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TopsQueen March 22nd, 2015 4:47pm

With the old pushbutton phones each button had a different sound. There were even books with songs for them. Have you ever used to push button phone?

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ladyniner81 I need chocolate
03/23/15 12:16 pm

Dad has both. He refuses to get a cell phone

cowboy Dawns Highway
03/23/15 9:54 am

I've used a rotary telephone...

presrvd Phoenix
03/23/15 10:47 pm

As have I. My grandma refused to get rid of hers until it died...

Pirate Uses the Tap
03/22/15 7:28 pm

Push about a dial phone. Lol. I used to work at the telephone co.

anonymousmn Minnesota
03/23/15 5:18 am

I have a rotary phone! My friend says she is concerned that it would take me longer to dial 911. :)

Pirate Uses the Tap
03/23/15 5:25 am

I wish I had one. They are so vintage now. I love vintage. I have a lot of memories of the dial phones. I should go to the flea market and get one.

anonymousmn Minnesota
03/23/15 7:23 am

Not hard wired, it does have an adapter with a traditional plug. Circa 1974. Gift from my brother-in-law!

anonymousmn Minnesota
03/23/15 7:24 am

Flea markets are expensive for one. He found mine at a Salvation Army in a medium sized town (15,000 people).

user321 Indiana
03/22/15 6:54 pm

I used to be able to play the beginning of metallica's one.

susanr Colorado
03/22/15 6:19 pm

Sure. Also rotary phones.

jlong105 Indiana
03/22/15 5:57 pm

I remember rotary phones

MaxDollaroff cynic turned skeptic
03/22/15 4:51 pm

That's the sound of Funkytown!

03/22/15 6:41 pm


cmeszko99 New York
03/22/15 4:36 pm

Yes. I could text without looking at the keyboard bc I knew all the buttons.

03/22/15 3:25 pm

I've used a rotary phone.

jvc1133 61535
03/22/15 1:34 pm

Still got one

allswel Minnesota
03/22/15 1:48 pm

I still have a rotary phone. 3 eight year olds were looking at it and did not believe it actually worked. I had to show them how to call their mom's cell phone.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
03/22/15 1:13 pm

Sure. I still use two, and all of our cordless phones work that way too. Somewhere around here I still have s tone dialer that lets you tone dial from s pulse phone, or speed-dial from someone else's phone. There's probably an app for that too.

allswel Minnesota
03/22/15 1:50 pm

If you have perfect pitch, you can dial with your voice.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
03/22/15 2:17 pm

I'm sure some people can, but it is very difficult because each tone is actually a pair of tones simultaneously, one high, one low in DTMF (tone) dialing. (DTMF stands for "Dual Tone Multi Frequency). It would be a cool talent to have though!

allswel Minnesota
03/22/15 2:21 pm

OK, phone trivia time. Why are the numbers on a push button phone arranged


Zod Above Pugetropolis
03/22/15 2:29 pm

No idea. I asked this a long time ago, because the numeric keypads on our consoles at work were upside down, that is, matched the phone layout rather than a standard keyboard layout. I've seen a lot of guesses, but none make any sense.

allswel Minnesota
03/22/15 2:31 pm

It was done intentionally to slow down the 10 key operators cause the system could not hear the beeps that fast.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
03/22/15 3:15 pm

That's one of the guesses I'd heard, but you only have to work with the reversed layout for a few days to be just as fast, so I doubt that was the reason. They used to say the same thing about our console layout, but with practice it doesn't matter.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
03/22/15 3:15 pm

I think a better guess is that phone designers weren't that familiar with the adding machine layout back in the old analog days, and figured left to right, top to bottom would be easier for the general public to adapt to.

Wert A picture of my junk
03/22/15 4:33 pm

A Bell Labs paper on human factor engineering where they talk specifically about this. A diagram a few pages in shows the layouts they tested.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
03/22/15 5:27 pm

Very interesting, thanks! I'm not sure I learned much about why they chose what they did from that, it seems like the layout doesn't make much difference. It reminded me that push button phones arranged like rotary dials used to be pretty common.

Wert A picture of my junk
03/22/15 5:32 pm

Yeah. The numbers following the alphabet theory actually makes the most sense to me. It seemed natural for the alphabet above the keys to go from top to bottom, left to right. So, it seemed equally natural for the numbers to follow suit.

allswel Minnesota
03/22/15 6:39 pm

In the late 70s I used to call on Bell Labs in Chicago and it was an engineer there that told me that the 3 final designs were the 10 key, the one they used and another but they found they could not use the 10 key due to the speed.

Wert A picture of my junk
03/22/15 6:43 pm

I don't buy the speed story for the reasons Zod mentions. It would take no time to become proficient with it.

Wert A picture of my junk
03/22/15 6:44 pm

I'd like to see someone try to dial with their voice. Maybe two voices, but not one. It's a combination of two frequencies. I have yet to meet a human that can produce a chord with their voice.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
03/22/15 7:00 pm

You can make two simultaneous tones by basically whistling and humming at the same time. I'm betting it's possible, but I sure can't do it. There is a free app for iThings that looks like it will mimic a tone dialer, but I haven't tried it yet.

allswel Minnesota
03/22/15 7:05 pm

Never seen it done and do not know anyone who has, but I think it can be done.

Wert A picture of my junk
03/22/15 7:14 pm

Maybe with humming and whistling at the same time. That would be a good trick.

Wert A picture of my junk
03/22/15 7:16 pm

Uff da. Tried humming and whistling at the same time. That's hard. You lose a lot of the airflow you need to whistle in the act of humming. Probably not impossible. But I can't do it.

timeout Boston Strong
03/22/15 12:51 pm

Still have them....

Odysseus We All Need A Fantasy
03/22/15 10:32 am

Touchstone, rotary dial and even an antique wall crank phone. Thanks a lot. Bad news is I'm old; good news is my memory is still OK.

chickencookie Merry Christmas
03/22/15 10:08 am

We had a princess phone.

Wert A picture of my junk
03/22/15 10:06 am

Touch tone, or DTMF (Dual Tone Multiple Frequency), is still how dialing works.

And for nostalgia sake, I now perform for you DTMF Mary Had a Little Lamb.

3-2-1-2-3-3-3 2-2-2 3-#-# 3-2-1-2-3-3-3-3-2-2-3-2-1

- Takes a bow -

Wert A picture of my junk
03/22/15 10:07 am

If you call someone, even on your cell phone, and and use the keypad while connected, you can play songs for them. It gets really annoying pretty fast.

TopsQueen Oregon Coast
03/22/15 10:12 am

I thought those beeps were pretty annoying myself. But I have very sensitive ears.

TopsQueen Oregon Coast
03/22/15 10:39 am


Christian1459 Cookin Trouble
03/22/15 9:57 am

Yup. My first phone, which was for emergencies, in middle school.

Christian1459 Cookin Trouble
03/22/15 9:58 am

Oh wow. Never mind. For some reason I picked flip phones. Wow. My bad. I have not had a push button phone.

rons Thanks America
03/22/15 9:52 am

Forgot about hat one. That was a big step up from rotary phones.