Hatfield Man Reintroducing Pay Phones in Philadelphia at No Cost

Woman using a pay phones
Image via iStock.

Mike Dank, a Honeywell senior hardware engineer from Hatfield, has loved pay phones since he was a teenager, writes Cathy Free for The Washington Post.

Decades later, he decided to bring them back to Philadelphia and to make them free for any call in the United States.

“Pay phones are nostalgic to me — I used one to call my parents to come pick me up when I was in high school,” he said.

Along with a friend, Naveen Albert, Dank started PhilTel in June.

The phone collective aims to convert old donated pay phones into free, working versions that use coinless circuit boards that have been rewired to connect through the internet.

They are currently hoping to get people to donate everything from pay phones and phone booths to telephone cables and routers.

For their first project, Dank used a pay phone he bought as a teenager, which was installed at Iffy’s Books on N. 11th Street in Phila. Dank and the shop’s owner then used the opportunity to hold an installation party and introduce young people to the joys of using a free pay phone.

“Lots of younger people today have never used one,” said Dank.

Read more about PhilTel in The Washington Post.

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