Phone phreaks

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Sun Jun 8 21:20:26 UTC 2003

On Sat, 7 Jun 2003, Kim & Rima McKinzey wrote:

#I can't think of his name just now, but a guy who went by Captain
#Crunch developed an electronic phone beeper with which someone could
#make free phone calls by fooling the telephone lines into connecting
#to a long distance signal.  They were called blue boxes.  The folks
#who used these gadgets were called phone phreaks.  This was at least
#in the early 70s.

I remember blue boxes and phone phreaks, by reference rather than by

My cousin was a phone phreak. At my wedding (1972), he was the only one
we told where we were going for our honeymoon. On our first full day at
the hotel, at dinner the waiter said there was a call for us. I told my
wife, "It's either an emergency or 'Cuzin Luke'." I picked up the
handset; "Hello?" "Hiya, cousin! Where *is* Jamaica, anyway?"

IIRC, phone phreaks discovered that a cheap toy whistle given away free
in boxes of Captain Crunch breakfast cereal had exactly the right
frequency or combination of frequencies to trigger the touch-tone
recognition to make a call toll-free; hence the nom de guerre.

-- Mark A. Mandel

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