World’s Strangest

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Now You Can Dial Your Own Telephone! (1954)

In this instructional AT&T film from 1954, host Susann Shaw explains how to dial your own telephone. This was, of course, to ease the transition from operator-assisted calls to dial service. It’s bizarre to hear someone explain what a dial tone is, what a busy signal is, and how to dial a telephone — though [...]

A Short History of a Short Tone: The Dial Tone

Did you ever pick up the phone in another country and miss our North American dial tone? When I spent three years abroad, I never got used to the various tones I heard in my ear, both the dial tones and the ringing tones. It seems like a small thing, but when I finally moved [...]