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Historical marker on Hyde Park Avenue bears witness to a lost age

Old payphone on Hyde Park Avenue

This historical marker on Hyde Park Avenue in Hyde Park beckons you to another time, when people rummaged through their pockets for a dime or quarter to call for a ride home or, failing that, made a collect call (station to station, of course, so much cheaper than person to person).

Its well preserved status probably owes to the fact that it stands in front of the E-18 police station, so nobody's going to take the time it would take to smash the handset or cut through the metal cord that once would have connected you to an operator.

Lifting the handset reveals, of course, that this is strictly a marker - there is no dial tone, no matter how many times you flick the receiver handle, so no way to call Jesus or the free job line.

Old payphone on Hyde Park Avenue let you make free calls for advice from Jesus or on how to get a job
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There are still some working pay phones around the city.

On a recent trip to Montreal, there were pay phones all over the place. And I found them very useful, since my cell phone doesn't work in Canada. I dug out my old calling card, and since Canadian pay phones don't have that 55 cent surcharge on calling card calls like American ones, calls only cost me 3 cents a minute.


person to person only, of course, and it's free. He won't answer, but you can call.


So true, he never answers, and doesn't return the call if you leave a message.

And then there's this.

...was the uniquely pungent smell of the mouthpiece. Obbviously from absorbing years of people's bad breath. It wasn't completely nauseating or anything, but it was a smell that was found no place else.

How did that fit in your pocket?

You will find an operatrional payphone and a bus station or train station or airport withj interstate service as the ITC has had a regulation mandating them and it is still on the books.

Making it a requirement for people to pay or their own personal telephone when they neither want nor need one, or a faciility need to pay for others' calls as a serviceor courtesy, especially when nobody may be working there at the time, is NOT right.

Never mind cases of lost or stolen phones.
I find having no alternative to the forced migration to private cell phone ownership, while convenient and normal to be unfair. But I'm an old fart used to the old ways.

Of course the telecoms have been raking it in for decades now and the amount of phone traffic has increased exponentially which means $$$$.

And we all trust the telecommunications industry to treat their users fairly, right?
They would NEVER be tempted to control of the FCC in order to gain power, now would they?

I'm sure there were some who were reluctant to use a telephone, back in the day, and were all pissy that it got to the point where they were expected to have a phone number n stuff.

I haven't heard of this regulation. What is the ITC?

An airport or major train station is busy enough, including with international visitors, to justify a few pay phones.

if he's ever in town.

Clark Kent gave up on phone booths in the late 1940s. He never used one to change during the entire run of the Adventures Of Superman TV series.

It wasn't a phone booth, it was a TARDIS. Dr. Who didn't start running on TV until 1963 (time travel, you know), so nobody recognized it.

In the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie, he heads for a phone booth to change, then realizes it's one of these not-a-booth installations, and goes somewhere else.

He spun around really fast in a revolving door.

They did have the gag about the funky new style pay phone on a post, but also had a scene in which he spun through the door at super high speed, transforming in a blur from a mild mannered news man much like Adam, to the Super Hero Metropolis needed.


My building is an old nursing home and has one of these relics. If anyone knows the guy with the key, there are some Phone Company employees in Brockton would like to speak with him….

The last one I saw in my Mattapan neighborhood wanted $1.00 to make a local call. The ones in Forest Hills Station have been removed.