March 10th International Find A Pay Phone Booth Day

Get out your binoculars, put on your pith helmet and get out in the wilderness… today is International Find A Pay Phone Booth Day. The phone booth has been put on the endangered species list as they are becoming harder and harder to find. Once called a telephone cabinet, they were featured all over the place… every street corner, on the sides of buildings, sometimes even out in the middle of nowhere – but now, it’s hard to find one. The day was created by Bob Matthews from Rochester, NY in 2018, probably seeing a phone booth in bad shape, lonely and feeling useless along the side of the road.

How to celebrate – Try to find a phone booth. Take pictures of it if you find one. See how many people you can stuff in the phone booth you find.

February 18th National Battery Day

Today we celebrate the battery. Invented by Alessandro Volta in 1800 it was then called the Voltaic Pile. Benjamin Franklin, among others, played with the idea of the battery as far back as the mid 1700’s. Some even dabbled with the idea of the battery further back than that. Today we rely on the battery in our cars, telephones and any electrical device we use away from an electric plug. We have not yet perfected the battery but it is getting better. What may have lasted for only a few minutes originally has been improved to last sometimes up to a month with out recharge, a few even longer than that.

How to celebrate – Make a list of all the things you use daily that runs by battery. Remember to recharge those batteries you haven’t charged lately. See how many battery making companies you can name.

September 1st Emma M. Nutt Day

Remember Lily Tomlin’s telephone lady on Saturday Night Live? Well, she was probably based on the first ever female telephone operator, Emma M. Nutt. Her work began on September 1st, 1878 and she continued to operate (Pun intended) for the next 33 years. I am sure it was a wonder when she first started but after 33 years I am pretty sure she was glad to be rid of all those wires and not having to be pleasant constantly to all the rude people she had to speak to. I wonder, however, how many secret phone calls she had the opportunity to listen into! Not that she ever did.

How to celebrate – Visit a telephone museum. Call an operator just for fun. Watch Lily Tomlin’s telephone character on youtube.

March 10th International Find A Pay Phone Booth Day

Good luck finding a telephone booth if you need one. Most of them have been turned into some kind of charging station for cell phones or electric cars… most have just been eliminated. Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone on March 7th, 1876. He made his first call on March 10th, 1876. I wonder if even he could have envisioned where the telephone has gone today. In 1878, Thomas Dolittle, invented the telephone booth which for quite some time was an iconic part of American, and European, landscapes. But like all good things, they come to pass and become a part of history that we far too soon forget.

How to celebrate – Search for a telephone booth. World record for people in a booth is 25, see if you can beat that. Imagine your life without a cellphone.

January 30th National Inane Answering Message Day

Speaking of yesterday (Puzzle Day) why do we leave inane answering machine messages? I mean, do you like getting them when you call someone? And who actually has an answering machine anymore anyway? I guess you could call that thing on your cell phone an answering machine but us it really?

And if it’s an important call, most inane messages take forever to end so that you can actually leave he message! Now don’t get me wrong, they can be funny. There are some answering messages one just calls to hear the message, over and over again.

So inane actually means useless, meaningless or senseless. And that’s exactly what these messages are. Have yo ever called a number for the first time and wondered if you got the right person to leave a message for since no name is ever given?

I love those messages that just say, “leave a message”. For who? Is this the right number? Well it’s another of those days owned by Wellcat.com. Another of the many useless days they have chosen to copyright so that if you decide to actually use the day for anything, you owe them. At least most of their days are useless, like inane answering machine day.

How to celebrate – Create your own inane answering machine message. Thank Wellcat for creating this day. Go back to yesterday and try and figure out why they created today?

December 12th National Ding-A-Ling Day

Today is National Ding-A-Ling Day, it is your chance to actually “ring your bell”. Now, it might not be exactly what you think it is… and get your mind out of the gutter! So we need to investigate what actually is being celebrated today.

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Many think that today we celebrate Chuck Berry’s hit, “My Ding-A-Ling”. Now, we suspect that we know what his ding-a-ling was. It is suggested that perhaps it was what you think it was but if he knew what today was, then he didn’t write about what we think he wrote about. (Again, get your mind out of the gutter!)

