Phonebooth stuffing

Phonebooth stuffing was a fad that involved a number of people consecutively entering a telephone booth, until the point where the phonebooth would accommodate no more, or there were no more individuals available. By early 1959 the fad had spread to Durban, South Africa; Southern Rhodesia; Britain; Canada and the United States.

An empty telephone booth

On March 20, 1959, students at the Durban, South Africa YMCA set a world record when 25 of them were able to squeeze at least most of their body into a standard (upright) phonebooth. They ranged in height from 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm) to 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm). When the phone rang, none could answer it.[1][2]

Although it was "one of the all-time great fads,"[according to whom?] it was passé by the end of 1959.[citation needed] It was akin to the earlier fads of flagpole sitting, goldfish swallowing, and panty raids, and a predecessor of the fad of streaking.[3][4]


  1. ^ Associated Press (March 20, 1959). "25 in phone booth!". The Bridgeport Post. Bridgeport, CT. p. 13. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  2. ^ "The phone booth stuffing/cramming fad of the 1950s". Mortal Journey. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  3. ^ Marum, Andrew and Parise, Frank, "Follies and foibles," section "Telephone booth stuffing (1959)." Facts on File, Inc., New York:1984, pages 108-109. ISBN 0-87196-820-7
  4. ^ "Telephone booth stuffing." Retrieved October 5, 2007