Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Where Will Clark Kent Change Into Superman Now?

Pay phones, I'm afraid, are about to go the way of the telegraph. AT&T has announced that it is getting out of the phone booth and pay phone business by the end of 2008, since so many people own cell phones now.

The first public coin telephone was installed in a Hartford, Conn., bank in 1889. By 1902, there were 81,000 public pay phones in service in the United States. During the 50s, the phone booth gained notoriety when the fad of "cramming" - or the act of stuffing as many people as possible into a phone booth - became popular among college students.

I think it's sad. I like phone booths. Years from now some kid will be watching an old movie and will ask, "What IS that?" I can't think of Superman without thinking about Clark Kent changing in a phone booth. Verizon still operates some pay phones in the U.S., particularly on the east coast, although I wouldn't be surprised if they yank them eventually as well.

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