Where Have All the Evansville Pay Phones Gone?
25 years ago there were about two and a half million pay phones in America. They were everywhere. They hung on walls, posts and kiosks all over the country. Some even had their own little glass houses that seemed to be on every street corner. What happened?
Cell phones is what happened. Would you believe 95% of all Americans have one? That means we seldom need a pocket full of change and that all important quarter to get a call started on a payphone.
It is estimated that there are about 100,000 payphones still left in the US. About a quarter of them are in New York. Many of these are disappearing daily. Many low income folks that kept them in business now use prepaid phones.
Do you remember using a payphone in Evansville? THE PAYPHONE PROJECT lists over 500 locations in Vanderburgh county that had payphones at one time. There were six at Roberts stadium, nine at U of E, one at every Buslers, several at the Executive Inn and many more locations that have disappeared along with their phones.
I posted on Facebook recently asking for locations where our WKDQ listeners had located payphones still in existence in the Evansville area. Several people reported one at Always Open on St. Joe, one at Circle K on Barrett Blvd. In Henderson, one by the Sams gas pumps, one at Posey's in Boonville, one at Fulton and Maryland street, one on Haynie’s Corner and one just inside the doors of Washington Square Mall. That's a sampling, and there must be a few more that our listeners didn't locate. I found this shell of a phone at the convenience store at Boeke and Washington. The phone has been removed.