Once Upon a Telephone: An Illustrated Social History

Front Cover
Ellen Stock Stern, Emily Margolin Gwathmey
Harcourt Brace, 1994 - Crafts & Hobbies - 135 pages
0 Reviews
The telephone rings. It jingles our psyches, jangles our nerves. We are seduced and soothed, rattled and betrayed by it. Wherever it is - on the desk or street corner, the high seas or highway, in our bathrooms or briefcases - it has, for a machine, an allure like no other. Once Upon a Telephone is a visual history of this indispensable and inescapable apparatus - with an emphasis on the days before 800s, 900s, voice mail, and FAX. Lavishly illustrated in full color with a wealth of twentieth-century ephemera - everything from movie stills to matchbooks - and including excerpts from a variety of literary sources, Once Upon a Telephone is a spirited tribute to operators, directories, phone booths, and, of course, the appliance itself. The evolution of telephony irreversibly altered conventions of modern romance and constructions of power; Once Upon a Telephone is the only work in existence to chronicle these changes in such a comprehensive and entertaining fashion.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

ONCE UPON A TELEPHONE: An Illustrated Social History

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Among the more amusing facts in this cultural history of the telephone is that, back in the old days, women were called upon to be telephone operators because boys, who initially had the jobs, ``were ... Read full review

Once upon a telephone: an illustrated social history

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Stern (The Good Heart Diet Cookbook, LJ 1/15/82) and Gwathmey (Ticket to Paradise, LJ 11/15/91) have collected ephemera, anecdotes, and excerpts about the telephone. Movie stills, magazine covers ... Read full review


Directory r
Hello Central
ha pi e r ii Wrt

3 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1994)

Ellen Stern has been a writer and editor at GQ, New York magazine, and the New York Daily News. Her books include Best Bets, Once Upon a Telephone, Sister Sets, and Gracie Mansion.

Bibliographic information