

Spook E said...

I can't keep up anymore. By the time I'm done learning how to completely use one phone, there's a newer and better one out.

Dr. Blogstein said...

Hey man. Try to call into the show this week--we got a guy from egadget.com coming on to talk some iPhone.

Cindy said...

I know isn't it amazing how far we've come just in 10 years with cell phones alone. Amazing indeed.

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