POTD — Old Work Pagers

Being of a certain age has it’s advantages: Perspective. I was looking through some old boxes a few days ago and ran across some now retired work gear.

For those who’s biggest accomplishment in 1995 was being born, this may seem a little weird. Back then we didn’t have smart phones. We had mostly pagers and cell phones were still a little uncommon. And even those were about the size of a case of ammo and weighed just about as much!

Actually our team was one of the first groups to get use of personal, compact cell phones. And no, they were not digital. They were analog cellphones. We didn’t get the first digital cellphones until around 1997 as I can recall. Again, we were some of the first digital users. I remember some monthly cell phone bills coming in around the $900 range! In 1997-98! That was big money back then.

Old Pagers and bugging device.

Old Pagers and Phone Tap device.

The tape deck is actually a voice activated bugging device that, in theory, may have been used to tap phones lines. But my memory is fuzzy on it until the statute of limitations runs out. 😉

The one thing you don’t see, that I wish I still had, was a telephone company lineman phone. At least that is what we called it. Imagine a 1970’s era telephone handset, constructed of orange plastic, with a builtin keypad and alligator clips. It was very hard to come by such items pre-Ebay and usually involved graft or coercion to obtain such things.

As I recall, my old partner was working one night on an intelligence op, and almost got caught by a junkie-hooker when she rounded the corner and practically ran into him. Luckily, he had the wherewithal toss it in the bushes or he would have been made by the organized crime people inside. But then again, that sounds awfully similar to a scene in the book, Statute of Limitations. So I must be mistaken.

Check back in a few more years.

 

 

Marky
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Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Mikial

    I remember pagers. Wow, it seems so long ago. Okay . . . it was. 😉

    • Brennen Munro

      I remember pagers too… and yes it was a long time ago! The big thing I remember was that I could then be reached no matter where I was, and that was kind of cool the first couple of times, but it very quickly became a giant pain in the ass. Oh the joys and ugh’s of life!

      Munro

      • Some people still have to carry them for that very reason actually. I don’t see them often, but I know some folks who still have them. –Marky

  • Brennen Munro

    I remember being in Israel as they were doing R&D for Motorolla, and we got to play with some really cool phones and other gadgets that would not be available to Joe and Jane public for another 10 years! Of course they were also listening in to our conversations, but they were the ones who we were going to call if things went sideways anyway… so if they were up to speed to begin with it was okay!

    Munro

  • MickeyG

    Pagers, never had one, don’t want one !

    • I have to admit, I do miss the feeling of freedom they provide compared to smart phones.

      Marky

      • MickeyG

        Got an old (10 years+) LG cell phone, it makes calls/get calls. 🙂