TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Color 3 Slot Payphones; Phones on Brady Bunch

Re: Color 3 Slot Payphones; Phones on Brady Bunch

Wed, 26 Jul 2006 02:03:30 -0400

Anthony Bellanga wrote:

> wrote:

>> An old "Brady Bunch" episode showed the parents using 3 slot
>> pay phones in a fancy restaurant. They were beige. While the
>> vast majority of Bell System 3 slot pay phones were black, in
>> some places they did use colors; I've seen beige in many places.

> The third color for 3-slotters that was sometimes used was green.
> I've heard that in some cases, the telephone company might even paint
> a 3-slot payphone some "unusual" color (for an extra fee, I assume),
> such as red or blue. But the three standard colors, in order of how
> common they were, were black, then beige, then green.

Here's a strange twist. My aunt was a Bell operator. Not critical but
add some additional humor to the story. Back about 1963 or so she
moved into a new house and ordered a black dial phone. They wanted her
to take a new "colored" touch tone phone or at least a white dial
phone. Well that cost an extra $1 a month back then and she was
watching pennies closely at the time and refused to take anything but
a black dial phone. So they came out with the phone. It was a white
dial phone BRUSH painted black at the local office. :) They had run
out of black, apparently WE wasn't making them any more as the local
Bells assumed they could meet demand from disconnects and they ran

> I read on a tribute website about the Brady Bunch that for all five
> original ABC-TV seasons (1969-74), they NEVER had a touchtone phone at
> all in the house. They always had a standard rotary dial phone. Since
> the setting was southern California, I wonder if it could be assumed
> that they were always served by a "Step-by-Step" office, and one which
> didn't have DTMF to DP converters! Afterall, Mike would have been able
> to afford Pacific Telephone's monthly touchtone surcharges! :-)

I thought Southern Cal was GTE. Which after I had them in Lexington KY
for a few years, I decided I'd make my living choices with a strong
negative factor if it required living where the provided service.

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