Department of Abandoned Property

Well, not totally abandoned – these old phone booths sit side by side, behind a furniture store in Snohomish, Washington.






I hope to post soon about a few recent day trips, one to Mount Rainier and one to central Washington. In less than a week we’ll be on the road again, heading to eastern Washington and then up into southeastern British Columbia, Canada. I’m looking forward to seeing the rugged, pristine beauty of the Kootenay Rockies.


    • I’ve been to the used book store next door before, but this time I parked in a different place, and there they were. They have weathered to a very lovely soft red. It was mid-afternoon and very sunny – I bet they would look even better in different light.

    • Ah! I should have researched them but now I see why they looked odd to me. Thank you, Evelyn! The town they’re in is known for antiques, so that would explain it to some degree.

      • I wouldn’t call them antique exactly but they are definitely vintage! You can still see them in many places in Britain – apparently they’re a British icon… ! But they’re not used any more…

    • I agree (as does everyone else!) but it’s always good to try. I think a black and white still might work, in different light. But you’re right, the colors are really great.

    • It’s a town known for antiques, and pardon me for not saying anything about their provenance…I foolishly didn’t even realize they were from the Mother country! Got to get to Antiques Road Show now! 😉 Seriously, I knew they looked strange but my mind’s a bit absent sometimes.
      Phone booths aren’t around much anymore here either, and actually, my memories of them in NYC aren’t too great. Smelling of urine, never working, etc. Once I was making a call from a booth somewhere on the Upper West Side and someone on my right asked me a question. My wallet had been out because I was fishing for coins. After answering, I turned around and found my wallet missing. The person’s partner in crime had gone around to my left while I was distracted and filched the wallet. Ah, life in the city!

      • No problem about not mentioning the provenance, I was just so surprised to see them. I have a feeling that I would have liked to spend a lot of time in NYC with a camera in my youth, but never will now – but a fascinating place nonetheless .

  1. It’s interesting that the handles are reversed. Perhaps they made them that way for placement in locations where opening this way or that would be a problem. Oddly enough, I rather prefer the black and white. What I think makes that photo is the height of the wall, and the great sweep of vine arcing down, and then seeming to creep up on the booths from the ground. I really like that.

  2. Nostalgia! I grew up with the old red kiosk at the corner of the street. it was not uncommon to see a long queue of people waiting their turn. Very few had a telephone in their own home.

  3. Love these! I feel like they are standing, lips tightly pursed, holding all the secrets of conversations heard.. 🙂

  4. A strange place for a couple of old British Telecom phone boxes to turn up Lynn. With the invention of the mobile phone, public telephone boxes stopped being used here. Some villages have hung on to their iconic phone boxes though not the phones inside them. I’ve heard of one being used as place for a book swap to operate in one village. In another, a cake stall with an honesty box.. You sometimes see them in people’s gardens here too, an iconic relic, rescued from the scrap heap. There are still a few working ones I believe but not many.

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