Do you still have a telephone set at home?
Telephone sets collected by Mr. Wen
Mobile phone Mr. Wen used now
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- Wen Qijun, 65 years old, collects more than 10 telephone sets, from the earliest rotary dial telephone set to the one with the voice broadcast function. These telephone sets carry the memory of the evolutionary history of family communication and also important witnesses of our road towards the moderately prosperous life.
A telephone set in a shop in the early 1960s
Residing in Donglu Community 4, Nan’an District, Wen Qijun is a retired middle school teacher. In his house, there is an area for his treasures: more than 10 telephone sets of different types, such as the rotary dial telephone set and new type with voice broadcast function. Mr. Wen said that some of these telephone sets were once used by his family and some of them were purchased from antique shops or flea markets.
Mr. Wen’s hobby of collecting telephone sets came from the sense of mystery of telephone sets in his childhood. In the early 1960s, he saw a telephone set for the first time in a shop, which was a black rotary dial telephone set. Over the telephone, there was an oval sign: Telephone service for you to contact someone.
Mr. Wen said that telephone set became the most magical thing in his childhood memory, “Very few people used the telephone at the time. The telephone was almost only used for work purpose or emergency contact with relatives in other places. When you received a telephone call, the boss would personally notify you at your home. You needed to run to answer the phone immediately and pay 5 fen to the boss after the call.”
4,000 yuan for a telephone set installed at home in the early 1990s
Mr. Wen said that in the early 1990s, he already worked and married, but was on business frequently. For convenient contact with his family, he decided to install a telephone set, “The installation cost was very expensive, more than 4,000 yuan, making the telephone set at home a super luxury. After all, the salary was only 80 yuan at that time.”
Mr. Wen still remembered that the whole family was very happy after the telephone set was installed. They even specially gave a feast and invited a few good neighbors for celebration together, and committed that neighbors could use our telephone to contact their relatives.
“The call rates were expensive at that time, so we never had a long telephone conversation, and even made an outline before the call so that we could finish the conversation as soon as possible,” said Mr. Wen.
Home telephone sets were popularized in the early 2000s
According to Mr. Wen, around 2000, the telephone set gradually became a household necessity from a luxury with the development of the times, and the installation cost become cheap and the call rates were also decreased gradually.
Mr. Wen said that a few years later, some families even installed one or two extension sets so they could answer the phone in the living room, bedroom and study. After that, wireless handheld telephone sets were developed that people could walk around the room while answering the phone. Besides, the telephone sets had more and more functions, such as caller identification, callback and voice dialing.
For the more and more powerful functions of mobile phones in recent years, telephones sets have become “chicken ribs”. In 2018, Mr. Wen stopped the telephone set service. His current phone is an iPhone bought by his son, “In addition to making and answering calls anytime and anywhere, I can also check the WeChat messages, surf the Internet, browse Tik Tok videos and take photos every day. It’s really convenient.”
“Whenever I see these telephone sets, I am profoundly impressed by the speed of scientific and technological progress. The rapid development of communication makes our life better and more convenient, which also witnesses our road towards the moderately prosperous life,” said Mr. Wen at the end of the interview. (Translated by Huang Juan, Fathom Language Limited)