In the pre cell-phone days, Williams College students reached their fellow Ephs by dialing their dorm rooms — often from outdoor phone boxes like the one pictured above.

That began fifty years ago this week, when the class of ’69 arrived on campus and benefited from the newest technological improvement to freshmen entries: dorm room phones. Prior to 1965, each entry had a shared phone, but over the summer of 1965, the College spent several thousand dollars to install private phones in every freshmen dorm room, and began charging students $5.28/month for phone service.

As College Business Manager Shane Riorden explained to the Record, the College heoped to “get students used to ‘accepting the responsibility of a private phone’ by introducing the students to them as freshmen.”

All of a sudden, calling up that Vassar student you met at a recent mixer became a much more private affair!

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