International Find a Pay Phone Booth Day
About International Find a Pay Phone Booth Day
When is International Find a Pay Phone Booth? This holiday is always celebrated on March 10
Today is International Find a Pay Phone Booth Day. It’s not so easy to spot a phone booth anymore. They are on the “Endangered Species” list. While they are few and far between, pay phone booths are still out there. You just have to look. Today is a call to action. Your mission today is to go out and find one of the increasingly rare phone booths.
In the days before cell phones, you could a find phone booth almost anywhere you looked. You could find them in any city or town, on almost every street corner in America. Phone booths were in every restaurant, store, mall, and public building. For a dime, now a quarter, you could quickly and easily place a phone call.
Over the several decades of their use, there have been many variations of phone booth designs. The traditional phone booth was an enclosed, rectangular box. Original designs were wooden frames with glass walls, evolving to metal frames with glass or plexiglass walls. Modern, indoor phone booths are open booths, with a pay phone inside of them. (See picture below)
Did You know? The first pay phone booth was called a “telephone cabinet”.
The arrival of cell phones spelled the death knell for millions of phone booths, Yet remarkably, a few are still around and working.
If you find a phone booth today, place a quarter in the slot and call someone you know. But, be quick about it. The quarter pays for three minutes. If you want to talk longer, it will cost another quarter for just three additional minutes.
The objective of International Find a Pay Phone Booth Day, go out and find one. Then, savor the nostalgia for a moment. Take a picture, and by all means, make a phone call.
Phone Booth Stuffing
As a prank, on March 20, 1959, twenty-five students in Durbin, South Africa, succeeded in stuffing themselves together inside a phone booth. This record was recognized by the Guinness Book World Book of Records. This wild stunt quickly caught the attention of people, mostly students, across the world. Phone Booth Stuffing became a worldwide craze.
In England, it was called “Telephone Booth Squash”. A few other groups of students claimed to have broken the world record but were determined to have cheated. One of these groups used an extra-large phone booth. This resulted in a set of rules for Phone Booth Stuffing. The 25 person record stands to this day. As quickly as this craze began, it died out in late 1959.
- Alexander Graham Bell received the first official patent for his telephone on March 7, 1876. He fought years of legal challenges claiming he was the sole inventor.
- Alexander Graham Bell made the world’s first telephone call on March 10, 1876.
- Oddly, He refused to have a telephone in his study, fearing a distraction from his scientific work.
- In 1878, Thomas Doolittle created the first telephone booth. Originally called a “telephone cabinet”. Users placed calls between two towns for 15 cents. It was patented in 1883.
- In the United States, it took 44 years for the automobile to gain 25 % market share. The telephone reached 25% market share in 35 years. The Internet took just 7 years to reach this benchmark.
- Shortly after the famous “Mr. Watson come here ….” Bell was testing his instrument over a longer distance. Bell and Watson were upstairs with one instrument while Charles Williams was using the other instrument downstairs. Someone called for Bell from another telephone. Bell went to the other room, handed the instrument to Watson and said “here, hold this” leading to the term “putting someone on hold”.
- The first telephone exchange opened on January 28, 1878, in New Haven, Connecticut.
- Phone service was established at the White House one year after its invention. President Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to have telephone phone service.
- In the early days of telephone booths, some phone booth users did not like them, as the doors often stuck.
- In the 1970s and before, all phone booths would take incoming calls. People could wait for a call or call back. In the 1980s, the phone company discontinued this service, claiming it helped drug dealers.
- Before cell phones arrived, there were an estimated 3,000,000 pay phone booths in the United States alone.
How to Celebrate International Find a Pay Phone Booth Day
- In the true spirit of the day, go out and find a pay phone booth.
- Don’t forget to to take a picture of you using it.
- Make it a contest. Like an old-fashioned scavenger hunt, hold a party and have everyone go out in search of a pay phone booth.
- Make a call to anyone on a pay phone.
- Watch an old movie and look for one in it. A lot of old movies had a scene with an actor using it.
“If it’s the Psychic Network, why do they need a phone number?” – – Robin Williams
History and Origin of International Find a Pay Phone Booth Day
This special day was created in 2018 by Bob Matthews of Rochester, NY. Stumbling upon an increasingly rare pay phone booth in a local shopping mall, Matthews recognized the importance of recording this soon-to-be relic, before they completely disappear.
This special day is defined as an “international” day. The importance and popularity of pay phone booths were truly global.
March 10th is designated “International Pay Telephone Booth Day”. This is the date Bell made his first telephone call to his assistant, Mr. Watson.
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Here are more March 10 holidays we are sure you will enjoy:
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Did You Know? There are literally thousands of daily holidays, special events, and observances, more than one for every day of the year. and many of these holidays are new. People and organizations are creating new holidays regularly. March holidays are no exception. Consequently, at Holiday Insights, we take great efforts to thoroughly research and document the details of each one, as completely and accurately as possible.