An Arkansas Phone Booth Got on the National Register of Historic Places
A man makes a call in a blown-over outdoor telephone booth in 1967. Image Credit: Getty Images
In Arkansas, a 50-year-old phone booth has been elevated to a place of historical honor. The Prairie Grove Airlight Outdoor Telephone Booth, a humble hut located in a little town in the northwest corner of the state, has been placed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.
The aluminum and glass telephone booth represented a major step forward for making phone calls, and it’s one of the few remaining of its kind. It was specifically designed to be stationed outside. Before, most phone booths were wooden structures designed for places like hotel lobbies and other indoor public places. But this one was strong enough to withstand weather and the outside world, and its glassy exteriors could bring in light.
The phone booth in question. Image via Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
The booth currently only makes about $4 a year (around 16 calls), and had to be repaired after someone ran into it with a car in 2014, according to Reuters. But it’s worth memorializing the handy utilities that pre-dated the “sorry, running late!!” text.
Please add Prairie Grove to your American history road trip destinations list accordingly.