A telephone is a simple device. It plugs into the wall,
stays in one place, and performs a simple function
If this does not conform to your notion of what a telephone
is or should be, then you can take that as proof that
you have been duped by the electronics industry
and brainwashed into thinking that telephone conversations
cannot be undertaken without the aid of hellish battery-powered,
radio-linked, feature-laden accretions of fragile technology.
The apex of telephone design was reached in the 1960's, as far
as I am concerned, with the Model 2500. This is the classic
touch-tone desk telephone. Built like a tank, simple and functional.
When you are faced with a marathon session of touch-tone fumbling
through an automated customer service system, this is the phone
you want to use.
Before that, the model 500 rotary-dial
telephone reigned supreme. An even simpler and more rugged design,
these phones last forever and will withstand anything short of
Did you know that you can use the telephone during a power failure?
The telephone system is self-powered - as long as your telephone
set doesn't rely on household current for its base stations,
repeaters, answering machines, or other extraneous junk. Ever
been in a small (or large) business whose phones go dead during
a power outage? If you've got one of these phones, you can take
it to the switch closet and plug it directly into the telephone
network interface jack and dial out - even when the fancy automated
switchboard is dead for lack of power.
These telephones ring, too. They don't chirp, squawk, play
annoying tunes, or chime - they contain actual honest-to-God bells
that ring. The volume can be adjusted and the ringing suppressed
altogether with simple mechanical adjustment, but the important
thing is that they sound like a telephone, not a video game.
These telephones do not require the user to memorize a seventy-page
instruction manual. There are no codes to remember, no features
to foul up, and nothing about their operation is beyond the grasp
of a four-year-old child.
In a time when telephone manufacturers seem to be competing to
produce the smallest, most useless, overly complex pieces of
fragile junk that cannot even come close to the voice quality
of the old standard telephone sets, yard sales and attics are
a gold mine for the telephone hunter. Most people have forgotten
how well the old phones really worked, and they're now resigned
to throwing away broken telephones every few years. Meanwhile,
some households keep the plain old workhorse 2500 and 500 sets
around - even though they might also have Caller ID boxes and
wireless phones, sometimes nothing works better than the old