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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe WebmasterCopyright
1996 - 2016
Webmaster:
Kirt Blattenberger,
 BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

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RF Cafe Cool Pic - "The Telephone News"Bell Telephone Company, December 1958

Even by 1958, telephone service was still somewhat of a novelty for many people; only 76% of U.S. households had telephones. The 7-digit, All Number Calling (ANC) system was instituted to handle the burgeoning amount of private phone lines being installed. Touch-Tone service was still a couple years away. Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania regularly published a magazine called, "The Telephone News," primarily for employees, but also as a public relations medium.

After seeing a couple cool photos on the Web while searching for some information on vintage phone systems, I came upon an eBay listing for the 1958 Christmas edition. It just happens to be the year I was born, so I figured why not buy it? I think it sold for about $5 + shipping.

Most of the Christmas edition is used for showing employee activities involving decorating offices, gift swapping, and, of course, lots of festive goodies to eat. It also includes service awards, safety tips, and reports on installation and maintenance projects.

One obvious departure from today's official public company publications was the phone company's use of the word Christmas, rather than Holiday throughout. Why, Christmas is even part of the title!

 

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958, front cover
Front cover of The Telephone News
by the Bell Telephone Company
December 1958

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958, Christmas message from Wilfred D. Gillen
Here is a Christmas message from Wilfred D. Gillen. The chauvinistic, patriotic, religious zealot dared to write things like, "The finest qualities of men - love of God, love of neighbors and love of country - are in the forefront of our thoughts during this holy season of the year."

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958,
Oppressed women working the switchboard. How did they work in those burkas? Oh, wait...

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958, Federal Licanse Fee
If you think Uncle Sam's insatiable appetite for your hard-earned money is a recent phenomenon, read this article. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator, $15 in 1958 is equivalent to $113.52 in 2010 dollars.

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958, Bill the Safety Owl
"Put Safety First on Your Christmas List,"
says Bill, the Safety Owl

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958, back cover
The Telephone News (back cover)
RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958, Table of Contents
Here is the table of contents

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958, page 4
Egad, is that a crèche I see? Nowadays, some companies don't even want employees to display American flags.

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958, page 6
Shopping for Christmas decorations for the office.

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958,  page 7
Decking the hall with boughs of holly.

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958, page 8
Festivities before going home to celebrate Christmas with family and friends.

RF Cafe Cool Pic - The Telephone News, December 1958, page 9
Remember when your basic phone service included a single phone? It was illegal to install an extension phone on your own. The phone company would periodically do surveys to detect the presence of additional lines by measuring the ring current to see if it was characteristic of more than one phone.


These images have been chosen for their uniqueness. Subject matter ranges from historic events, to really cool phenomena in science and engineering, to relevant place, to ingenious contraptions, to interesting products (which now has its own dedicated Featured Product category).

Cool Pic Archive Pages

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