TBT: Telephones with tails

Happy new month Guys. It’s hard to believe the second half of the year  is almost here. Anyway, today we are talking about telephones. Yeah not mobile phones, I mean actual ringing telephones with no caller identity lol.

A long long time ago, before mobile phones became a thing in Nigeria we had the land lines. Lol. Some of them had that thing  you had to roll before you could call but some of them they were still modern enough.


My memories of these telephones are tied to a period growing up when my parents were abroad and at first we stayed with my grandma in Ibadan who didn’t have a phone. So when my parents wanted to call us they would call my grandmother’s neighbour and say they will call back at a certain time by which time we would all have trooped down to receive “international call “. As you can imagine there was no time or opportunity to report any erring relative as they were staring right down at you. Lol. You just had mutter fine when my mum asked anxiously  how you were.

Then we moved to our house, but we still didn’t have a land line. Our neighbor did though, which means we still had to troop down to receive “international” call. Lol.

Eventually we got ours but sadly or happily mobile phones soon became a thing. And we just packed it up one day. One thing about those land lines were the wires. Lots and lots of them which then connected to a Nitel pole outside which connected to other poles. We still have those phone wires in my house though. Lol. No one has bothered to cut them. 


This is really ancient. I don’t think I have ever seen this type

So how about you? Any fond memories of the telephones with tails? I bet some of you don’t even know what they are. Lol. Did you ever use land lines, was it the modern ones or the “girin grin” ancient ones you had to roll? lol.

Whispers… Do you miss them?

P. S . So this post here is part of a new reminiscing series here. Just looking at how much stuff has changed and if it’s good or not. When I say life before, some of it may be from the Nigerian context but I am sure a lot of us can relate.

P.P.S There will be a later post on mobile phones. For now let’s just talk about phones with tails ?.

Pic source 

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  • Reply
    June 2, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Hey Bisi! I remember we used to have these phone lines too!! It feels like such a long time ago and I can’t even imagine it being user now, although it’s still in our living room as vintage decoration??. I used to feel so cool cause we were the only ones who owned one in our neighborhood. Ahhh how tikes have changed! For the better!!!??

    • Reply
      June 2, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      Hahaha. For the better indeed. I still don’t know how we managed with those ancient relics. I guess they were probably modern as at that time.
      Thank God for change. I can’t imagine not being able to have a private conversation in peace. Imagine if I was dating and he called my office lol, isn’t that automatic gossip fodder? No privacy at all.
      Lol. I bet other people in your neighborhood have upgraded now. Reminds me of my Walkman and discman and how I used to feel so cool. Who knew they would soon be extinct. ?
      A reminder not to hold on to the things of this world.
      Thanks Joan.

  • Reply
    June 2, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Oh I remember phones wires. We didn’t have any at home. But my dad’s office had the “grin grin” type ?… I loved turning (dialling) it eh. Made me feel like I was in a movie. Lol. This also reminds me of nitel public pay phones booths, the long queues and the lack of privacy there. Times have sure changed.

    • Reply
      June 5, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Times have changed indeed. Those who say the only thing constant is change do not lie.
      I don’t remember those Nitel pay phones fondly oh because of the queues and the way the cards ran fast. But come to think if it, they still have public pay phones abroad even with all their advancement. I feel like they shouldn’t be totally gone like that here.

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