Back in the spring of this year, we were talking about the new office and how we wanted to add some components to it to make it more fun and enjoyable. Being a non-traditional phone company with a healthy respect for the innovations of the past, we thought it would be really interesting if we could find an old-style phone booth and restore it for display in our office. These booths are disappearing fast, so we wanted to grab a little piece of nostalgia that was directly related to our business.
It wasn’t long after that we found a telephone booth from the 1970’s for sale in southern Ontario. Turns out that in the early 1980’s a bunch of these booths were being sold for their scrap metal and this collector picked up two of them, and promptly placed them on his farm to sit for the next 20 years. We liked the phone booth because it was the old style red one, the one that most of us remembered from our youth (depending on how old you were). It was missing some glass panels and was in a pretty sorry state when we got it, but some TLC and some new glass from Civic Glass in Ottawa really brought it to life.
We took it to the next step by finding an old-style authentic pay phone that we installed in the booth, and by locating a 1970’s yellow pages directory to further add to the effect. Lastly, the engineers here hooked up the pay phone to Versature’s VoIP system and now it’s fully functional – you can both make and receive calls from the booth. Most people talk about Superman dropping by to use the booth, or depending on your vintage, you might remember the opening scenes from Get Smart, but I prefer to remember that classic (lol) movie featuring a phone booth – “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure“. Stepping into our phone booth *is* kind of like going back in time.
Lastly, we wanted to put the phone booth along our back wall in the office, and so we contracted with some graffiti artists to design a city scape for us, integrating the phone booth into the design. We did a time lapse of the work that they did and you’ll find that video at the bottom of this post. It was a labour of love, probably about 50 hours of work in total, but well worth it because of the vibe it creates in that area of the office.
We love visitors. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to stop by and have a look at our little piece of history.