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The 1987 Phone Card of the Baristu Society of Japan

The 1987 Phone Card of the Baristu Society of Japan

“I have some knowledge, however, of baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling, which has more than once been very useful to me.”

– The Adventure of the Empty House (EMPT)

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Many of the visitors to this website probably recall the days when pay phones were a common site when walking down a city sidewalk or inside a hotel lobby. You would drop a few coins into the phone, dial the number and make your call.  Perhaps you would use a calling card  if you were making a long distance call. In the mid 1990’s, there started to appeared prepaid calling cards by some enterprising companies, such as AmeriVox. These prepaid calling cards would generally have 50 call units that would be redeemed at a fixed ratio as the call progressed, until the card would have no remaining call units.

In Asia, prepaid calling cards are quite prevalent and frequently used to promote products or services. Public phones are equipped with card readers.  A user would insert the prepaid card into the reader, make the phone call and when finished remove the card.  The card reader would punch a small hole into the card, prior to its removal, showing approximately how many call units remain, if any.

This particular phone card was issued in 1987 by the Baritsu Society of Japan and was good for 50 units. Featuring a Sidney Paget drawing in black ink on a green background, it also has printing in white and red inks.

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