Author Topic: Request for Payphone Memories / Stories  (Read 483 times)

Offline Payphone_Guy

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Request for Payphone Memories / Stories
« on: April 22, 2017, 05:07:51 PM »
Hello Everyone,

I am a Ph.D Student who was very kindly assisted last year when I was writing a material culture study of a certain payphone in Spring Valley, CA.  The information proved invaluable, so thank you all again very much to those who helped.

I mentioned that I hoped to continue the project and I now have the opportunity to do so.  I was very politely wondering if anyone would please be willing to share some specific stories and/or memories of payphone use?

How many calls do you think you made from a payphone, and how many of those can you remember?  Does anyone remember any specific payphones they always went to and why (convenience, cost, cleanliness, etc.)?  Do you feel payphones are memorable in some way?  Any other memories of any sort are - of course - also welcome!!  I am interested in any memories and stories!

Thank you all very much, any help is greatly appreciated!


unbeldi

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Re: Request for Payphone Memories / Stories
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 05:26:36 PM »
Yes, I certainly remember.
Did you find out more about the payphone's location and history?
Did you find a key to open it?

Offline mentalstampede

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Re: Request for Payphone Memories / Stories
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 07:15:40 PM »
I was a teen in the late 1990s. This was when automated collect call services like 1-800-COLLECT were getting big. Us kids would use this to get free calls. When the automated service asked for our name, we would simply read off the number printed on the payphone. Then whomever we were trying to call would refuse the call and call us back. It didn't take long for payphone operators to start disabling incoming calls on payphones once this got popular.

The photo attached I took during this period of the GTE 120B in the parking lot of a 24hour diner in my hometown that was popular with us at the time. I made several 1am calls on this phone. Accoring to the EXIF data on the file, I took this picture at 2:11AM on a cold January morning!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 07:24:34 PM by mentalstampede »
My name is Kenn, and I like telephones.

“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” --Robert Heinlein

Offline Payphone installer

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Re: Request for Payphone Memories / Stories fraud
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2017, 10:13:43 AM »
There is just one problem with what you are saying. When you dialed 1800 collect it was MCI, MCI never passed the caller ID as many 1800 companies did not to the called party for the very reason you are describing.
 Now what you are saying is possible if you deposit a coin and call your party on a dumb set and hang up in under 5 seconds. Your payphone also has to be equipped with the ability to accept incoming calls.
 Most public telephones on the street were no longer allowing incoming calls by the 90's as a result of fraud.
 Of course I am talking Bell Telephone. A payphone was assigned a class of service which means how it was programed in the Central Office (CO). either to allow or disallow incoming calls, that class of service was 1PC or 1P1 for Bell companies.
It is possible with GTE that they did not have the ability to prevent inbound calls as they had a lot of older switches.
However any collect call platform would not pass caller ID to the end user. But there was a way to beat the automated collect call platform if it was an automated operator, when the platform said "caller say your name" you could say the phone number you were talking from instead then hang up. This would allow the called party to call you back.
The reason that the telephone company eliminated incoming calls on street public telephones was for a entirely different reason.  So here is why.
 There is a apartment building several stories tall sitting in downtown anywhere on a busy city street. Well a gentleman which we will call A is approaching the payphone in a booth.
Gentleman B we will call him is up on floor 3 of the apartment building watching A heading for the phone booth out the window.
 A walks in the booth to make a call. B has already upon seeing A approaching the phone booth dialed 6 0f the seven digits of the telephone number, as A is just entering the booth B dials the last digit of the phone number.
A picks up the handset just as the phone is about to ring and deposits his coin.
A either hears no dial tone or dials his number and nothing happens.
So he hangs up the phone and waits for his coin to return,it does not.
 B still has his phone off hook in the apartment and is waiting for A to get mad and walk away. A gets mad and walks away. B waits till A is far enough away then he hangs up the phone in the apartment,upon hanging up the phone the coin returns. B runs down the steps retrieves the coin and waits for the next guy.  This process worked on dial tone first and coin first payphones. It is called Fraud and there were about a hundred ways to do it. That is why every payphone you ever went to after the inception of dial tone first said LISTEN FOR DIAL TONE.

Offline mentalstampede

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Re: Request for Payphone Memories / Stories fraud
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2017, 11:54:53 AM »
.
However any collect call platform would not pass caller ID to the end user. But there was a way to beat the automated collect call platform if it was an automated operator, when the platform said "caller say your name" you could say the phone number you were talking from instead then hang up. This would allow the called party to call you back.


Speaking the number is what I was referring to that the kids around here discovered would work. I was not clear enough in my description, but I wasn't referring to called ID.
My name is Kenn, and I like telephones.

“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” --Robert Heinlein

Offline Payphone installer

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Re: Request for Payphone Memories / Stories
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2017, 04:42:26 PM »
Yep speaking the number would work.

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Request for Payphone Memories / Stories
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2017, 11:50:07 AM »
Anyone ever stuff the coin return with tissue, then go back the next day to recover the change ?
WELL !, you asked for phone booth stories.
D/P

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Pvt-telco

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Re: Request for Payphone Memories / Stories
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2017, 11:52:56 AM »
I do remember payphones really well. Not being home if you needed to make a phone call, especially from school, they came in very handy and there is still one in place in my locale, ahthough it has not worked in years
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 12:09:02 PM by Pvt-telco »