It’s hard to remember a time when telephones didn’t exist, but this hilarious etiquette booklet from 1951 reminds us that there was a time when they needed an instruction manual. Published by Bell Telephone System, The Telephone and How We Use It was intended as a beginner’s guide on all things telephone. Funnily enough, there’s still some good advice to remember even in our digital age.
From reminding us why we use the telephone to a look at then common types of phones, the booklet is a reminder of a bygone era. The pamphlet mainly focuses on the rotary phone, which was rendered largely obsolete by the 1980s. Not sure which way the hold the receiver? The manual has got you covered. Want to know proper etiquette when taking a message? The booklet lists multiple scenarios.