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North End’s Historic Pay Phone

North End History Secrets —  This pay phone on Commercial St., opposite the Battery Wharf Hotel, has the distinction of being the oldest broken pay-phone in Boston.  According to well-informed historians, the last to use the phone was Charley, prior to his getting on the MTA subway for his famous ride. He was in the middle of an important conversation when the call price went up, from 5 cents to 10 cents. He was asked to deposit another nickel, which he did not have. The call was cut off.  Charley was so angered that he whacked the box with the receiver, smashing the mouthpiece and putting the phone forever out of order, to remain a memorial to inflation.

Photo by Bob Skole.

2 Replies to “North End’s Historic Pay Phone

  1. ~~and Charley (Calogero) became a Legend in his own time. Great story! I might add it is probably the most photographed “broken pay-phone” in America.

  2. They should fix it. Make it cost $5 bucks and let the tourist make phone calls on it. Bet it would make money.

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