TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: TV Show - Legacy Phone in Scene

Re: TV Show - Legacy Phone in Scene

Joe Morris (
Thu, 20 Oct 2005 12:43:39 UTC writes:

> In the city, payphones for prepay, even if dial-tone first. (I don't
> remember if 3-slots could have dial-tone first). On TV, it seemed
> every pay phone was also pre-pay.

> However, in rural locations, payphones were postpay. That is, you got
> a dial tone and dialed the number. If the line was busy or no answer
> you just hung up. But if answered you had to put in the dime to let
> your transmitter work.

Question: for postpay systems, what mechanism was used to respond to
the insertion of coins to turn on the transmitter? Was it merely the
detection of a coin falling through the mechanism tripping a relay
(presumably reset when the instrument goes on-hook), or was there
involvement by the CO (and wouldn't this be necessary if it was
possible to make long-distance calls from the phone)?

> In the film "Airplane!", the satire of disaster movies, they purposely
> used the buzz of a propeller plane as the background sound for the
> jet, among other sight and sound gags. BTW, the film was not
> original, it was actually a remake of a 1950s Canadian film. The
> original film was intended to be totally serious and they used almost
> all of its dialogue and plot. They just hammed it up and added some
> gag lines here and there. The original movie was already so
> overwrought it became funny pretty easily. (The original was shown on
> TCM who provided this explanation, the original never made it to
> video).

"Airplane!" was a send-up of the film version of the late Arthur
Hailey's 1968 book "Airport", which was made into a film by Universal
two years later. Google shows it as available on both VHS and DVD.

Joe Morris

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