< Full Calendar

05-09-1959

First ever trunk dialling call takes place between Mayor and Deputy Mayor of London

Call of Nature

Before this day in 1959, if you wanted to place a telephone call from a phone box you were required to press one of two buttons. If the person you were calling was in, you’d press button A to be connected. If they were out or on the toilet, you’d press button B and get your money back. And in between you were forced to speak to a real human ‘operator’ who helped you on your way. Nightmarish. But this changed when the Deputy Lord Mayor phoned the Lord Mayor of London, making the first ever trunk dialling call - the sort we all knew and loved until mobile phones made public telephone boxes completely redundant. Unlike the old button system where you stuck the money in first, this new procedure forced you to pay once connected with a series of ‘pips’ heard when your money was running out. The last ever call from a public phone box will be occurring within the next twenty minutes or so, I should imagine.