It’s been a staple in the lives of many for 65 years. You dial the number and a friendly, robotic voice greets you with the date, time and temperature. Of course, there’s a good chance the phone you used to dial already displays the time and date. And finding out the temperature in your area these days is no more than a click away. But for those that have used the service for years, there’s something comforting about getting information from a familiar voice — even a programmed one.
In an era where we’re bombarded with news in real time, from world events to what our friends are having for lunch, the time and temperature service is a relic from days gone by. The number has been in service since 1951, when it was known as “Fort Worth National Bank Time.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, the current sponsor, may not continue to support the service. Without a new sponsor, the service may be disconnected on Dec. 31.
The automated message has underwent some changes over the years. The number, currently (817) 844-6611, has changed five times. There have been six different sponsors in over six decades.
Dallas and Arlington time and temperature services are still in use, albeit with different voices. Weather anchor John Doyle provided the voice for years, as did voiceover talent Pat Fleet, whose voice you may recognize as the classic “Thank you for using AT&T” voice. For nostalgia’s sake, you can still dial (972) 771-0399 to hear Fleet’s voice.
The Star-Telegram reports that a sponsor could reach up to 20,000 callers in business advertising with the service, if only they’d pick up the phone.