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August 16, 2017

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Bringing Back the Phone Booth

June 25, 2018


Without the Phone Booth where would Clark Kent go to  become Superman? How would Bill and Ted have gone on their excellent adventures? Would Harry Potter been able to access the Ministry of Magic? The phone booth has been a part of pop culture for decades. It's where Melanie Daniels sought refuge in The Birds and how Clint Eastwood's character in Dirty Harry caught a serial killer. For many, the image of a phone booth conjures up feelings of joy, fear, suspense and nostalgia. Yet most cannot remember the last time they saw an actual one. 


There was a time, not that long ago, that Phone Booths were commonplace. We used them to call our mom and let her know we'd be home soon or let our bosses know we were running late. It provided convenience and privacy that wasn't readily available otherwise. 


As Time Magazine explains, when the telephone first came about, private service was sold  in expensive monthly packages and could only be afforded by the wealthy. As the telephone's popularity grew so did its demand, leading people to come up with more ways to access the service bu way of telephone exchanges that used operators to connect people. One of the first commercial telephone exchanges appeared in 1878 between Bridgeport and Black Rock, Connecticut. A man by the name of Thomas Doolittle used a telegraph wire between the two towns each connected to a telephone and placed in wooden booths. He charged 15 cents for people to use what is believed to be the first ever recorded telephone booth. In 1883, a four by five feet 'telephone cabinet' was patented. It was on wheels and held a desk. This was perfect for high end hotels but still not widely accessible to the public.


That all changed in 1889 when William Gray, the inventor of the inflatable chest protectors for baseball umpires, needed to make an emergency call and had difficultly doing so. His wife was sick and the nearest telephone was at a factory down the street. Initially, they wouldn't let him place the call because he wasn't a subscriber. After some coaxing Gray was able to make the call but the experience left enough of an impression that he invented the first coin-operated public telephone.


By the 1990's there were nearly 3 million Phone Booths in America. They were on street corners, subway platforms and everywhere in between.  Important meetings were conducted, memories were recounted and  hearts were broken all in phone booths. Those days, however, are long gone. In fact, most kids today would likely gaze upon a Phone Booth in the same manner as they would a Dinosaur Fossil. They've only been seen in movies but are not a part of real life. 


AT 3411 Coworking, we've brought back the phone booth and all its glory. While our members love the open work space concept that coworking offers, sometimes privacy is a necessity. We totally get that which is why we have three completely different styles of phone booth, each offering a different vibe.


The first  is more of am out-of-the-way nook that you can pop into. It has a stool and desk area with a curtain that you can close for optimum privacy. Our biggest phone booth was created just for us  by Dreamscape Art & Design (you can read about its journey to 3411 Coworkng h