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The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation

Started by HobieSport, November 23, 2008, 01:45:19 AM

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Can anyone make out what they have Floyd's daughter is talking on?

And regarding "Suspense!", think of how much suspense is generated waiting for the call to finally go through, it's almost like they were intentionlly using the process of making a long distance call as a plot device to heighten the suspense.


Quote from: tjmack99 on January 27, 2011, 04:38:44 PM
Can anyone make out what they have Floyd's daughter is talking on?

I always assumed that was a future prop that was as fictional as the phone equipment in the phone booth Dr. Floyd is in.  It's their idea of what the control box of a residential picture phone would look like.

But if it resembles anything real that someone recognizes, I'd love to hear it.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820


By the way, since I had the DVD in the computer to make the above screen grab, I watched closely to document that the phone number Dr. Floyd dials is


He actually pauses that way (dials 153, pauses, dials 458, pauses again, then dials 15445).

As far as today's international numbering plan, there is no Country Code 153, and Country Code 53 is Cuba, which doesn't make sense to the context of the movie.

According to Wikipedia, Dr. Floyd (and assumedly his family) are American.  I suppose the Space Station could have been part of the North American NANP, but then, despite how he paused, that would make the phone number:


Currently, area code 534 is in Wisconsin, but there is no 581 exchange in area code 534.

For whatever reason if the Space Station was somehow a local call from the UK, 01534 is in Jersey, England.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820


Well the movie was filmed in the UK, so maybe......


In the Fringe episode "Reciprocity" there is a collection of AE wall phones in the shape-shifters apartment.  If you go to the Fox site to view the episode, it is at minute 37.  In another episode I noticed that the Observer''s apartment features 4-prong jacks.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409


Is that the episode where they show a whole bunch of wall phones (mostly wood) on the wall going up a flight of stairs and then they show a few more sitting on a fireplace mantle?

If so it was filmed at a local telephone collectors house here in the Vancouver area. I had lunch with him and some other collectors last Thursday.



While watching "Fringe" this past Friday, I noticed near the end the scene was shot in an apartment that had several phones on the wall, a collectors wall.

Most of them were colored side hood wall phones, a few trim-lines and some others that are hard to tell what they are being somewhat out of focus.

Thought all the wall phone guys out there would find this interesting. However, I still think that collection of 554's put up a few weeks ago is tops.

It's a digital photo of my TV screen so this is as good as it gets unless you want to go to and watch the episode aired 1-28-11.


Nope, these were plastic color sets, all mounted on a wall.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Jim Stettler

I guess those to be AE 90's.
Good spotting on old phones .
Welcome to the forum and you get a thumb's up for catching a current old phone referance.
Jim S.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.


Yeah most are AE 90's but I can't tell what the ones are near the bottow. I think Fringe is still filmed here in Vancouver and AE phones certainly "go" with Vancouver. I'll have to ask around....

Pilot filmed in Toronto Ontario.
Season 1 filmed in New York.
Season 2 & 3 (current season) filmed in Vancouver.


Greg G.

A few shots from an old movie, Gun Crazy (1949).
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
- Mike Row

Russ Kirk

Here is an article about the use of telephones in movies.

It is from the Pacific Telephone Magazine January-February 1949. 

- Russ Kirk


Really neat article, Russ.  Thanks for posting that.


The part about Barbara Stanwyck is interesting. The movie version of Sorry, Wrong Number should be subtitled "How to knock the paint off a 202 in ten easy steps."  :)  Despite whatever lessons she learned from Madeline Sullivan, she proceeded to slam the handset down on the phone and throw it around in her bedroom in the movie. It was a white or ivory painted 202 with a painted fingerwheel (this was before the Imperial and Continental were introduced). She uses the phone a lot, because she's an invalid confined to her bedroom. It's an interesting movie, but a bit long, considering the original radio drama was only half an hour.


I thought about putting that picture in the Movie section but it doesn't include TV in the title so I did an off topic.

A few TV stations up here are running shows from the 50's and 60's and I love watching The Untouchables with their candlesticks, including a white one every now and then, the 2 piece pay phones and all those vintage WE payphones.

Then there is Perry Mason with everything from 302's to every style or year of 500's, even some in white.

Superman had a great variety of old phones.

Those three oldies are chock full of old phones and I keep rewinding the DVR to get a good look at a phone that looks new to me, never seen before.

But that shot from Fringe intrigued me because I don't remember seeing an AE-90's in colors. Everyone I've seen has been plainold black.