Payphones are a great way to tell how old someone is. Essentially, if you have ever used a payphone in the past, you are really aging yourself.
These phones have been in existence for quite some time now, but times have changed. Now that everyone and their mother owns a cell phone, there is really no need for these devices.
Did you know that they first came into existence back in 1889, though? According to ABC10, Inventor William Gray and developer George A. Long were both responsible for the very first payphone installation at a Hartford, Connecticut bank.
By the time 1902 rolled around, the United States had access to a whopping 81,000 payphones. In 1995, this number finally peaked. During this moment in time, there were over 2.5 million public payphones spread throughout the country.
Once the cell phone came onto the scene, the usage of these phones started to decline immensely. It was only a matter of time before these public devices became a thing of the past. New York City has made this official, as they have removed the final payphone from its streets. It is a bittersweet day for all those who grew up using these bad boys.
Imagine, parents used to send their children outside with some quarters and the hazy outline of a plan to meet back up later. Manhattan Borough President Mark D. Levine posted photos of the payphone being taken away on his Twitter account, allowing us to take in the moment for ourselves:
There it goes! The last free-standing pay phones were removed this morning in Times Square. Truly the end of an era but also, hopefully, the start of a new one with more equity in technology access! @LinkNYC is one great way we are achieving this. pic.twitter.com/03lFCT6iI2
— Mark D. Levine (@MBPMarkLevine) May 23, 2022
“There it goes! The last free-standing pay phones were removed this morning in Times Square. Truly the end of an era but also, hopefully, the start of a new one with more equity in technology access! @LinkNYC is one great way we are achieving this,” he wrote.
This is a special moment and we are glad that he was willing to share this with us. We cannot believe that payphones have fully become a thing of the past.