I remember: Early Phone technology — landline and cell phones

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The first phone I remember at our home was a black rotary phone, the phone came in both wall and desk. The phones originally only appeared in black, shortly after phone came in colors. I recall Red, yellow, blue, green, white, and pink, there may have been others, don’t remember. With introducing colors came an additional monthly charge. Up next was the touchtone phone. I instead of cranking the dial around for each number, now you would press a button. And with this an additional charge.

Dialing a local number meant dialing 7 digits, long distance or another area code added three more digits. The original area codes started with numbers that were not part of the prefix, first three digits of the seven number. They introduced the 800 area codes to allow for reverse the billing, which was free to call as the caller was not footing the bill. Later additional 8xx numbers appeared, like 877, 866, and 855. Over time, most calls required you dialing 10 or 11 digits, US based calls added 1+.

After the landline came pagers. Early pagers you would dial a number, frequently an 800 number, then enter a pager number. Once paged you would call a designated number, talk to an operator and get a message and then call your party. Later the system allowed to enter your number directly. The next step in Technology was a dedicated number that someone could call and punch in the number they want you to call back.

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Cell Phones

The first cell phone I used was in the latter part of the 80s for my job at the phone company. They mounded a larger than a briefcase like object in the trunk and ran wrapped cable of wires that seemed 1 1/2 inch from the trunk to the base that seemed about half the size of the trunk brief case. The hand set still had a cord that connected it to the base. I think at the time calls were a dollar a minute air time, plus long distance charges.

My next cell phone was the bag phone that plugged into the cigarette liter, I was too bulky to carry around that I had to place it in the trunk when I left the car.

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Later I had a handheld, after the bag phone, this one was more portable. It still required the frequent cigarette liter charging but could easily stored inside a briefcase. It too still requiring frequent charges from the cigarette liter, in the car. This was the model MOTOROLA DYNATAC 8000X

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In 1999 the first handheld cell phone was the blackberry phone. It looked like the heal of a shoe and reminded me of the Get Smart television series with Marx Smart. He would peel off his show and make a call to headquarters. I have several Blackberry phones, here’s an article called The Evolution of the BlackBerry in pictures.

Later I had a series of phones being in the support business, besides desktop. Laptops, cell phone were my organization’s responsibilities. I recall some early iPhone, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Erickson

Here’s a great article with many of the early phone we all used, mostly for during employment. They allowed personal call for people like me who were on call.

The cellular phone technology has evolved, the first technology used radio to connect he calls, later followed technology that allowed the user to dial the numbers. I remember these technologies over the years, CDMA, GSM, 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 4G LTE, and soon 5G. This is not an exhausted list of phone technology, but what I recall.

My article is about what I remember — Google is your friend if you want more detail.

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Originally published at www.rogerskibowski.com.

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