In the dustbin of our cultural history

Indiana has whittled down its blue laws to just a few kinds of commerce. You still can’t buy booze to-go on Sunday, and a car dealer can’t sell you a car. The Lege asked the car dealers if the wanted to change, and they said they’d rather have Sundays off.

Actually… you can buy booze in Indiana on Sunday between 12 noon and 8 pm now.

Interesting. I’m 69. I still have a landline telephone, and somewhere around here a couple of phone books. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those; or if I did, it didn’t register.

What area of the world are those from?

At University of Rochester, also in 1969, the men had a time for men-only optional nude swimming. The women didn’t – I don’t remember whether there wasn’t a women-only time at all, or whether there was but we had to wear suits. (There was only one pool, and no viewing windows.)

At some point in the early 70’s, I don’t remember the exact year, the women rebelled against this, and we got our own women-only, suits-optional time. I don’t know how long they kept that up; but I doubt U of R does that now, for any gender.

I probably mentioned in the other thread the WBEZ’s Curious City story about nude Chicago Public School swimming. The entire thing is great but a guy retells a very entertaining story at about 7 minutes. It’s about the hardest I’ve laughed by myself in the car. They bleeped the obvious parts on the air.

We have one in our dining room. We keep a disconnected old rotary phone in it, and an old Yellow Pages.

The side preference for men is not about handedness in buttoning directly, it’s about military effects of handedness - not snagging your sword on the opening of your coat and even further back, the way armour plates would overlap to not offer an opening to a blade.

Really rich men of the time were no more likely to dress themselves than women were, after all. But the military considerations would override that.

I remember homes with a little table in a hallway for the phone and phonebook (as in this cultural masterpiece

I’ve a friend that has a house that was build in ~1860. A very nice house for it’s time I’m sure. Especially for the Colorado mountains.

The house has a front parlor with two exterior doors. Not ‘double’ doors. Two completely different doors on either side of the parlor that lead to the outside. Well, it was common to have wakes/funerals in the home with viewing back in the day. Visitors would come in one door, and leave by the other. I think this was more symbolic, than crowd control.

Different strokes and all that. We had a large house in the country, and rarely any guests. We had a living room that was nicely outfitted. We only used it at Christmas time. The TV was in the family room. The ‘stereo’ (had an 8-track!) was in the living room, and I would sometimes go listen to Burt Bacharach or the Tijuana Brass before I got my own stereo. This was late 60’s early 70’s.

Funny story.

I never lived in a house with one, but I’m plenty old enough to recognize them instantly.

Not realizing each of Nemo’s words was a separate link I happened to click his “these” link. And my brain instantly said “Urinal. … No wait, that’s not right. … Landline phone alcove. Whew!”

This despite being primed by @panache45’s and other’s comments about them being landline phone alcoves.

Brains are weird.

In one of the apartments I lived in while in Grad school, I installed a “free-standing” one of these in the hallway so we could put our communal telephone on it. It had a big coil of telephone cable connecting it to the wall, so you could take the phone into your bedroom. That’s what we had to put up with in my pre-cordless, pre-cell phone days if you wanted privacy in a crowded apartment.

In the 40’s smoking accessories were important in home decor. Smoking stands were ornate pillars topped with an ashtray and match dispenser. Ashtrays were distributed around the home ranging from little metal trays to elaborate glass monstrosities. Liquid fueled lighters took many forms from small and portable to large and stationary. A popular lighter was a cast metal model airplane. It looked like Lindberg’s airplane and when you twisted the propeller the cabin popped open and a flame came out.

So… next time you post a 15 minute video could you possibly tell us at what point the relevant bit occurs?

This is another variation on the “telephone table”

These days they’re usually advertised as “end tables” or “accent tables” but back in the day they very much were used for telephones and often for accoutrements like phone books and message pads.

My late spouse absconded with one form the old Mercy Hospital in Chicago, a location in which he spent all too much of his childhood. It looks much like the posted picture. I currently use it as my bedside night table. I’m sure a lot of that sort of furniture has been recycled for other uses.

Sorry about that. Starting at 3:07, the characters walk past the table - shortly afterwards, the phone rings.

Thanks. I remember that sort of set up. And when phone message machines came into play you’d check for message first thing on entering your home. That’s one of the reasons phones were often (though not always) located close to entryways.

And a standard craft project for kids was to make a ceramic ashtray for your dad.

My parents got this knight in armor lighter as a wedding present. When you popped his helmet open, a flame would emerge. I still have it. The lighter doesn’t work, but it still plays Always (which I always thought was a peculiar thing for a knight to play.)

Those I have definitely seen. In fact, I have a little table that was very likely designed for that purpose.

During most of my childhood, however, the phones of most people I knew hung on the wall. The kind you put on a table also existed; but IME, or at least in my memory, was less common, though not unusual enough to startle anybody.

And to make it clear for the younger people here, for a long time in most houses, there was one phone line and one phone, usually in the center hallway or in the kitchen in the case of my parents’ house. So when it rang, you had to go to it to answer the phone. (And when my brother’s kids were little, my mother amused them by showing them the dial phone she has in the basement for when the landline rings and she’s doing laundry. She demonstrated how to dial a phone, which was completely new to them.)

The phone belonged to the phone company, and getting a second phone meant getting a second line, and you had to pay for each line – even for an extension line that used the same number. It wasn’t considered necessary enough to be worth it. Only rich people had more than one phone.

My father was a doctor, and we had only one phone. Nobody in our house could spend more than a few minutes on the phone, because we had to keep the line open in case my father got an emergency call.

You couldn’t own the phone yourself until, I think, the late 60’s or so. Because the phone company (THE phone company at that point, Ma Bell) owned the phone, they were responsible for fixing it if needed; phones from that era were built to last nearly forever.

Switching away from landline phones, here’s another current thread on a specific all-but dead bit of cultural history: