Five Reasons I Love My Rotary Dial Phone

Featured GeekMom Household Gadgets
Gandalf believes this phone is a wise choice. (image by Corrina Lawson)
Gandalf believes this phone is a wise choice. (Image by Corrina Lawson)

I bought the old rotary phone on a lark off eBay to hold us over until we decided what cool new phone to buy for the house, but after a couple of months, we decided to keep it.


1. It’s never lost.

When we had a phone with a handset in my bedroom, the handset disappeared, sometimes for days, meaning I had to roam around the house looking for the phone to answer it. There were times when I never found it.

Now? I always have a phone in my room. Bonus: The kids won’t use it because, eww…Mom, how do I use the dial thing?

I suppose I could teach them.


2. It can be used when the power goes out.

Yes, I know I can use my cell phone too, but doing so uses up that battery. Unless the phone service goes out too, which is unusual.

3. I have to memorize phone numbers.

Yes, this sounds like a drawback. It’s not. I like knowing the phone numbers of my family members, especially my eldest two kids, who are at college. I like knowing my mother’s number. If I ever happen to be without my cell phone, I can still reach the people I care about.

4. It’s the perfect shape to fit between the neck and shoulder during conversations.

I can talk on the phone and take notes. I can’t do that with my cell phone or the newer, thinner handset for the phone we used in the family room in the basement. (That disappears frequently, too, but it’s not my problem now. If the kids want to make a call, they can find it on their own.)

Sure, I suppose if I’m on my cell phone that I could put the conversation on speaker, but then everyone in the house would hear the whole call and, trust me, that’s not a good thing.

Note: Why do I have a cell phone and a land-line? Because the cell reception is crap at my house in the boondocks.

5. I can hang up on telemarketers with gusto.

Something has truly been lost when you can no longer slam the phone done and definitively end a lousy conversation, especially one with an annoying telemarketer at the other end. The rotary phone has heft and weight. It just feels good in my hand.

I bet I could use it to smack thieves if they every broke into my house, because the thing weighs as much as some baseball bats.

The only drawback? I can’t use the phone to navigate through voice mail systems used by many companies. Hmmm…maybe that’s not such a drawback after all, since it will prevent me from calling them in the first place.

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6 thoughts on “Five Reasons I Love My Rotary Dial Phone

  1. It is. It feels good in my hands. Also, the kids can’t *break* it. I didn’t put that in the article but you could fill a large garbage can with the number of portable phones my kids have destroyed.

  2. I love the article, but there is a problem…. If that’s an actual, vintage rotary phone, it probably won’t work on most modern phone systems. “Pulse” dialing (rotary) had been being phased out of service for years and it’s probably only that you’re “in the boondocks” that this phone works for you at all. You’re going to have to give it up eventually though, or figure out how to convert your rotary to “pulse” dialing….

    1. Rotary phones will still work depending on the system. Our system was switched to fiber-optic a few years ago, and even though I was told rotary would not work, they do.

  3. I cracked up at the last article: I bet I could use it to smack thieves if they ever broke into my home. lol. No, you could do more than that, you could probably kill an intruder with that thing, and still call 911 and say, “a violent person busted down the door and had my husband in a choke hold fearing for his life, I killed the intruder in self defense, and the old phone would still work like nothing happened, those old phones were built like a tank.

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