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Encyclopedia > Phonebooth

A telephone booth (telephone box or telephone kiosk) is a small structure furnished with a payphone and designed for a telephone user's convenience. Such a booth usually has a door to provide privacy and a window to let others know if the booth is in use. The booth may be furnished with a printed directory of local telephone numbers, and a booth in a formal setting such as a hotel may be furnished with paper and pen and even a seat. An outdoor booth may be made of metal and plastic to withstand the elements and heavy use, while an indoor booth may have more elaborate architecture and furnishings. Most outdoor booths feature the name and logo of the telephone service provider to provide immediate recognizability in unfamiliar surroundings and thus achieve a branding effect. Download high resolution version (960x1280, 281 KB)From http://sxc. ... Download high resolution version (960x1280, 281 KB)From http://sxc. ... A K6 red telephone box designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott K2 red telephone boxes behind Enzo Plazzottas bronze, Young Dancer, on Broad Street, Covent Garden, London A red telephone box in London. ... Payphone A payphone or pay phone is a public telephone, with payment by inserting money (usually coins) or a debit card (a special telephone card or a multi-purpose card) or credit card before a call is made. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


The telephone booth became common in industrialized countries in the 1910s. Starting in the 1980s pay telephones were less and less commonly placed in booths. In many areas where they were once common, telephone booths have now been completely replaced by non-enclosed pay phones. Many locations that provide pay phones mount the phones on kiosks rather than in booths — this relative lack of privacy and comfort discourages lengthy calls in high-demand areas such as airports. Events and trends Technology Gideon Sundback patents the first modern zipper Harry Brearley invents stainless steel Charles P. Strite invents first pop-up bread toaster Science Einsteins theory of general relativity Max von Laue discovers the diffraction of x-rays by crystals Alfred Wegener puts forward his theory of... // Events and trends The 1980s marked an abrupt shift towards more conservative lifestyles after the momentous cultural revolutions which took place in the 1960s and 1970s and the definition of the AIDS virus in 1981. ...


Special equipment installed in some telephone booths allows a caller to use a computer, a portable fax machine, or a telecommunications device for the deaf.

Contents


Paying for the call

A contemporary British Telecom phone box outside Morpeth station in Northumberland
Enlarge
A contemporary British Telecom phone box outside Morpeth station in Northumberland

The user of the booth pays for the call by depositing coins into a slot on the telephone or by entering a payment code on the telephone's keypad. Some pay phones are equipped with a card reader that allows a caller to make payment with a credit card. A caller who possesses no means of payment may have the phone company's operator ask the call recipient if the recipient is willing to make payment for the call; this is known as "reversing the charges" or "calling collect". It is also possible to place a call to a phone booth if the intended recipient is known to be waiting at the booth, however not all phone booths allow incoming calls. Long before "computer hacking" was a common phenomenon, creative mischief-makers devised tactics for obtaining free phone usage through a variety of techniques, including several for defeating the electro-mechanical payment mechanisms of telephone booths--early methods of phone phreaking. Phone box - Morpeth station - 5th August 2004 - by & copyright Tagishsimon - File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Phone box - Morpeth station - 5th August 2004 - by & copyright Tagishsimon - File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... BT Group plc (which trades as just BT, and is commonly known by its former name, British Telecom) is the privatised former British state telecommunications operator. ... Categories: British railway stations | Rail stubs | Northumberland ... For other places with this name, see Northumberland (disambiguation) Northumberland is a ceremonial and administrative county in northern England. ... Phreaking is a slang term coined to describe the activity of a subculture of people who study, experiment with, or exploit telephones, the telephone company, and systems connected to or composing the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) for the purposes of hobby or utility. ...


Recent developments

Phone boxes are often vandalised
Phone boxes are often vandalised

The increasing use of cellular phones has led to a decreased demand for pay telephones, but the increasing use of portable computers is leading to a new kind of service. In 2003, service provider Verizon announced that they would begin offering wireless computer connectivity in the vicinity of their phone booths in Manhattan. This allows a computer user to connect with remote computer services by means of a short-range radio stationed within the booth. The caller pays for usage by means of a pre-arranged account code stored inside the caller's computer. Wireless access is motivating telephone companies to place wireless stations at locations that have traditionally hosted telephone booths, but stations are also appearing in new kinds of locations such as libraries, cafes, and trains. Download high resolution version (1536x2048, 1123 KB)Photo of phone box with smashed tempered glass in Holloway. ... Download high resolution version (1536x2048, 1123 KB)Photo of phone box with smashed tempered glass in Holloway. ... To report vandalism on Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress. ... Cellular redirects here. ... Laptop with touchpad. ... 2003 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section should include material from Bell Atlantic This article or section should include material from GTE Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) is a local exchange telephone company formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic, a former Bell Operating Company, and GTE, which was the largest independant local exchange... Wireless networks are telephone or computer networks that use radio as their carrier or physical layer. ... Manhattan is an island bordering the lower Hudson River. ...


A rise in vandalism in certain regions has prompted several companies to manufacture simpler booths with extremely strong pay phones. The simplification has often led to the disappearance of the built-in Telephone desk which had been provided to give a writing surface for customers. The telephone desk is the smallest kind of fixed desk. ...


