For those who weren't around all those years ago, here are a few facets of mid-20th century Americana that you may -or may not- be aware of. These are discussed to help you better understand the baby boom era and to make your trip down shopping mall memory lane seem a bit more vivid.
Until the late 1970s, it was -in essence- illegal to physically own your phone. All hardware was provided, and possessed, by the respective phone company (there was but a single, major one back then). Everyone was charged a "rental fee" on their monthly bill for their standard, wall or "Princess" model.
The Princess Phone, marketed to the ladies, was introduced in 1959. On
Photo from Wikipedia / Mcheath"
The phone you would have rented at your local shopping mall "Ma Bell" store would have utilized analogue, "rotary-dialing". "Touch Tone" telephony did not appear until 1963, and did not become commonplace until the mid-1970s. Moreover, answering machines didn't come into prominence until the late 1970s.
Oh yes, no one had a cellular phone until the mid-1980s, and these were rather large, clunky things...nothing like the super-miniaturized models of today.
First off, back in the vacuum tube-based days of electronics, tvs, radios and record players did not come on instantly after the "on" button was clicked. There would be a pause of a minute or two, while the set "warmed up".
The "instant on" feature was something to "ooo" and "ahh" over, when the first "solid-state" (transistorized) televisions became common in the early 1970s. By the mid-1970s, tube sets, and vacuum tube electronics in general, had become a thing of the past.
A common fixture in the olden days shopping
Photo from www.tuberadios.com