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POTD — Old Work Pagers

Old Pagers and bugging device.

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.



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