Chris J Powell

Tech that Time Forgot – Throwback Thursday – The Phone of my Youth

I grew up in a profoundly middle class family.  Both my parents worked and while we never had a lot…we always had enough.  5 boys in a 4 bedroom house in small town Ontario Canada.  The 70’s and 80’s were vastly different times and the things that we now take for granted were nothing  more than dreams and fantasy straight out of a Science Fiction movie.  For a phone…there was no cell phones or cordless phones.  No texting…heck we didn’t even have the fancy “touch tone” until around 1990.  You see, when we moved into the house in 1973 when I was just a year old…Bell Canada came in and installed a hard wired phone to the wall and for this privelege my family paid $2.50 per month for the next 20 years(that’s right $600+ for a phone that today you can grab for less than $20 on eBay)!


This green monstrosity hung on our kitchen wall and had a cord that was about 25 feet long but that was never long enough to provide any real privacy.  You could not go into your bed room and talk, there was no hold or mute while you tried to get 4 younger “pests” to leave you alone and heaven forbid you were trying to make plans for a party while your parents were going to be out of town for the weekend…you couldn’t do it when anyone was around because well…all was known to the family at large.

You see, the Rotary Phone while it was a huge benefit to connecting the world together, and I think back to the long distance phone calls to my first girlfriend who lived in Tottenham, Ontario at the time.  We think of the privacy violations that potentially occur when big business pries into our lives…but there is nothing more annoying and damaging than having your parents or worse one of your 4 younger brothers eavesdropping on your private “first love” conversations at the grand age of 15/16.

One of the reasons this form of communication comes up as a Throwback Thursday topic is that my daughter saw one of these phones while we were on an adventure this weekend and asked if we could get one.

I had to question the logic behind this.  Why would my daughter want to have technology that is so outdated?  Then I got thinking about it…she is an old soul and while she loves her smart phone and iPad…she has that wonderful blend of old with new (in fact she prefers her old laptop over my Chromebook because it is “tougher”).

I don’t have a land line (and don’t plan on getting one)…but as a Dad part of my job is to make things happen for my little girl so the quest to find one…even if it to just be a curiosity piece is now on.



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