Telephone Pencils In Action

It’s been a while! I’ve been a bit under the weather lately, due to a sudden onset of homesickness, and the relentlessly depressing news from home and abroad hasn’t helped. Although I’m a bit too lazy and optimistic by nature to become a full-blown depressive, these moods do come over me once in a while, usually some months after settling in a new place. All that moving takes a toll. Especially in the past couple of weeks, it feels as though all I’ve been doing is watching the news and wishing I was back home doing candle waves with everybody else. 

However, life goes on, and I rely more than ever on my pens, pencils and books for the “small but sure joys” of everyday life, as Haruki Murakami so aptly put it. I recently started watching the Netflix series “The Crown,” which pen-lovers will have a field day with as everybody from Churchill to the newspaperman writes with some kind of vintage fountain pen, but which is proving to be a harder nut to crack for pencil lovers. However, I did catch a telephone pencil in action in Episode 6.

This is where the switchboard operators put through a call from Princess Margaret in Rhodesia to Queen Elizabeth at Sandringham. Telephone pencils are often shown with rings attached to the end, but here we see another kind of ‘phone pencil in action that has some kind of ball tip “used to dial the telephone number, saving finger nails.”

If anyone else is watching the series, let’s all keep an eagle eye on those secretarial pools and desks for more pencils! 

Addendum 11/15: Gunther has sent me an amazing thread on the Classic Rotary Phones Forum that has pictures of more telephone pencils. The ball tips are referred to as “dialers” that conform to the Bell System. Wow! Thank you Gunther :)

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8 thoughts on “Telephone Pencils In Action

  1. Thanks for showing us the telephone pencil.

    Is the candle wave part of the protest against the president or is it something else? ..and how is it done? with mobile pone flash lights?

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    1. Yes, that and the “shout” are part of the mass demonstration hoping to force her to step down. If she doesn’t there will be another one this weekend! And most are real candles, although I believe there are candle-shaped LED lights too. I suppose the wave must be done in the same manner as the ones in sports stadiums, no? I haven’t actually participated in one myself so I’m not totally sure…

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    1. I’m enjoying your recent posts, too, Gunther! And I realized only after you pointed it out – these pencils did disappear long before the dial telephone went out of fashion. What a shame.

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  2. 국내외의 소식이라는 게 음-_-; 제 미국 친구들은 이제 누가 어디서 왔니 물으면 캐나다에서 왔다고 합니다. 저도 누가 North or South? 물어보면 이제 대충 대답합니다-_-;

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    1. North 라고 하면 겁이라도 좀 먹죠^^;; 옛날에 미국에 있는 친구들이 “부시 정권 하에서 사는 게 괴롭다”고 토로했던 기억이 있는데 이젠 그게 차라리 더 아름다운 과거가 되었네요.

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