Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vanishing Icon

I know this has been going on for quite some time now but when I saw this decommissioned “double wide” phone cluster at a gas station in Columbia today it really hit home.

Public phones used to be all over the place. Now they are a vanishing icon of the pre cell phone period. It won’t be long until the antique dealers in Ellicott City will be offering vintage coin operated phones.

It really hasn’t been all that long since they dotted local landscape either. I can remember when the main entrance to The Mall, just inside the doors, was flanked by two futuristic pay phone pods. Of course that entrance is long gone too. It’s now a J. Crew store.

Here’s to the pay phone. It was nice knowing ya.


Dave Bittner said...

A few years ago we needed a phone booth for a film shoot. (We were doing a spoof of the Get Smart title sequence.) We called Verizon, and they said, sure thing, we could borrow a phone booth, no problem. I went out to the maintenance facility near Security Mall, met a very nice lady, who gestured to a row of phone booths and told be to take my pick. I asked her if I needed to sign for it, and she said, no, just bring it back when you're done with it. The subtext was clearly, "If you don't bring this thing back it's one less phone booth we have to deal with." We did bring it back, but in retrospect I wish we'd kept it.