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 (28)

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
Retired - 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 ~ COMPASS RE - 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: 602.710.8161 - 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, 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
Lori Brandel
The Preview Group Bothell - Bothell, WA
Making life simple one transaction at a time.

Hi Barbara,

 

That's a good name you have.  My sister's name is the same.

You are absolutely right phone calls were not free.  I remember talking to my day who lived in Dallas, Texas, and I lived in Seattle, WA we could only talk for 5 minutes at a time since it was so expensive.  We learned to talk real fast.  There were also party lines where you never knew who would be on the other line listening in.

Thanking for sharing this information.

Mar 23, 2022 09:27 PM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Lori, thanks for the comment.  Makes us like our phones now better.

Mar 25, 2022 04:23 AM
Timothy Jones
Littleton, CO

My dad insisted we have a phone that wasn't on a party line even though they had to pay more for that privilege.  And in later years - he paid even more for an UNLISTED number.  Our neighbors were on a party line and we thought it was so cool that they could pick up the phone and hear each other😀.  Thanks for the memories!

 

Tim Jones

Jones Team Colorado | eXp Realty

YourHomesinColorado.com

Jun 17, 2022 03:56 PM
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Tim, you obviously came from a wealthy family!!    Lucky you!

Jun 18, 2022 01:24 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

In the late 1960’s my Mother would have a fit if I spent more than 5 minutes on a Long Distance call !!

Jul 10, 2022 05:38 AM