Appeared for the first time in Reims in 1883, telephone booths grew like mushrooms throughout this country until the end of the 1990s before disappearing gradually, with the democratization of mobile telephony. The office pod comes up to be extremely useful here.
The days of payphones in this country are now numbered. Expert, the former this country Telecom, which now manages this park, has committed to dismantle them by the end of the year. The 46,000 venerable cabins still in use in this country will disappear from the public space, driven out gradually by the democratization of mobile telephony, which has experienced a boom in the last 20 years.
If today’s telephone booths are used in a marginal way, they have nevertheless, in their time, constituted a real revolution. A few years after the invention of the telephone, from 1883, the state creates the first important line, connecting the network of the city of Reims to the Palace of the Paris Stock Exchange, which it equips telephone booths, says expert on its site dedicated to objects and parts linked to the history of telecommunications. From 1885, telephone booths are opened on the networks of the State, and from 1889 on the whole of the networks, one reads. The state directly builds and operates 16 long-distance networks and connections, compared to 11 for the Telephones. The latter, a private company was the only one at the time to offer a telephone communication service to individuals.
The first cabins built-in oak
The cabins than in service on the Paris Stock Exchange have little to do with those of today. They are made of oak, padded with moleskin, and fitted with adjustable armrests upholstered in velvet says, expert. Everything seems designed for the comfort and privacy of conversation. The subscribers paid their communication by subscription card, by stamp-telephone, or by conversation bulletin.
In Reims, there were initially only nine public booths, explains The Gazette, the quarterly journal of Philapostel, the association of philatelists and collectors of the staff of La Poste and Expert. They were installed in post offices, grant pavilions or bus stations, the newspaper adds. At that time, says Gazette, the five minutes of communication cost Paris 50 cents or 6 dollars today.
As early as 1890, in the provinces, the state encourages municipalities to barter their telegraph systems against cabins in post offices, continues the newspaper, recalling that rural residents did not have a phone at home. At the time, this technology only concerns a handful of privileged and well-off households. The fact remains that it will really be necessary to wait for the beginning of the 1970s to see telephone booths growing everywhere on the territory. Until reaching a golden age, in 1997, when there are more than 250,000.
Over the decades, several innovations will mark the history of these transparent interiors. To combat vandalism and prevent thugs from breaking the machines to steal coins magnetic cards systems, then smart, will, for example, see the light from the 1980s. At the same time, the cabins will also have their own telephone numbers, allowing users to be called.
A closed and acoustic room
Again, this model of phone box is approaching a conventional telephone booth by its shape and size. Thanks to the possible presence of a tablet and a stool, it also has characteristics in common with the second model presented.