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And others may think that it is what truly was a ding-a-ling, the old time telephone! It did ding-a-ling for sure! We actually looked forward to that ding-a-ling! Then when spammers got hold of that ding-a-ling we no longer enjoyed it as much. But that still isn’t the true ding-a-ling.

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And you may call your pets ding-a-lings when they run around half crazed for apparently no reason at all. We are starting to get a little closer here as we zone in on what a true ding-a-ling is.

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The actual meaning of a ding-a-ling is going crazy! “If we weren’t all crazy we’d all go insane”! So today is a day to go… ding-a-ling! A little crazy! The key here, go ahead and go crazy… just remember to come back to center by the end of the day!

How to celebrate – Go a little crazy! Listen to Chuck Berry. Buy an old time telephone and try to find a place to plug it in. (That will drive you crazy)

September 1st Emma M. Nutt Day

Besides having a name like Emma M. Nutt, which deserves a day just for the name, we celebrate the first female telephone operator ever! She began her career on September 1st, 1878 and worked for the next 33 years. Of course, when she first took the job I am sure it wasn’t all that busy, but as the popularity of the telephone grew, I am sure she thought twice more than once about her career choice.

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Her’s would not have been an easy job. Connecting all those people to each other and knowing what line went where. You can imagine the horrors if she had connected someone with someone else they were not supposed to talk to! She had to be very careful to get it right the first time!

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Naturally, she was privileged to all the latest gossip too.  That migh be fun but having to keep it to yourself is difficult. We all know how much we love to spread rumors! Of course there were many men and women who followed Emma’s lead. The telephone grew to be one of the most important communication tools ever and it still is. Today it is primarily handled by machines and trying to get an operator is nearly impossible.

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There have been many Emma knock-offs since the original gave us so much to work with. Hwever you have to think back to 1878 when the telephone was still new and all that Emma had to learn. No one had a lot of experience back then and I am sure she became one of the first authorities of the telephone and how to use it.

How to celebrate – Read more about Emma M. Nutt. Read about the early telephone. Do not take your phone for granted.

 

September 1st Emma M. Nutt Day

Today, September 1st, 1878 the first telephone operator went to work, it was Emma M. Nutt. I have to wonder if her first spoken word was “hello.”  She continued her work for the next 33 years connecting Boston with the world.

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Of course many of us remember Lily Tomlin’s character of Ernestine on “Laugh In”, I presume somewhat based on Emma. These women served our communities not all that long ago, connecting us with people we could not have reached without them.

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When we think of the changes the phone has gone through over the years it is amazing. Now if you want to talk to an operator they seem annoyed you are bothering them. Guess customer service, like the old gray mare, ain’t what it used to be.

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These women, Emma included, did served a valuable service to all of America. Particularly during the war and when the gossip pages ran low on rumors. You never really knew if they were listening in on your conversations or not…. sort of like the government today!

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I’m sure it was a confusing job, under appreciated, and stressful. Just knowing where to plug all those lines in would have been beyond my capabilities. So here’s to Emma and what she started. I can’t emmagine where we would be without her.

How to celebrate – Call everyone you know and offer them a happy Nutt day. When you can’t make connection with your cell phone, call and blame Emma. Always speak with a pleasant voice on the phone, you may never know who is listening in.

 

August 20th National Radio Day

The idea of the radio has been around longer than you might think. It was discovered years and years ago that sound traveled through water, the ground and even railroad rails. This discovery was made back in  the early 1800’s and began experiments by men who felt it could be used to expand the human experience.

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In 1864 The theory for the modern day radio was put into motion by James Maxwell as he studied the transmission of sound. The telegraph and telephone advanced the idea of a radio as it was found that sound could be transmitted through wires.

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In 1894 Guglielmo Marconi developed the first practical radio, in 1898 Heinrich Hertz began to define sound waves in the atmosphere. By the 1940’s the radio had become an important part of life. People depended on it to keep them up to date with the latest news, providing hope behind occupied boundaries, entertained and moved armies to where they needed to be.

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Over the years the radio has evolved, who will ever forget the boombox! Sadly, about the only radio experience we have anymore is when we get in our cars. The radio launched all sorts of new things into life and really started the idea of mass entertainment across the world.

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How to celebrate – Spend a day listening to the radio. Find some old copies of radios shows and enjoy the presentations. Study all the different products introduced on radio programs.