Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #232 Looking Backward

Sofia’s challenge is about time, and how things evolve.

Medical Advances

My first photographs were taken at the Museum of Medical History. A couple of years ago I visited this little out-of-the-way museum when Sacramento was hosting Museum Day. Once a year, the public is invited to visit and learn about all the local museums. This little gem is just fascinating, but do not visit if you are about to have a medical procedure.

Iron Lung used during the polio epidemic
This technology continues to develop into smaller devices. Yeah!

With the use of digital equipment, disposables, and computers the look of hospitals is quite different.

My grandson meets the computer age.

Dimise of the Telephone Booth

My next set of photographs has to do with the slow disappearance of the telephone booth. With the advent of the pocketable cell phone, the public telephone is a rare find. I wonder where Clark Kent will go to change into Superman?

These booths had doors. This allowed for more private conversations. None of these are working telephone booths. The bottom image is from the Roseville Telephone Museum.

Somewhere along the evolution, the door is eliminated. And then the booth altogether. The dial is gone, and now there are buttons to press.

This image was taken in 2008. I wonder if this bank of shiny working pay phones is still in service the Phoenix Airport? Where or when did you last see a working pay phone?

One of my early jobs, while I was in college, was that of a long-distance telephone operator. And one of my least favorite part of the job was to connect someone from a pay phone. I had to listen for the coins to drop, connect the call, monitor, and ask for additional money after 3 minutes. Often the person would just walk away without paying. I was also the person who took the many complaints if they lost money on a non-working phone. I really don’t know how the phone call is paid for now. I bought my first cell phone in 1997 (25 years ago), and that took care of my use of pay phones. And that phone did not fit into my pocket or do what my iPhone 13 pro can do.

Thank you Sofia for giving me a chance to look back. 25 years of cell phones. Wow, I just can’t believe that. Oh well, time flies.

9 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #232 Looking Backward

  1. 2 very fun choices Marlene – and what an interesting story about your operator job! I had no idea you COULD walk away from the monies owed! And I’ve notice there really is no such thing as a pay phone anywhere any more. Also loved your medical museum. We used to have one like that right near my office about 20 years ago and we found it fascinating. The iron lung is so sad. Can you imagine being locked up in one of those?!

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  2. So interesting to see the old ways again and think about the memories we had with those pay phones. Thanks for sending!

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  3. These are great, Marlene. The museum is the kind of place I’d love to visit and a wonderful way to see how things have changed, for the better! I can’t remember the last time I saw a phonebox anywhere, but I think there’s still some left, obsolete but beautiful (we’d only have the red ones around these parts).

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