telephone repair illustrated cover

DIY Phone Help

Telephone Repair Illustrated
Bigelow
1993

Prior to the Internet, libraries were the first places someone could go to get some DIY information. It used to be a library card and a few repair manuals meant everyone could do basic repairs. More complex repairs went to your local electronic repair shop. I remember in the early 1980s taking an old tv to our local shop to put in a few new tubes.

You will love some of the pictures of “modern” phones, especially when it has an answering machine built in. (1980s me would have though that was the bomb!) Clearly, repairing a phone from the 1980s or 1990s isn’t a priority anymore, but some libraries would do well to hang on to some of those repair manuals.

Chilton guide to telephone installation

Install your own phone!

Chilton’s Guide to Telephone Installation and Repair
Martin
1985

In the old days, the phone were the “property” of Ma Bell (aka the phone giant AT&T). After lengthy anti trust case, AT&T was split into the “baby bells” and phone service changed for most consumers. People had to buy or rent phones and arrange for installation. Cellular phones were still not common until the late 1980s, and they were expensive. This would have been a good purchase for a public library back in the day, but I doubt would get much action these days. It’s an obvious weed, so I will add a link to Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine that originated on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. (An awesome show.) This clip is when Ernestine calls General Motors.