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phone phreak

A couple of years ago, I discovered Evan Doorbell and his telephone tapes. Between the late 60's and the mid-eighties, Evan and his buddies were on a mission to record telephone sounds for posterity. I won't try to give away too much here, just say that my favorite is the sequence on George, the first voice-recognition answering machine, and all of the whacky answering machine "outgoing messages" that follow. Listen and enjoy!

old answering machine messages

I also seek out really old answering machine tapes, the kind that are found still stuck in old machines in thrift stores. Some of them are fascinating to hear.

weird numbers

Of course, that didn't stop me from my own explorations, even today. For example, here are a few interesting numbers you can still call to be suitably entertained:

  • (213) 621-0002: 1000Hz @ 0dB (this only makes sense if you're a phone person)
  • (570) 3867-0000: "due to an emergency condition...."
  • (916) 440-0031: "due to facility trouble...."
  • (573) 996-0002: they still have party lines?
  • (914) 232-9901: pleasant hills DMS 100
  • (206) 343-0011: this call requires a coin deposit. no, really.
  • (313) 849-9906: calling is too heavy to answer this number.
  • (202) 965-9970: you have just deactivated this feature.
  • (916) 440-0017: your service has been interrupted.
  • (202) 762-1401: USNO master clock!
  • (270) 301-5797: a maze of twisty little touch tones, all different.

FWIW, if you're reading this on a cell phone, you might be able to touch and hold on the numbers above, getting your phone to give you a pop-up menu with an option to call them. You're welcome.


Updated 2021-11-02 Tue 13:02 by Bill Wear (stormrider)


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