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Last Pay Phone in Milford

Cell phones have put these things out of business. This could be the last one in town.

Remember when you had to go to a pay phone, and feed it with quarters to make a call?

In the past decade, public pay phones have all but disappeared, put out of business by cell phones.

The pay phone in this photo is in Milford, and is available to the public, but is located inside a business. That's probably why it's still functioning.

The owner of the business agreed to allow a photograph, but didn't want the location identified, because he didn't want to encourage loitering from phone users at closing time. Not that it gets much use. Even the phone company sometimes forgets it's there, he said, and has to be reminded to come collect the quarters, he said.

It wasn't always this way. Most of us remember using these clunky things, feeding them with quarters when a conversation needed to keep going. Sometimes you even had to wait in line for one.

The last time I remember using a pay phone was in Florida in 1999. I was a reporter and covering the approach of Hurricane Floyd, as it neared Jacksonville. I was using the phone to dictate a story. Or trying to. In a natural disaster, the phone network crashes with over-use. At least it did then. All I got was a busy signal.

What are your memories of using public pay phones? Ever have to stand in line to use one? Or maybe you're younger, and never actually had to use one?

David Breen August 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Obscure reference, Mike Brady put one in the living room when the kids were fighting over using the house phone
Anne Berard August 22, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Boston dorm, 1986. One payphone sufficed for an entire floor of coeds with busy social lives.It was a common sight to see the phone dangling,waiting for the lucky girl to be found and pick up or plead with the messenger "I'm NOT here!"
Milford Senior Man August 22, 2012 at 01:57 PM
When I was a kid growing up in Boston there were pay phones everywhere and we would check the coin return because sometimes coins would be in there and if I got lucky I'd get a dime or two and that meant plenty of candy. For many years to make a call was 10 cents. I wish there were still pays phones everywhere because I hate carrying this dam cell phone.
Shadow 24 August 22, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Thought there was still a few in the schools, and one at the sunoco station on rt 16.
Mary MacDonald (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I used to do the same thing. I would walk my dog as a kid around this little place in RI (Galilee) and stop at all the pay phones, and all the little kiddie rides outside the markets to see if anyone forgot their change. Always enough for penny candy!
Kathy August 22, 2012 at 03:14 PM
There's one at Casey Pool...
UglyHat August 22, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Me too ... too funny. My Dad owned a travel agency so we spent a lot of time at airports. Those phone banks were gold mines!
Mary MacDonald (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Of course, now I see them everywhere: there is one outside Payless Shoes.
David Breen August 22, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Mary, just put a "?" mark at the end of the header and the story becomes relevant again...
Les Masterson (Editor) August 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Mike Brady had to put his foot down. He couldn't have Marcia on the phone with Harvey Klinger all day!
Shadow 24 August 23, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Another one is at the Mobil station on 109, but they are becoming rare. No wonder we haven't seen superman for ages.
Sheryl Pearson August 29, 2012 at 07:19 PM
What do you do when there is no signal on your cell phone and there aren't any pay phones left to use?
Sheryl Pearson August 29, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Last I looked, there was still one at Store 24 on Main street.

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