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Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Good Tuesday Morning to You!

When was the last time you made a call on a pay phone? I asked my children this question. Their answers? “Never have.” “Wouldn’t know how.” “I don’t even know what one is.”

As I recall, I last used a pay phone at an airport sometime in the mid-1990s. I needed to make a few calls, and cell phones were not yet commonplace. I remember having to wait in line so I could use the phone — and then having the pressure to hurry up as others were also in line behind me. I used an AT&T credit card that doubled as a calling card, so I didn’t have to insert coins in the phone. Believe it or not, that seemed high-tech at the time.

The actual telephone was invented in 1876, but when was the pay phone invented? According to www.time.com, one of the earliest commercial telephone exchanges was established in 1878 when Thomas Doolittle used a telegraph wire and put a telephone on each end in wooden booths that people could pay 15 cents to use.

How about the first phone booth? According to that same article, the first “telephone cabinet” was patented in 1883. It measured 4 feet by 5 feet and had a desk inside and wheels to move the whole thing.

When was the coin system implemented? In 1889, William Gray invented the first coin-operated public telephone. It was the first machine that collected the cost of the call without an attendant. These were on the honor system, using “post-pay.” Users would make the call, and when they were done, the operator would tell them what coins to deposit. The coins would hit a bell, creating a sound the operator could hear to determine if it was the correct amount. Pre-pay systems were developed near the turn of the century. According to Time, more than 25,000 pay phones could be found in New York City alone by 1913.

When did phone booths became common outdoors? Also according to Time, outdoor phone booths first appeared in the early 1900s and became commonplace in the 1950s when glass and aluminum replaced wood as the building material.

Want to own a pay phone? There are dozens for sale on Facebook marketplace right now ranging in price from $100 to $400. Of course, buying a pay phone is one thing; getting it to actually work is another. But if you are just looking for a wall decoration or a conversation piece, there are plenty to choose from.

Do you recall using pay phones? How long ago, and where? Shoot me a note and let me know.

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

CITYVIEW's  Best Of Des Moines

CITYVIEW announced its 2023 Best Of Des Moines readers' choices Jan. 31. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best Local Sushi

1. Sakari Sushi Lounge

2. Wasabi

3. Pho Wheels & Sushi


Read More

 Goldfish, the crackers not the aquarium captives, have realized a 20% rise in demand the last year. They expect to pass $1 billion in annual sales this year. Angry Goldfish Pub & Eatery (2301 S.W. Ninth) serves bowls of them for $1. They also put out pub food that is as good as it gets. Tuesdays offer $10 burgers with a pint of draft beer. Wednesdays are hot beef sandwich days.

This Friday, Iowa's women and men play almost back-to-back games time wise beginning at 3 p.m. That will make it a huge day for sports bars. Our new favorite is Bix & Co. (111 Fifth St., Valley Junction) with fabulous shoestring fries, thin onion rings and Italian beef sandwiches.

Jethro's may have left the Drake neighborhood where they originated, but they still host Drake basketball watch parties at their West Des Moines store. Drake's men play Friday at 6:30 p.m. The women play Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

—Jim Duncan

Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

Breezy conditions continue this week. Thursday’s precipitation looks to be all rain at this point. There’s a chance we’ll see some flurries Friday and Saturday.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Jason at parkin.mortgage

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
420 S.W. 16th St.
Ankeny, IA 50023
Welcome to Hubbell Homes and the Cedar 3 bed Ranch plan located in Heritage Park at Prairie Trail. Located right next to The District which offers entertainment, bars, restaurants and more! It includes a deck, WI-FI enabled thermostat, garage door opener and video doorbell. In this home you will be able to find an open concept family room with viewing of the kitchen from it, vaulted ceiling in the main room, and marble countertops!
See More Homes For Sale
On March 14 ...

1967: On March 14, the body of President John F. Kennedy is moved to a spot just a few feet away from its original interment site at Arlington National Cemetery. The slain president had been assassinated more than three years earlier, on November 22, 1963.

1879: On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein is born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity drastically altered human understanding of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.

1958: For as long as most people have been buying popular music on records, tapes and compact disks, the records, tapes and disks they’ve bought have carried labels like “Certified Gold!” and “Double Platinum!!” Those labels have been in use since the early days of the rock-and-roll era, when a young trade organization called the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) created and trademarked its precious-metals-based scale for measuring music sales. On March 14, 1958, the RIAA awarded its first official Gold Record — it had gifted an unofficial gold-sprayed record to Glenn Miller in 1942 — record to to Perry Como for his smash-hit single “Catch A Falling Star.”

Read more at History.com.


FROM KCCI: Former President Donald Trump makes first Iowa visit in 2024 campaign

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Former President Donald Trump spoke at an event in Davenport on Monday, marking his first trip to Iowa since announcing he was running for election in 2024. During his speech, he first painted the picture of what he says he did in office, touching on signing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, fighting for ethanol and supporting a move to use E-15 year-round across the country. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Pella elementary teacher charged with mailing harassing photos of teen

PELLA, IOWA — An elementary school teacher in Pella is charged with Harassment for allegedly sending photos of a teen to the girls’ family with “abusive and vulgar language” added to them. Chandra Jo Clark, 53, is charged with Harassment Third Degree after reportedly admitting to sending the photos. ...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Des Moines metro prepares for March Madness

When Des Moines last hosted the NCAA tournament in 2019, officials say it generated over $8 million for the city. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


Meet Chad McCluskey

Waukee’s new police chief

The city of Waukee welcomed a new police chief on Jan. 16. Chad McCluskey replaces longtime chief John Quinn, who retired in December.

McCluskey was previously a public safety chief for the City of Windsor Heights. As public safety officer, he is both a firefighter and a police officer.

“A true public safety officer is cross-trained with both fire and police,” he says.

He’s been in the public safety arena for 35 years — 26 of those years in law enforcement.

At age 13, he started as a junior firefighter where he was raised in Kansas.

... Read more in the February issue of Waukee  Living magazine.

Birthdays and Notables!

These celebrities were born on this date: Stephen Curry, Michael Caine, Simone Biles, Ansel Elgort, Billy Crystal, Quincy Jones, Jamie Bell, Daniel Gillies, Grace Park, Corey Stoll, Sammi Giancola, Chris Klein, Megan Follows, Taylor Hanson

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning Chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What do ghosts drink on St. Patrick's Day?

A brand-new cocktail: "The Big Green Umbrella." It features Irish "boo"ze and is guaranteed to lift your "spirits"! — Carolyn Rogers

Other "Boos" and "Spirits" answers came from: Rex Post, Gail Tomlinson, Rich Hoidahl, William Snyder, Brendan Comito. Or Green bier special! - John Zeitler

Today's Riddle

What is Irish and sits on the back porch?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

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