When phone calls were NOT free! 1954 price page. Phone book.

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

1954 phone calls prices person to person no free ones

1954 Phone call prices from Searcy AR

Our kids today think phone calls are free.  And they are.  They can talk for hours on their cell phones.  Let's educate them by saying phone calls were once very expensive.  Check this phone book page.  You live in Searcy AR.  You have a friend in Little Rock.  You want to call the friend.  If you call station-to-station it is cheaper.....3 minutes for 50 cents!  If you want to call person-to-person (which means if you don't get the person you don't have to pay)  it is 80 cents for the 3 minutes.  Plus tax will be added as explained at the bottom of the page.  

So you also have a friend in Miami.  $1.70 for 3 minutes or 2.40 for person-to-person.  The further away you were the more it cost.  Nights and Sundays were cheaper.  And there was Collect calling......where you called and reversed the charges if the person accepted.  Parents were about the only suckers who would accept these calls!

If you are a little older, this page brings back memories!  If you are pretty young, you probably think this is fake information!!

Comments (23)

James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Barbara.

Yes ma'am I remember those days. Seems not that long ago.

Jul 29, 2020 01:14 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Michael, it is amazing how things have changed.

James, you are right.  It does not seem that long ago.

Bob, our kids would never sit still and listen for our phone info from long ago!

Jul 29, 2020 06:03 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Elizabeth, you have such good information there.  We donated the original phone book to the Historical Society and Will Walker was nice enough to make me a copy.  I had a son who was in California and he would call collect.....until I chewed him out!  That was really expensive.

Jul 29, 2020 06:06 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I remember my sister moved to Alaska in 1962.  Soon after my mother made a call to her from Sacramento.  The cost back then was a staggering $15.00 for a very few minutes.  Mom wrote down everything she wanted to say, so she wouldn't be stumbling for words and wasting time!

Jul 29, 2020 08:40 AM
Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

Just think how many ways we can talk for very little using the internet.

Of course we pay to have internet but if if one figures out what talking costs it is very little. Also we can see the person we're talking to using the several video call APPs out there. Zoom is one of the popular ones. I have a coffee Zoom session every Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. I use a virtual background of the bedroom with full  wall island mural I had in Little Rock..

Jul 29, 2020 01:06 PM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Myrl, that $15 would be about how much today?  Probably the price for a month of cell phone service!  I guess I like today better.

Jul 30, 2020 06:30 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Don, I have got to learn more about Zoom.  I have participated a few times but not enough to feel comfortable.  You will always be the best internet expert.  You need to help Activerain discover and bring back blogs from one month....June, I believe.

Jul 30, 2020 06:32 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I hope you are enjoying a very productive month.

Have an outstanding summer.

Jul 31, 2020 04:28 AM
Sharon Kowitz
CRS-SRES-ABR-GRI-E-Pro-CREN Fonville Morisey Cary, NC - Cary, NC
Cary, NC Relocation Specialist ~ Buying or Selling

I remeber these days well in the 60's 

I would sit and listen to the "party line" 

we had to wait until a neighbor hung up before we could make a call :O)

Aug 08, 2020 06:09 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA
ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

 I remember "long-distance" calling and party lines. Of course, calling is not free today...

My cell phone bill is substantial. Of course, it is much more that just a "phone".

Aug 12, 2020 06:10 AM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

I remember those expensive phone calls, and searching for coins to call from a public phone. We knew how to be brief on the phone. :)

Sep 07, 2020 05:54 PM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Sharon, the party line was our today's facebook?  Perhaps?

Sep 08, 2020 04:40 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

John, our phones are everything to us.  Who could have imagined it back in those days!

Steffy, we did know how to be thrifty with phone calls!

Sep 08, 2020 04:42 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I remember growing up and having my parents if the background telling me I need to get off the phone ( my 5-10 minutes were up)

Nov 04, 2020 06:38 AM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Michael, I remember laying the law down to a child.  DO NOT MAKE ANY CALLS THAT ARE CHARGED TO ME!  Weren't they able at one time to call and charge to a third party?  Can't remember for sure.  I do know you could call "collect."

Nov 04, 2020 02:53 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

LOL Barbara S. Duncan I so remember my folks saying - do not call long distance without permission.  I had totally forgot about all this.  Kind of fun!

Dec 14, 2020 01:57 PM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Anna, we have forgotten so many things from our past.  Phone calls were so important back then and trying to be frugal with the calls was hard.  Thanks for your comment!

Dec 15, 2020 05:04 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

What a fun artifact; I do remember when making a long distance call was a big deal because of the cost now unless we call a country not on our plan, we'e calling for free. 

Jan 17, 2021 05:40 PM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Thomas, those were the days!  I agree with you that I like not having to worry about long distance calls but we do pay a lot for that freebie.

Jan 18, 2021 04:36 AM
Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH
GRI

I remember my Mom waiting until evening if she had to make a long distance call.  And I got into a LOT of trouble as a three year old picking up the phone to listen for the operator.  When a voice came on, I hung up. Soon the phone rang and the operator told my Mom someone was playing with the telephone. Oops.

Jul 08, 2021 03:37 AM