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U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for August 25: Phone Booths


WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 -- Following is the daily “Profile America” feature for August 25 from the U.S. Census Bureau:

Profile America Thursday, August 25th. Clark Kent ducked into one to change into “Superman” and millions of Americans used phone booths to stay in touch with friends and loved ones all over the country before cell phones came along. The coin- operated pay phone was developed by William Gray and first appeared this month in 1889, in Hartford, Connecticut. It pretty much stayed the same for 50 years. Now, there are just over 2- million pay phones in the U.S. no longer in enclosed booths and, increasingly, they are high-tech devices that can send a fax or surf the Web. Staying in touch is part of the American way of life, with the cell phone on the way to becoming the standard telephone. Some 160-million Americans have cell phones more than half the population. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at

Sources: Statistical Abstract of the United States 2004-2005, t. 1144


Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments ready to air on a monthly CD or on Internet at (look under the “Newsroom” button). For further information, contact Rick Reed at 301-763-2812, fax at 301-457-3670, or e-mail at


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