New York’s last public pay phone goes bye bye

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In 1889, inventor William Gray and developer George A. Long installed the first pay phone at a bank in Hartford, Connecticut. By 1902, there were 81,000 pay phones in the United States. The number of pay phones peaked in 1995, with 2.6 million public pay phones across the U.S.

 

But as cell phone numbers increased, pay phone usage dwindled. And on May 23, New York City officials removed the city’s last free-standing public pay phones from a midtown Manhattan sidewalk.

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Manhattan Borough President Mark D. Levine shared photos of the two-phone steel bank being taken away on Twitter.

 

“There it goes! The last free-standing pay phones were removed this morning in Times Square. Truly the end of an era but also, hopefully, the start of a new one with more equity in technology access! @LinkNYC is one great way we are achieving this,” he tweeted.

The pay phone, the last of approximately 8,000 public phones still in use around the city as of March 2015, will be part of a new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. The installation, called Analog City, reflects on life in the city before the digital age.

 

In 2015, the city began replacing pay phones with LinkNYC kiosks. These stands provide free public Wi-Fi, charging ports, 911 buttons and other services.

 

LinkNYC shared a picture of the booth being lifted to the bed of a truck on Twitter.

 

“Out with the old, in with the new! NYC’s last free-standing pay phones were removed today; they’ll be replaced with a Link, boosting accessibility and connectivity across the city,” LinkNYC tweeted.

“In less than a decade we’ve gone from pay phones on street corners to free Wi-Fi kiosks all over our city,” New York City Council Member Julie Won told NPR. “We’re on the right track towards making NYC technologically equitable and we must continue this work to connect more New Yorkers to affordable high-speed internet in their homes and schools.”

 

While this was the final city-operated pay phone, a handful of booths still exist around New York City. Several are on private property. Four “permanent full-length Superman” booths remain, as well. You know, just in case.

 

This article originally appeared on SimpleMost.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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This restored vintage Yellowstone bus is perfect

 

When the Montage Hotel opens in 2021 at Big Sky, Montana, guests will be shuttled in historic style in a 1936 White 706 Yellowstone Bus restored by Legacy Classic Trucks.

“Legacy Classic Trucks is committed to finding special pieces of American transportation that are historically significant and giving them new life through world class restorations so that they can be enjoyed today,” Legacy founder Winslow Bent said in the company’s announcement of the truck’s completion and sale.

 

Legacy Classic Trucks photos

 

“Our one-of-a-kind White Model 706 Yellowstone Tour Bus restoration really echoes everything that we search for in a build. The buses were originally crafted by a revolutionary vehicle designer in his day, Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky,” Bent said.

“Due to the rare provenance of this being an original design from Count de Sakhnoffsky, Legacy Classic Trucks made this a completely original restoration project with no other modifications. It is one of our finest restorations to date.”

 

Legacy Classic Trucks photos

 

He added that “the purchase of this iconic vehicle ensures that Legacy’s restored piece of automotive history will continue to create new memories, all while delighting guests near the same national park where it faithfully served passengers for decades.”

“We are looking forward to the opening of Montage Big Sky with our partners at CrossHarbor, and are thrilled to bring an extraordinary experience to guests and residents with the exciting addition of Legacy Classic Trucks’ newly restored Yellowstone Tour Bus,” Alan Fuerstman, founder, chairman and chief executive of Montage International, said.

Located a little more than 50 miles north of West Yellowstone, Montage Big Sky will offer 150 guest rooms and suites and 39 residences.

 

istockphoto

 

For generations, visitors to Yellowstone National Park were transported through the park’s majestic natural landscape in delightfully streamlined open-air buses produced by the White Company of Cleveland, Ohio,” Legacy said in its news release. “The most-recent generation of these rare storied vehicles is the White 706, delivered in limited quantities to Yellowstone from 1936-1938.

 

Manel Vinuesa /istockphoto

 

Only 98 Yellowstone tour buses were ever designed. Made in America during a bygone era committed to making high-quality transportation that could stand the test of time, the White 706 Yellowstone tour buses were celebrated for their peerless design and dependability.

The company noted that de Sakhnoffsky did automotive designs for Auburn, Cord, Packard, Ford, Willy-Overland, Studebaker, Chrysler, Mack and Tucker during his career. He also designed watches, furniture, marine crafts and aircraft.

De Sakhnoffsky was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1901 and immigrated first to Paris, and then to Switzerland and finally to the U.S. after the Russian Revolution.

 

Legacy Classic Trucks photos

 

The Yellowstone buses were designed for 14 passengers, and featured a canvas canopy-style roof to provide panoramic sightseeing.

The restored bus had been in storage in Montana after its duties at the park.

“Interestingly,” Legacy reported. “While the tour bus body is made of steel and aluminum construction, the vehicle’s frame is constructed entirely of wood.

 

Legacy Classic Trucks photos

 

For the restoration, Legacy Classic Trucks incorporated a White 318 16A six-cylinder engine that produces 96 horsepower. Legacy Classic Trucks also fully restored the vehicle’s original non-synchronized transmission, a unique feature of the day that gave rise to the popular moniker of ‘gear jammers’ in reference to driving these buses.

Based in Driggs, Idaho, Legacy Classic Trucks specializes in Dodge Power Wagon, Jeep Scrambler and Chevrolet NAPCO restorations as well as doing Diamond T, Mack, Studebaker and Hudson truck restorations for ranch, personal and commercial use.

The company started in 2010 when Bent’s employment evaporated.

“What am I going to do now?” he asked his wife, Andrea.

Pointing to the Dodge Power Wagon he was restoring, her response was, “You’re already doing it. Just get an ‘Open’ sign.”

He did and a high-end restoration and resto-mod business was born.

For more information, visit the Legacy Classic Trucks and Montage Hotels websites.

This article originally appeared on ClassicCars.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

Legacy Classic Trucks photos

 

Featured Image Credit: @MBPMarkLevine / Twitter.

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