My very first job after law school was working for a defense law firm on Wall Street where I represented people who were sued in accident cases and medical malpractice cases.
One of my primary assignments was to go into court each and every day on status conferences, pre-trial conferences and trial conferences. After all of my conferences were done for the morning I was required to call the office to let the managing attorney know what was going on.
There were no such things as cell phones back then. Ahh...ancient times.
There were only pay phones. Pay phone booths. Tons of them. Entire rooms full of payphones in the court houses throughout the New York metropolitan area. In Brooklyn, known as Kings County Courthouse, the Bronx, New York county in lower Manhattan, Queens County courthouse located on Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica Queens and more.
The calls cost a dime for three minutes of talk time. Later, the price went up to twenty five cents a call.
In order to maintain some level of privacy, there were phone booths. Big old wooden things with sliding wooden and glass doors. You'd sit on this little shelf and a little light would turn on (supposed to turn on anyway) when you closed the phone booth door.
A little fan was supposed to turn on too to provide some ventilation. When it didn't work it was like sitting in an unventilated room without any windows.
Anyway, just a little reflection of what life was like before cell phones.
By the way, once everyone started carrying their own cell phones, the payphone business went bellyup and they were eventually ripped out of most courthouses.