At&t Dataphone - Modem or "Service"?

Jeff G jeffg at
Tue Aug 6 16:26:53 EDT 2019

Long story short, back in my youth I hung out at a recycling center that
was processing a lot of scrap from At&t and Western Electric in the 80s and
90s. A lot of what they got at one point was "dataphone" stuff. I was under
the impression that "dataphone" was a service, since the equipment I
remember seeing were server racks completely full of smaller black and
silver boxes that had a DB25 on them and power. Knowing what I know now, I
realize those were likely modems and may have even been a bridge to some
other platform or system.

So does anyone know - was "dataphone" the name for the modems and just a
normal leased line, or was there a specific service or type of line called
dataphone? I've seen references to both, but I think in regards to service
they just used the same brand name for both the hardware as well as their
leased lines.

On the same front - if it was just a normal leased-line system, is it
possible to use a crossover cable to have 2 different 4-wire leased line
modems talk to each other?

These are the things that keep me awake at 3am. ;-)

Jeff (aka Bags)

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