Turning Back The Dial — Phoning In Some Tattoos Of Old School Phones

Turning Back The Dial — Phoning In Some Tattoos Of Old School Phones

A look at tattoos of the rotary phone, a piece of jurassic technology from days gone by.

Perhaps no device has undergone such a marked transformation as the telephone. These days, we keep our phones in our pocket. Telephones used to be firmly grounded to a single geographic location — the home. But now, we can use our phones anywhere. And they’re not just phones anymore. Today, our phones function as so much more.


Things didn’t used to be like this. When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, he never could have imagined what his device would evolve into. Just a hundred years later, Martin Cooper would revolutionize the phone by inventing a version of the device that was completely mobile — single handedly setting off the cellphone revolution.


One of the first functions to drastically change on telephones was the manner in which numbers are dialed. In the '70s and '80s, touch buttons replaced one of the most recognizable parts of the phone, the rotary mechanism. I have vague memories of my childhood involving our old rotary phone — namely, that calling someone took fucking forever.


For some reason or other, people really love the imagery of this long-gone precursor to the more modern phone. Obviously, there would be some cool tattoos out there of old school rotary phones. We’ve rounded up some pictures of a few such pieces, if for no other reason than we love a good tattoo of obsolete technology.

It sure is fun to dial up the past just by looking at other people’s tattoos. Remember, a tattoo doesn’t just have to be art, it can be an anthropological artifact.


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