Have you figured out what’s behind the tube of ChapStick, or do you remember those handy little gadgets?
Yep, it’s a vintage rotary phone dialer.
You’d insert the “ball” end of it into the hole for each letter/number and dial. It was probably to save fingernails or protect recent manicures. Maybe it just made dialing easier if someone’s hand was shaky or, like the phone company said, “Careful dialing means better service.” Were these precursors to stylus pens, used on touchscreens these days? Similar, but not quite.
Of course, there are probably those in our audience who wonder what that black thing with the curly cord on it at the top of the page is. But we won’t go there …
Thanks to Tom Hart for sending these photos to us, and challenging/jogging our memories.