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Early Instructional Videos for Using a Rotary Phone

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A couple of weeks ago, we posted a hilarious and adorable video of children reacting to rotary phones. Most of them, raised on iDevices, had no idea how to use it.

It seems silly—and definitely makes us feel old—but the kids aren't alone in their confusion. Based on these early instructional videos, it seems like our ancestors were also pretty puzzled by rotary phones.

"How to Use the Dial Phone"

This 7-minute-long film, circa 1927, announced that "dial telephones will be placed in service at Midnight—Saturday, May 28th." It likely referred to Western Electric's Model 102, which was the first widely distributed telephone set, and stressed not using the new blue directory until midnight on May 28. (Seriously, don't do it until then!) 

"How to Dial a Rotary Phone"

There's no date on this film, but it was apparently shown in movie theaters. It helpfully provides examples for the audience of what the dial tone, ringing, and busy signal sound like.

"Dialing Tips"

This video, from the '50s, gives users tips for how to use a rotary phone without making mistakes, which, according to the helpful woman from "your telephone company," both "waste and lot of time" and "can cause someone else to be inconvenienced and probably irritated." Tips include: Make sure you have the right number (and use your directory to make doubly sure); write that number down, which saves time; bring your finger around until it firmly touches the finger stop, and then let go; let the dial go back by itself; and know the difference between O and 0. She uses a huge demonstration model to show the audience how it's done.

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Hamilton Broadway
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Food
A Hamilton-Themed Cookbook is Coming
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Hamilton Broadway

Fans of Broadway hit Hamilton will soon be able to dine like the Founding Fathers: As Eater reports, a new Alexander Hamilton-inspired cookbook is slated for release in fall 2017.

Cover art for Laura Kumin's forthcoming cookbook
Amazon

Called The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World, the recipe collection by author Laura Kumin “takes you into Hamilton’s home and to his table, with historical information, recipes, and tips on how you can prepare food and serve the food that our founding fathers enjoyed in their day,” according to the Amazon description. It also recounts Hamilton’s favorite dishes, how he enjoyed them, and which ingredients were used.

Recipes included are cauliflower florets two ways, fried sausages and apples, gingerbread cake, and apple pie. (Cue the "young, scrappy, and hungry" references.) The cookbook’s official release is on November 21—but until then, you can stave off your appetite for all things Hamilton-related by downloading the musical’s new app.

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fun
Never Buy Drawing Paper Again With This Endlessly Reusable Art Notebook
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Art supplies can get pricey when you’re letting your kid’s creativity run wild. But with an endlessly reusable notebook, you never have to worry about running out of paper during that after-school coloring session.

The creators of the erasable Rocketbook Wave have come out with a new version of their signature product meant especially for color drawings. The connected Rocketbook Color notebook allows you to send images drawn on its pages to Google Drive or other cloud services with your phone, then erase the pages by sticking the whole notebook in the microwave. You get a digital copy of your work (one that, with more vibrant colors, might look even better than the original) and get to go on drawing almost immediately after you fill the book.

An animated view of a notebook’s pages changing between different drawings.

There’s no special equipment involved beyond the notebook itself. The Rocketbook Color works with Crayola and other brands’ washable crayons and colored pencils, plus dry-erase markers. The pages are designed to be smudge-proof, so turning the page won’t ruin the art on the other side even if you are using dry-erase markers.

Rocketbook’s marketing is aimed at kids, but adults like to save paper, too. Break away from the adult coloring books and go free-form. If it doesn’t quite work out, you can just erase it forever.

The notebooks are $20 each on Kickstarter.

All images courtesy Rocketbook

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