How much did a phone call cost in the 1940's? The Payphone Project: How much did a phone call cost in the 1940's?

Andrea on Tuesday, August 1, 2000 - 03:17 pm:

    I'm trying to find out how much it cost to place a local call from a payphone in the U.S. in the 1940's. If anyone has the answer I would really appreciate it if you could drop me an e-mail.



By Trace on Tuesday, August 1, 2000 - 03:40 pm:

    are you still there

By Nate on Wednesday, August 2, 2000 - 10:20 am:

    in fixed 1980 dollars, it cost $0.20, US.

By JIMMY on Wednesday, November 8, 2000 - 04:59 am:


By Manetra on Sunday, November 12, 2000 - 11:05 am:

    Most places I know of, it was a nickle back then. I think it was a nickle in the 30s as well. I think it was well into the 50s before calls went up to a dime in most locations.

By Digger on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - 01:56 pm:

    Hi andrea,

    Just seen your message today.

    The cost of US payphones did not vary between 1942 and 1946.

    All calls to any destination were charged at a nickle if you called from an Army PX base.

    Every where else they started at a dime for 5 minutes. Person to person calls from hotels started at 50c.

    It was possible to be connected via the radio network in Montana but that was charged at 1.5USD per minute.

    Drug stores in New York started at a dime for 10 minutes but in Washington the price was a dime for 5 minutes until the 1951 telecommunications law rationalised phone charges across the states.

    If you were an agent of a government department it was possible to quote a code reference which connected you free to certain locations.For example; universities,some hospitals and military sites.

    In 1967 LBJ tried to introduce free phones for all military veterans but he was shouted down in congress as this was thought to be unamerican.

    In the same administration, he tried to get phones for the blind but was told there would be jamming of the US switchboards!!

    So much for charity!

    HOpe this info helps you.

By Bud on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 02:55 am:

    1940s it was a nickle, until the late 70s it wes still a nickle in Morgan City,LA. I think Washington State was a nickle at that time too.

By Shelly on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 07:56 pm:

    hey, i was wondering if anyone knew how many numbers you had to dial in the 1940's from a payphone? cuz i know it's not 10 like today.

By The Watcher on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 01:02 pm:

    I think in the forties it depended where you were and where you were calling.

    Small towns would only need a few numbers. But, major cities like New York or Chicago would probably have used the ten number system.

    Back then the phone company did not have the automated switching system it has today. Calls were routed by operators a lot of the time.

By Stoner chick on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 05:13 pm:

    chickeria bitch get off my nuts ur crushin em, costed 200.00 dollars

By Other stoner chick on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 05:15 pm:

    fuck u u dumb whore ushould die and go to hell, oh by the way gouverneur school sucks ass and is gunna have a bomb in the bathrooms on thursday january 20th at 4:20 pm yeah motherfuckers

By semillama on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 06:25 pm:

    Dumbass. Now the FBI has your IP address. Say hello to the justice system, you high school twerp.

    You should know better than to post a bomb threat on a website populated by subversive liberal types.

By FBI on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 08:17 pm:

    we own your mom, too.

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