Go back to 1962 in this Bell Telephone film from the Seattle World's Fair

Originally published at: Go back to 1962 in this Bell Telephone film from the Seattle World's Fair | Boing Boing

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Back when the shear weight of the phone was a deadly weapon. Ask any of my older sibs…

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Back when the future was so white, you had to wear shades.

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A monorail…what a great idea!

Funny thing about AT&T: they did original research at Bell Labs (UNIX, the transistor) and, with wires running to every building in most of the country, were in a position to preclude there ever having been things like “the Internet” or “cable teevee.” But they decided to just bask in the monopoly profits of regulatory capture instead. Charging customers $1.99/month for a longer handset cable was more appealing, apparently.

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Good old Bell! They knew just how to grab and hold the attention of pale, pasty kids like myself. And look at these scientific exhibits! I feel smarter, because I looked at them for a few moments!

Sweet “Bell Boy” device, too! 1990s drug dealers are thanking you already.

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Not just for drug dealers. My mom would call my beeper indicating she wanted to know where I was. Then I’d call her collect saying my name was “At-the-movie-theater-pick-me-up” then she wouldn’t accept the charges. Then I’d wait an hour because she got distracted being social with somebody and trying to evangelize to them…

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Bell Boy is a wonderfully evocative name.

I’m in this!!! If you look really closely at the 0:59 mark there’s a gent in a hat on the platform. THAT WAS ME!! I happened to be in Seattle on a layover coming back from quick fox duties in Singapore and I distinctly recall seeing a film crew that day. Wow…time flies. :sweat_smile:

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still miss shoulder cradling the oooold ear-wax scoop; as opposed to trying to wedge the slippery brick.

  • “Dammit, he’s not in my ‘contacts’, i’ll have to dial the number!”
  • “ey! why do we call it ‘dial’-ing anyway!?”
  • “Cuz yer old uncle is really old! ok… 666… 8675308… damn 9!”

by the bye, to characterize the Seattle worlds fair 1962 one must recall the @#$ bubbleator

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I just received my BluRay of The President’s Analyst. The future of The Phone Company applies to both and both bring back memories of my childhood. Spent a lot of time at the Seattle Science Center in my youth.

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A couple of real cringey moments when they were pawing at the Asian woman and gawking at the women in saris.

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Watching that, my brain produced the following couplet, “I am the operator, of the Seattle Bubbleator”, which sounds, to me like it could be a line from a Kraftwerk song.

The Bubbleator is now the Bubbleconservatory. It looks like condensation is an issue.

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Is that soundtrack in the public domain? Because -swoon-.

Meanwhile, if you prefer your viewing experience enhanced with robot silhouettes and talking…

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For anyone wanting more Seattle World’s Fair nostalgia:
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By Source, Fair use, Link

(Not a bad watch, BTW, if you’re OK with Elvis. The director was Normal Taurog. The little girl who co-starred, Vicky Tiu, was later First Lady of Hawaii, and even later almost single-handedly rescued our symphony orchestra from what appeared to be certain death.)

Especially when it is a wall phone (like the dial phone in the room where I’m typing this). Or did you mean “sheer weight”?

100% agree. Especially when it is the entities in front of you live at the theater.

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What, those plastic WE 501s? I have an old metal WE 302, now THAT is a phone to beat somebody with.

Is it just me or are those two kids INCREDIBLY rude? They squirm their way to the front practically bowling over anybody in their path.

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A black-painted zinc-body WE 302 would be my next phone purchase (last was a nice red Ericofon), but my city is moving to 10 digit dialing, which will probably be the death of rotary dial phones at my house.

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I was quite surprised to discover that the 302 works with the FIOS (fiber optic)box.

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In that case, here’s Gloria Wood fronting a wholly memorable 1958 performance of “Hey Bell Boy!” I’d be remiss not to mention Pete Candoli’s tooting.

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With the 554 on our wall, under the old DSL system the dial worked but the ringer didn’t. We switched to cable for both internet and phone, and now the ringer works but the dial doesn’t. I have a mini PBX sitting in a box, once I get around to installing that both should work plus we should be able to hook our cell phones to the landline via bluetooth.

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