By telephone booth we mean a public station equipped with a telephone for public use consisting of a prefabricated box with a coin and telephone card operated device inside.
The first telephone set was patented in 1889 by William Gray. It is said that the idea of creating a public telephone set came to him when his wife fell ill, and no one around let him use their telephone. Gray opened his own company and began installing these devices in many cities. Within a few years this invention also arrived in Europe. The very famous London red cabins were introduced in the United Kingdom in 1924. Then gradually they were introduced in other countries.
Starting in the 1960s, telephone booths were gradually replaced around the world by open kiosks equipped with telephones, to ensure easier access for the handicapped.
In airports, you can find some special equipment installed inside the cabins, such as an RJ-45 network socket to connect a laptop to the Internet, a telephone equipped with a fax machine or keyboard to send SMS, or a device for affected persons. from deafness. Most phone booths around the world have the logo of the phone company to which the facility belongs.
Given the growing use of cellular telephony, traffic on the public telephone network in 2007 had practically halved, approaching more and more to zero. Conversations from a public telephone reached just 300 million minutes in 2007, compared to around 600 million in 2006, recording a decline of 43%. However, telephone boxes are still used today.
The phone booth is a structure equipped with a door to ensure a minimum of privacy for those who are using it, and a window, or a series of windows to show when the booth is in use. In the cabin it is in some cases possible, in the past also in Italy (where it was decided to withdraw the lists in the mid-eighties of the last century in consideration of the frequent thefts and acts of vandalism), to find a local telephone directory and in hotels also of paper, pen and a support to sit on.
A public telephone booth, located outdoors, is generally constructed of resistant parts, such as steel and plastic, to withstand the elements and use; on the contrary, a cabin placed inside a building is generally built with less bulky materials. In Italy, the telephone booths are prefabricated boxes in metal material, with doors and walls in transparent glass with the logo of the company Telecom Italia ex Sip
The telephone booth normally houses a telephone set inside it, connected to the telephone network. The user can make the call by inserting coins, prepaid cards or credit cards. Before the advent of the euro, there were also special telephone tokens worth one click (200 lire) in circulation, specially designed to be used with telephone booths.
Once the card or coins have been inserted, it is possible to make the call, which cannot last longer than that granted by the available credit; a display on the device in any case constantly warns of the available credit so that you can insert other coins or change the telephone card so as not to lose communication.
It is also possible to receive cabin calls from operators such as Telecom Italia. To call a cabin, you must call the toll number 199 229 229. After dialing this special rate number, you can call the desired cabin by typing the number of the public telephone you want to call. The numbers of the booths can still be obtained by pressing the "OK" button on the device