Kids React To Rotary Phones


Kids react to Technology!

This episode: Rotary Phones

- (Producer) Okay, so this is going to be a little different. - Okay. (Producer) We're not showing you a video...

(Producer) Instead of a video, you're reacting to this.

Say what?!

An old fashioned telephone.

A telephone.

An old fashioned phone! I always thought they were really cool.

Am I gonna be calling someone?

I like modern day phones more.

I'm gonna call somebody--shh!

(dialing) How does this even work?

Question Time!

- (Producer) What is that? - A phone.

An old fashioned telephone?

A telephone, but it's oldish.

It's not a cellphone, it's a telephone.

This is, like, phones that my mom used as a kid?

The first ones that Alexander Graham Bell invented.

How do you guys still have this old telephone?

(Producer) How do you know it's a phone?

Cause this is what an old phone looks like?

There's toys of these.

Well, they're still house ones with this kind.

Movies. Um, my friend has one.

Because I read history.

It looks like a phone, it has a telephone,

and it has numbers.

(Producer) Do you what they call that type of phone?



A dial phone?

A home phone.

Uh-uh. I just know my iPod is not like this.

(Producer) They call a rotary phone.

A rotary phone.

Oh, yeah, 'cause of this thing.

Another word in my vocabulary (laughs).

(Producer) Do you know how to use a rotary phone to make a phone call?

I think you use these...I have no idea how they work.

Yeah, not that. No.

Dial the numbers, soon as I find out how.

(Producer) There's something you have to do before you dial!

(Producer) What's the very first thing you'd have to do to use that phone?

I have no idea.

Hello, this is Lydon, and I will be teaching you

how to call on a rotary phone.

Step one: take the phone and put it right here!

How do you even--what? What? How do you dial?


Wait...wait a sec!

If you want a three, put it right here, next to the hole

with a three, and then you take it to the piece of metal

and then you do another number and then another number.

(Producer) If you wanted to do three, you'd put your finger

in the three and then you'd have to go over here and then back up.

-(Producer) And that's one number.

-(Producer) And you'd have to do-- -Ooh!



Dang it!

I would not want to work these things.

It's gonna take a long time.

(Producer) And when you do pick up the phone

and put it to your ear, what do you listen for before you dial?

(imitates fax sounds)

Bling bling!

I wasn't born in the 40's, so I have no idea what you're talking about.

It would make a blatant sound like "eeeeeer",

something like that.

(Producer) It's actually something called a dial tone.

Dial tone.

I think I've heard of that.

(Producer) And do you know what this noise means?

(busy tone)

That they're not picking up.

It was disconnected?

Loading or searching or something?




They're on the line with somebody else?

(Producer) It's called a "busy signal".

Oooh, so they press a button and then you can't

call them 'cause they're busy?

(Producer) No, not exactly.

(Producer) So you'd call them, but they're already on the phone,

so it tells you "busy" and they'd never even know that you called.

Pretty not cool.

I mean, that's just not fair.

Uh...I don't want that phone.

I want to keep my iPhone.

This was awesome like 20 or 10 years ago

and look how technology advanced!

Now, people don't even know what this is!

(Producer) Do you know of what a long-distance phone call is?

No, I haven't known that for a long time.


When people are in California and the other person's way out somewhere?

(Producer) If you called someone that had another area code

than you, it would cost more money per minute to talk to them.


That's crazy.

That's really just--they shouldn't do that.

But what if they did this?

Carried it in their backpack?

It was recently my birthday and all my relatives called me

and they all live in Chicago... so if we had one of these phones,

where it was long distance, they'd be like, "Happy birthday, bye."

because they didn't want to pay extra money.

(Producer) How do you think you send a text message with that phone?

So you grab it and...oh.

You'd have to use these again.

Hmmm. No, not that.

Beep, boop, boop, beep.

I have no idea.

This is very confusing to me!

If you went to two and you wanted it to be "A",

you would only do it once, but if you wanted "B",

you'd do it twice.

(Producer) How would they see what you've wrote them?

Would it be like you pick up the phone and it's in Morse code or something?

You'll probably need to move it first and that'd be "A".

Wait, are you sure you can even text message?

You can't.

You couldn't.

There was no texting?

(Producer) It was a trick question. There was no text messaging.

Oooh. Why'd you guys do that?

Then how--How?

They wanted to talk to their friends...oooh, that's how.

They would call.

(Producer) You had no texting and no cell phone,

which means the only way you could talk to your friends

is if you were at home and they were also at home

and you called each other.


That was probably very difficult for you guys.

What if you got into an emergency?

I don't know how they would do that back then.

I wouldn't be able to do that.

It definitely made it harder, but still, people got around.

People survived!

That's horrible, especially if you haven't seen them in a long time

because you're super busy and then you finally get to talk to them

and they're not even home!

(Producer) What was the last time you used a payphone?

What's a payphone?

What's a payphone?

What's a payphone?

This is a payphone?



I don't think I've ever used a payphone.

My parents have used them.

I know what a payphone is. I heard that Avril Lavigne song!

(Producer) Have you ever seen on the street a booth that has a phone in it?


All it said was a blue sign that said, "Call booth."

I didn't know what it was.

(Producer) You'd put money in, 50 cents, to use the telephone to call someone.

That's kinda like torture.

(Producer) So we went over everything with you about this old phone,

-(Producer) but when I give you this phone-- -Oooh!

(Producer) Would you know how to make a call?


Then you go press these numbers.

See, I'm calling that person. Oops, I'm calling that person!

Press the button that says "phone", put it on your ear and talk!

You don't have to do all this wacky stuff.

This is why humans are devolving. (laughs)

(Producer) Phone technology has changed a lot!

Yes! Thank goodness or I would be crying in a corner!

(Producer) Are you happy that you're living now

with those types of phones, or do you wish you lived

when there were those types of phones?

These phones.

It's easier! It takes just two clicks!

Yeah, I'm pretty happy. Hah! 'Sup? 'Sup, bro?

These phones. It actually has stuff to play on.

Oh, we should have a cellphone and this phone.

It would make your house look all old.

I love old technology. I'm a fan of classics.

Are you cray-cray? I think I want to go with my phone.

Hello? One second.

Thanks for watching Kids React!

Let us know what technology we should react to next.

To subscribe, just do... "S"...uh..."S", yeah, okay...

See you later! Call me! Not on this phone.