2600 Magazine has had a long tradition of publishing photographs of payphones of the world. My travels have never been as extensive as their corespondents but I've tried to take the odd photo, if only to confound the locals. ("What's so special about that payphone that the Yankee tourist wants to take a picture of it? Weren't our palm trees good enough?" Or something like that.) Payphones are much less prevalent than they used to be and cell phone service is making them obsolete.. Payphone maintenance and security problems and low profit margins have all diminished the popularity of payphones.

With apologies to 2600 here's my small collection. These first three are at the New England Museum of Telephony at Ellsworth, ME. The blue bubble phone dates from the 1960s and the red phone is from Peru.

These next phones are from St. Lucia in the Caribbean.

These are (from left to right) in Colorado and New Mexico.

While technically not a payphone this "crisis phone" is at Niagara Falls.

Bubble phone

This one is on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. One of my favorite places! Note the famous red soil: it gets into everything!

This one is from the Everglades in Florida. This was taken on the day we saw a number of alligators sunning themselves along the water. However, none of them were making telephone calls.

The next two are on islands off the coast of Maine. First is Monhegan Island, followed by Vinylhaven. In both cases all calls to the mainland are transmitted by microwave.

This one looks like it should be in the Cotswolds but it's on Dorset Street in South Burlington, Vermont.

This one is from Kitchener, Ontario. Note the "Bell" logo proudly displayed! The door is rather interesting too: strips of plastic like you see in industrial coolers.

Pay phone booth

These next two are from Cape Cod. The first one colorfully advertises the best (?) in long distance rates. The second one is what I call a "Zen phone". It's something of a "not" phone and should raise profound questions about the existence of pay phones, their purpose in the universe, or something like that. The more prosaic explanation is that a phone is installed for summer users but is removed for the winter. This picture was taken in the early spring before the installer arrived. In later years I never saw a phone there and eventually even the post was removed.

My student Orges Balla sent me these next four from Sweden. That's Orges in the first image.


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