The Time Magazine File Phone

time-magazine-phone

I wonder just how many households had the Time Magazine Phone File Phone? My Grandmother had one in her bedroom and I remember leafing through the list of numbers when I was a kid and getting sad because whenever one of her contacts passed away she would right “Deceased” next to their name. When she passed away and we got that phone we weren’t sure what to do with it, since it felt wrong to throw it in the trash and yet no one wanted the phone.

It was still in my Mother’s possessions up to a few years ago. It didn’t work and was yellowed with age and the cards faded, but I still couldn’t bring myself to get rid of those cards. So I took them out and put them in a plastic bag with the family photos. It is weird that a magazine giveaway could somehow get mixed in with precious family memories, especially since I don’t recognize any of the names on the cards. But if it was important enough for my Grandmother to hold onto, then it is important enough for me.

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
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5 thoughts on “The Time Magazine File Phone

  1. It would be poetic to include a card with your grandmother’s info and write “deceased” on it, since she did that with her own contacts in there.

    We had one of these file phones (though I had forgotten all about it until this article), we didn’t have very many contacts in it though.

  2. On a side note, I just noticed something funny now (I never noticed it the whole time I owned one of these phones either): The name of the magazine giving away the phone just happens to be “time”, and the phone just happens to have a clock, and they just happened to put “time” right below the clock.

  3. Dar says:

    I remember this. Good idea actually, and if I had someone to call I’d want one even today.

    I do remember “Time” magazine sending us some other phone, but without the card-holder. But that was a few years later I think.

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