TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Telephone Dialing in Old Movies, Police Radio

Re: Telephone Dialing in Old Movies, Police Radio
17 May 2007 08:20:24 -0700

On May 16, 11:25 am, said:

> I remember seeing police call boxes on light poles in many cities.
> Also, I used to hear the Los Angeles police dispatch on the "police
> band" right above the AM broadcast band. I suspect this was a one
> way dispatch to the cars and the officers would go to a call box
> when they needed to talk back to the dispatcher.

Cities had massive networks of telephone lines to street corner call
boxes. I wish someone would compile a history of such systems.

Philadelphia's was owned and maintained by the city govt itself (along
with the fire alarm boxes). I read that NYC's was built under
contract with NY Telephone very early in the 20th Century. There were
articles in the NYT 100 years ago about how the presence of call boxes
saved time to capture a burglar. Of course, 100 years there were far
less burglaries and robberies despite the city being extremely
crowded. The few that occured were newsworthy enough to make the
front page of the NYT in those days.

The former Phila telephone admistrator "the chief" was one of the
types who stayed on the job forever and knew every nook and cranny of
an ancient system. When he finally retired the newspaper covered it.
I wished I had the chance to meet and interview him before his

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