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Public phones in groceries. Grange di Vercelli, 1959

02/11/2011 - 09:45 AM

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In the 1950s and beyond, public telephone booths were commonly found at small retail outlets, especially in Italy’s smaller towns. The grocer would slice up some mortadella, wrap up a tin of sardines, and in the meantime customers could make a call and pay depending on how many units they used. This photo was taken at a grocer’s in the country near Vercelli in 1959, the year that STIPEL (the phone company with the concession for the Piedmont and Lombardy regions) celebrated its one millionth telephone subscriber. In the countryside in this part of the country, telephone subscribers in even the most isolated farmhouses had access to modern exchanges equipped with the direct-dial compatible Siemens CRM system.

 

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