Jul 26, 2014
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Last Pay Phone in Milford

Cell phones have put these things out of business. This could be the last one in town.

Last Pay Phone in Milford

Remember when you had to go to a pay phone, and feed it with quarters to make a call?

In the past decade, public pay phones have all but disappeared, put out of business by cell phones.

The pay phone in this photo is in Milford, and is available to the public, but is located inside a business. That's probably why it's still functioning.

The owner of the business agreed to allow a photograph, but didn't want the location identified, because he didn't want to encourage loitering from phone users at closing time. Not that it gets much use. Even the phone company sometimes forgets it's there, he said, and has to be reminded to come collect the quarters, he said.

It wasn't always this way. Most of us remember using these clunky things, feeding them with quarters when a conversation needed to keep going. Sometimes you even had to wait in line for one.

The last time I remember using a pay phone was in Florida in 1999. I was a reporter and covering the approach of Hurricane Floyd, as it neared Jacksonville. I was using the phone to dictate a story. Or trying to. In a natural disaster, the phone network crashes with over-use. At least it did then. All I got was a busy signal.

What are your memories of using public pay phones? Ever have to stand in line to use one? Or maybe you're younger, and never actually had to use one?

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