The last payphone?

I happened to be in town with D&L yesterday on unrelated business. They stopped at the convenience store: I looked at the corner of the building, and saw…


…or rather didn’t see, the store’s payphone! It’s gone! And it hasn’t been gone long – it was there just a week or two ago.

I have long imagined, probably inaccurately and certainly without basis, that that was the last payphone in the American landscape. What next? No more teepee-shaped motels? God, I’m old…

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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12 Responses to The last payphone?

  1. Ben says:

    I’m shocked that it lasted that long.

    Pay phones, phone booths, typewriters, iPods, tape cassettes; the list of once-familiar objects that will be unknown to our grandchildren goes on forever.

  2. Anonymous says:

    and party lines are no longer an option for phone service

  3. AZDave says:

    Well, as an old collector I still have a three coin payphone, a 1940’s rotary, cross cradle, bakelight wall phone, a 1920 bakelight desk phone as well as a 1876 patented Millersfall drill press attached to a anvil/ vise combination. I saw one recently on E-bay for over $1,300. Go figure as i paid $40.00 for mine.They will all be items for sale later on, as i am entering my 80’s

  4. Mike says:

    Considering how many people have cell phones verse how much cash a payphone takes in, plus the cost of sending someone to empty the coins and service it, and the cost of electricity & lighting, I’m not surprised it’s gone, just how long it took for the phone company to pull it.

  5. Terrapod says:

    I’m willing to bet that the pay phone still serves in the prison system but honestly have no desire to find out. The last one in our town was in front of one of the gas stations, it vanished about 2 or 3 years ago. Some abandoned stations still have the outdoor 3 sided box at car window height but the actual phones are long gone.

    IMHO ATT and the spinoffs missed an opportunity to make all phones take an SBA dollar or Sacajawea dollar tor a call, make a buck each call and help get the damned coins into circulation.

  6. 2600 dudes and dudettes says:

    As a kid in the 60s my local phone company let me dig thru their trash pile and take whatever i wanted. Old phones, wire (rem a kid cant carry much and i didnt want to piss off the golden goose), whatever phone stuff they were throwing out. I ended up with a lot of old gear which i later sold on ebay for ridiculous prices. I also reverse engineered a linesman’s tap and made beaucoup copies which i sold to all comers. Embedded the key electronics in an opaque epoxy so my buds couldnt copy my product and undercut me. Made hundreds of $.

  7. bravokilo says:

    2600, you’re just a thief.
    FU, if no one has told you that today.

  8. 2600 from the early years! says:

    LOL.
    Sorry to piss in your cereal, b.
    not.

    Seriously, i cant tell if you are a troll or just a lifeless loser. Type some more so I can narrow you down.

  9. Terrapod says:

    2600, ignore the troll. In the 70’s as an engineering student we (ahem!) were making tone bypass modules to get free long distance out of ATT, A great product for University.kids far from home. Hey, game the system when you can, every day and make it a life long calling..

  10. Ben says:

    Tetrapod, could you be referring to the so called “blue box”? I never had use for one, but sure knew what they were “back in the day”.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_box

  11. Terrapod says:

    Ben – Yes, the blue box was the name of the time, A simple tone generator using transistors, passive components and a crystal time base, Op amps and other basic ICs were just getting out to the general public. Used to design thick film substrates to “miniaturize” circuits. Sigh,such a long time ago. I still do component level repair where possible, but that is becoming so difficult that it is not worth the effort, especially with weakening eyesight.. .

To the stake with the heretic!