Modern Living: Look, Ma Bell, No Hands

In most U.S. cities, vandals rip off dials, bash in faceplates, amputate receivers and show promise of elevating phone-booth burglary to a fine art. Now Ma Bell has turned to a new "hands free" phone that may help thwart vandals. Placed in Manhattan at Pennsylvania and Grand Central stations and one outdoor location, the new models have already surprised—and disconcerted—thousands of callers.

Originally built by Bell Telephone Laboratories for installation in large booths at the New York World's Fair in 1964, the phones were designed to permit whole families at a time to tell the folks back home how much they were...

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