How to use a rotary dial telephone (1927)

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I put this on my answering machine in the 80s to get other phone companies wanting you to switch to stop calling several times a day. Does that qualify as phreaking, or did phreakers only used tones to evade long distance charges. Whatever, I was most likely told about it by a phreaker at some con or another. :wink:

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My favorite local exchange recording from that era was: “Your last incoming call has been traced, to follow up on the trace, please call…”

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That font! That FONT! I want to post silly things in that font!

Watched this while perched on a kitchen stool underneath my wall-mounted rotary phone. I have five phones, but this is the one that just bounces when it gets dropped.

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But why would you want to? Nostalgia aside, rotary was terrible. DTMF was a massive improvement.

One neat thing about rotary was being able to dial a DTMF phone without pressing any buttons on the keypad but by quickly pressing the receiver button simulating the rotary clicks.

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Rotary phones work when the electricity goes out. It sounds unlikely, but it’s happened to me three times in two different states where the electricity was out so long that battery-powered phones lost their charge. Once, in another state, it was a VERY violent storm that dropped a lot of tree branches. Here, the power company (Xcel Energy) kept turning off the electricity to Da Hood in order to supply richer neighborhoods and commercial customers with air-conditioning. Eventually, the sleeping giant of the PUC woke up and fined them.

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One really neat thing was calling Australia from any ATM in the early 90s by repeatedly hanging up the emergency phone, until you got a dial tone, and then simulating the clicks.

As for why I would want to have a rotary phone? I like heavy handsets. I use one at home, but it can’t dial out, as I don’t have that FiOS box, and the default switching on the copper (at least here) hasn’t recognized the clicks in a long long time.

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One day you and I should play an anogram game.

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I want to know the name of that font! I dialed 8 for information but didn’t get an answer. I must have jiggled the switch.

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All non-voip corded landline phones work through a power outage, rotary and push button. Which is one of the reasons we still use them at our home.

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Telco powered DTMF phones should work fine as well - they are powered in the same way as a rotary. At least they always worked in my experience as a kid.

Interesting factoid, it takes a lot of voltage to drive those bell ringers. You can get a nasty shock playing with those wires. Don’t ask me how I know this :worried:.

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ISTM that it would be better to start out with an old butt set for the case. https://www.ebay.com/itm/WESTERN-ELECTRIC-BELL-SYSTEM-VINTAGE-LINEMAN-SET-1950S-/251476514649

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Of course if a rotary phone is plugged into a FIOS box, it will only work as long as the battery on the FIOS holds out.

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It is beautiful. And what’s even lovelier and more amazing about the lettering on those intertitles is that each letter is individually hand-painted. I’d wager this film is in the public domain by now, so feel free to use the letterforms to create your own font! You could call it “Rotary!”

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We had a dial-less phone in an office once. By clicking the switch hook I was able to make calls out. Even called long distance once. I have no idea how that bill worked out.

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That is a lovely font, isn’t it?

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As for silent movie fonts, I’m a fan of Frau in Mund. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQlwhG76P9A

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