The telephone booth in culture

The concept of the telephone booth is a useful metaphor in storytelling. In Stanley Kubrick's 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, a scientist journeying to the moon uses a pay phone to communicate with his daughter on earth, showing movie audiences that an act as prosaic as telephoning one's daughter remains part of the human condition regardless of mankind's exploration of the universe. Although this telephone booth is futuristic enough to travel through space and feature a live video link with Dr. Floyd's daughter, the matter of payment remains a timeless issue as the phone dutifully displays the charges afterward. Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was an American film director. ... See also: 1967 in film 1968 1969 in film 1960s in film years in film film Events October 30 - The film The Lion in Winter, starring Katharine Hepburn, debuts. ... A movie poster from the original release of 2001 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is an immensely popular and influential science fiction film and book; the film directed by Stanley Kubrick and the book written by Arthur C. Clarke. ... Crust composition Oxygen 43% Silicon 21% Aluminium 10% Calcium 9% Iron 9% Magnesium 5% Titanium 2% Nickel 0. ...


In Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film The Birds, actress Tippi Hedren is trapped in a phone booth as birds try to attack her and cause havoc in the town around her. Here we see the director questioning man's place in nature because the birds are in control on the outside and the human being is trapped in a glass cage. Instead of facilitating communication, this telephone booth isolates the character from all human contact. Alfred Hitchcock Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was a British film director closely associated with the suspense genre. ... See also: 1962 in film 1963 1964 in film 1960s in film years in film film Events June 12 — Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison and Richard Burton premieres at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City. ... The Birds (1963) is a horror film by Alfred Hitchcock, based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier. ... Tippi Hedren (born January 19, 1931 in New Ulm, Minnesota) is an American actress. ...


In the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, the title character's vehicle for traversing space and time was designed to take the shape of any desired object, but the circuitry for achieving this effect malfunctioned while the vehicle had the shape of what some non-British and younger views assume is a telephone booth, but is actually a classic British police call box; a special telephone intended only for the use of police officers before the introduction of police radios or for civilians in emergencies. List of Doctor Who serials Doctor Who audio releases Doctor Who spin-offs - includes a discussion of the many novelisations and original novels based on the series History of Doctor Who The Doctor (Doctor Who) List of supporting characters in Doctor Who, including villains and aliens List of robots in... 20th century British police call box, similar to that used in Doctor Who A police box is a telephone kiosk or callbox for use by members of the police. ...


In the 1960s TV series Get Smart, the CONTROL headquarters was located in the basement of a building, accessible via a telephone booth. This method of access was seen in the opening credits of most episodes. Get Smart was a United States comedy television series that ran from September 18, 1965 until 1970. ...


Superman and his anthropomorphic parody Underdog have often been depicted as changing from their secret identities into their superhero counterparts in telephone booths. Phone booths are not the most practical of places for effecting a change of costume for those unendowed with superpowers. Even the superheroes can be confounded — in the 1978 film Superman, Christopher Reeve's Superman comically discovers during an emergency that the local pay phones are the open-kiosk style. Superman, nicknamed The Man of Steel, is a fictional character and superhero who first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938 and eventually became one of the most popular and well-known comic book icons of all time. ... For another definition of underdog, see underdog (competition). ... Superman (left) and Batman, two of the most recognizable and influential superheroes. ... See also: 1977 in film 1978 1979 in film 1970s in film years in film film Events February 1 - Bob Dylans film Renaldo and Clara, a documentary of the Rolling Thunder Revue tour premieres in Los Angeles, California March 1 - Charlie Chaplins coffin is stolen from a Swiss... Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel, Superman Superman, also known as Superman: The Movie, is a 1978 Warner Bros. ... Christopher Reeve (September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004) was an American actor, director, producer and writer renowned for his film portrayal of Superman/Clark Kent. ...


The 1972 short film La Cabina (IMDB link) directed by Antonio Mercero features a man trapped inside a telephone booth. The initially light-hearted Spanish made film (which features no dialogue) has a chilling conclusion. See also: 1971 in film 1972 1973 in film 1970s in film years in film film Top grossing films The Godfather Fiddler on the Roof Diamonds Are Forever Whats Up, Doc?, starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan ONeal Dirty Harry The Last Picture Show A Clockwork Orange Cabaret, starring... La Cabina (The Telephone Box) is an award-winning 1972 film directed by Spanish director Antonio Mercero. ... Antonio Mercero is a Spanish director of the series Verano Azul and later Farmacia de Guardia. ...


The 1989 film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure featured the title characters traveling through time and space in a telephone booth, collecting historical figures. These historical figures travelled back to California with them in the telephone booth, despite their inability to all comfortably fit inside the booth--a reference to the late 1950's practice of "telephone booth stuffing". See also: 1988 in film, other events of 1989, 1990 in film, list of years in film. Events Actress Kim Basinger and her brother Mick purchase Braselton, Georgia for $20 million. ... Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure (1989) is a comedy/science fiction film based on the idea of time travel. ...


In comedy, the confinement of a person within a small space is used for a slapstick effect while the transparent walls allow the caller to see a variety of threats to his well-being: oncoming vehicles, villains prepared to harm the caller, angry spouses or clients, long lines of waiting callers, and so on. In drama, the caller's exposure outdoors and the potential anonymity of the remote party are used to communicate vulnerability and mystery — this is particularly emphasized in the 2003 movie Phone Booth. In love stories, a depiction of an anguished conversation from a telephone booth serves as a metaphor for separation. See also: 2002 in film, other events of 2003, 2004 in film and the list of years in film Events February 24 - The Pianist, directed by Roman Polanski, wins 7 Cesar Awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Sound, Best Production Design, Best Music and Best Cinematography. ... Categories: 2003 films | Thriller films | Movie stubs ... Conversation can be confused with conservation and vice versa. ... In language, a metaphor is a rhetorical trope where a comparison is made between two seemingly unrelated subjects. ...


See also

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Telephone booth

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