“There cannot be mental atrophy in any person who continues to observe, to remember what he observes, and to seek answers for his unceasing hows and whys about things.” Alexander Graham Bell, 1922
Kuiper: hello yes what is this yellow box?
Me: Yellow what? Oh!
(Dogs cannot see red or green; swipe for KUIPERVISION™)
Me: It’s a telephone booth?
Kuiper: why would you need a booth for your phone??
Me: Kids these days.
The first coin-operated telephone booth was a modern technological marvel of job automation. It was not the first paid public telephone, but it was the first which didn’t require an attendant present to collect money. The booth was invented by William Gray and installed in Hartford, CT in 1889. By 1902, there were over 81,000 pay phones in the US. This number peaked in the mid 1990s at around 2.6 million. According to the FCC, as of 2016, there were less than 100,000 left.
More than just the popularity of the cell phone has endangered phone booths, at least in the US. The 1967 Supreme Court case Katz vs. United States ruled that people have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” when placing a call in a booth, i.e. that calls cannot be wiretapped without a warrant. As crime rose in the 1990s, a number of cities decided to restrict access to payphones or started removing them altogether. They were seen as hotbeds for illegal gambling, drug dealing, and other crimes.
Unfortunately, the removal of payphones hasn’t just made life inconvenient for Superman. They’re not only still in use by some of the most vulnerable demographics, but they also come in handy during disasters. In NYC, payphones were used (free of charge) to communicate both after 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.
When was the last time you used a #phonebooth? Or have you ever used one?
Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BZHr7cGg_BA/