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Thread: Historical police box: TARDIS

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    Historical police box: TARDIS

    The Police Box, a police telephone, the first was installed in Albany, New York in 1877; one year after Alexander Graham Bell invented the device.

    The first public police telephones in Britain were introduced in Glasgow in 1891 These tall, hexagonal, cast-iron boxes were painted red and had large gas lanterns fixed to the roof, as well as a mechanism which enabled the central police station to light the lanterns as signals to police officers in the vicinity to call the station for instruction.

    Rectangular, wooden police boxes were introduced in Sunderland, England in 1923and Newcastle, England in 1925. The Metropolitan Police introduced police boxes throughout London between 1928 and 1937. The London police boxes contained a light at the top of each box, which would flash as a signal to police officers indicating that they should contact the station; the lights were, by this time, electrically powered.

    By 1953 there were 685 police boxes on the streets of London. Police boxes played an important role in police work until 1969-1970, they were phased out following the introduction of personal radios.




    The idea is unique as well as historical. There is a lot English influence in architecture in this downtown from over 200 years ago.

    Now, for the second part of this project, of course is the time machine element, and is yes the Police Box was also a Time Machine. The TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space) from the Doctor Who series. This is the part I like.

    We have pedestrian art in areas downtown, a growing art community exist. The Police Box doesn’t have to be permanent, but we think it’s really cool. It may have other resoursful uses as well as an historial elements.

    Any comments or ideas would be great. The engineer is retired and English, and wants to build it. I would try to figure other practical uses for it, and get it through the city boards. I wouldn’t mind a time machine in my downtown, how about you all?

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    A few years ago I heard of some bars setting up 'cell phone' booths (much like the old enclosed pay-phone booths, but without the hard-wired phone) that would allow for quiet and somewhat private places where patrons could use their phones. Could that potentially be a more permanent use here?

    Mike

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    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    I think mgk920 is on to something with keeping the use oriented towards phones. The communication use can symbolically link the object to its historical use. I'm not sure that anyone in downtown would step inside that box to use their cell phone though, with plenty of open space around, it would seem finding a place quiet enough to hear and be heard would be simple.

    If done subtly and tastefully, perhaps designing an instant cell phone charger inside (like the kind you see in airports)? The revenue could be used for downtown improvements too.

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    Quote Originally posted by OceanBlue View post
    Now, for the second part of this project, of course is the time machine element, and is yes the Police Box was also a Time Machine. The TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space) from the Doctor Who series. This is the part I like.
    Sounds awesome. As long as they make them bigger on the inside than the outside.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    And they let you travel through time and space, preferably during one of the times in the series when it worked properly.

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    Cyburbian mique28's avatar
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    Public Art Tardis yes!

    I could see this being a public art piece, almost more of an attraction that people could begin to associate with the community (I am thinking of the LOVE installation in Philly, the Mary Tyler Moore in MSP, Fonzi sculpture in Milwaukee, Carhenge in Nebraska).

    I could also see it having some utility related to communication as described above. One other "communication" thought would be to use the box, perhaps just one side, for community postings, message board or wayfinding signage.

    If you have an artist willing to build it I say go for it. Of course be cognizant of any local art program standards, requirements for maintenance, material specs, siting details, etc. You want to be in line with any such program details and have buy in of any art advisory board before trying to advance the project further through the community. Good luck

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    Cyburbian
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    Do a web search on "police box cappuccino". Haven't seen them in person, but in Scotland apparently there are a few police box conversions (unfortunately stuck in this universe).

    You may also like "phone box library". The red phone boxes have found numerous second lives in britain. Bit frustrating though if you are in an area with no mobile (cell) coverage and spot the red box only to find it's now a mini greenhouse offering plants with an honesty box (which HAS happened to me once in deepest rural Devon).

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    Cyburbian
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    If you wanted to highlight the TARDIS aspect - for the best effect you would have to move it nightly - have it disappear then re-appear in the same spot a few days later. Sometime it would be out in the middle of a public space. The next day it would be hidden on a small side street. Also, make it a kinetic sculpture - make it buzz or vibrate or rock and light up for a few minutes, maybe some dry-ice smoke, then it sits quietly for a couple of hours.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Howl View post
    If you wanted to highlight the TARDIS aspect - for the best effect you would have to move it nightly - have it disappear then re-appear in the same spot a few days later. Sometime it would be out in the middle of a public space. The next day it would be hidden on a small side street. Also, make it a kinetic sculpture - make it buzz or vibrate or rock and light up for a few minutes, maybe some dry-ice smoke, then it sits quietly for a couple of hours.
    But you also might run into problems with the zoning law regarding maximum allowable internal floor space.



    Mike

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    I'd definitely stop by to get a silly picture with it if I were nearby, so I vote for yes.

    If you wanted to make it into something functional, I'm sure there are a lot of things that could be done, depending on the needs of the area. Just make sure there are one or two sides that would make for good photo-ops for Whovians.

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