Bag of Randomness for Friday, June 2, 2017

  • Any idea why there was a black drape or curtain in front of that video screen? I’m guessing it has something to do with sound, like keeping it from echoing for the performers.
  • Interesting tradition – High school seniors create massive paper slide
  • Striking new skyscraper in downtown Dallas will be tallest in decades
    • The 45-story apartment high-rise will go up on Field Street on downtown’s north side. The development site is next door to one of Dallas’ most recognizable skyscrapers — the rocket-shaped Fountain Place.
  • WifeGeeding’s father gave us this antique phone. In case you were wondering what the inside looked like, I opened it up. I’m not sure why four large horseshoe magnets were in there.

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4 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Friday, June 2, 2017

  1. RPM says:

    OK, no Googling, but I'm pretty sure the magnets were part of the power source when you cranked the phone. That thing is probably very valuable.

  2. LL Research Dept. says:

    RPM is correct.

    Spinning the crank on the right side of the phone would spin the copper coil inside a magnetic field created by the horse shoe magnets which created an electrical current. This would create a "ring" to the switch board operator who would answer and connect your call via cabling on the switchboard in front of them.

    This was back in the days when you actually talked to the operator. You can watch old shows like Green Acres or Mayberry R.F.D. and see what happens when they make a call.

    Side note, back in those days, the operators knew everyone's business since they were the people that actually connected the calls.

    Second side note, units like this or at least units with the same components were used by fisherman to catch fish. It was called "telephoning" and is illegal. Drop a couple wires in the water, crank on your device, the current created shocks the fish temporarily, they float to the surface and you boat them with the use of a fishing net.

    • Geeding says:

      That reminds me of a family story, but I keep messing up the details since I was a kid when it was told. My uncle and his family were living just outside of Mineral Wells. He was working outside and a bad accident happened. His daughter got on the phone to call for help, I think she was maybe 10 at the time. It was the type of phone line back then where if other people were using it, others had to hang up to free up the line. Again, the details are fuzzy. But the women on the line didn't take her seriously and help didn't arrive until too late.

      • LL Research Dept. says:

        Sorry to hear about your uncle's passing, but that was a step up in telephony technology referred to as the "party line". Basically it was a shared line among multiple users.

        My Grandmother was part of one of these. Each participant had their own incoming ring tone. My Grandmother's was 3 short rings and 1 long ring.

        I can remember as a small child answering the phone any time it rang, even if it was my Grandmother's code. My parents had to explain to me to one, not answer the phone like I did at home, and 2, Grandma's ring code was 3 shorts and 1 long, so if I heard that pattern, get a grown up to answer the call.

        The funny part is anyone on the party line could pick up at their home and listen in on the conversation. My GM was sure one of her neighbors listened to everyone of her calls…lol

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