Wednesday Open Line


The first public phone booth was installed on this date in 1880 in New Haven, Connecticut, just four years after the telephone was invented. These first public telephones were supervised by attendants, while those operated by coins came along nine years later. Today, it’s increasingly rare to see a pay phone beyond transportation terminals, but the latest models have computer-like features, and worldwide, some booths are converting to wireless fidelity hot spots. Now, almost 98 percent of U.S. households have telephone service, and the number of Americans using cell phones doubled to about 70 percent from1998 to 2005, and to around 90 percent more recently. Smart phone ownership surged from 35 percent five years ago to around 68 percent today. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.