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df99

"Cheesebox" Callahan

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Anyone ever read the book "Cheesebox" about the life of Mickey "Cheesebox" Callahan, mob tech man and inventor of the Cheesebox? It's out of print now. I was wondering if it's worth searching out. I would love to get a schematic of his original cheesebox, below.

I saw an interesting article on him at:

http://www.spybusters.com/History_1958_Cheesebox.html

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Thank you! I haven't read it, though I'm going to track it down now.

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...and for completeness, the type of cheesebox used to house the circuit....

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Nice read.. good find...

Wonder what ever happened to that aerosol toothbrush?

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Got it for $8 with shipping off Amazon and read it this past weekend. I enjoyed it immensely. Gerard Sr. was a great man, not because he was a timeless artist or a world leader, but because he had great experiences in the swirl of humanity. I also learned how naive I was about scams and gangsters. ^_^

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Thanks for the review. I'll track down a copy.

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Cool! I hope you enjoyed the articles I dug up on you father.

The "cheesebox" invented by your dad was a gadget used by bookmakers to hide their location from the authorities. The device would be installed in an empty apartment with two phone lines. The bookmakers would dial one number. The device would answer and just wait until someone dialed the second line. The cheesebox then connected the two lines together and the bookmaker could talk to his customer.

If the authorities traced either number, they would find only the cheesebox in an empty apartment. Of course, once the identy of both cheesebox lines was known, it should have been possible to trace calls to either line. But, back in-pre-computerized billing days, only calls placed FROM a phone line could be easily traced. Since the cheesebox only received calls, the authorities' job was much harder.

The cheesebox was later used by "phone phreaks", who used the device to obscure their location from the phone company when placing blue box calls. The device could easily be modified to allow an incoming call on one line place an outgoing call on the second line. Phreaks often installed the device on two little-used phone lines at a phone company terminal box in a basement or street corner to gain unauthorized access to a phone line.

dff99

Here's a selection of newpaper articles on the "cheesebox", dating from 1951....

cheesebox_articles.pdf

Mickey 'Cheesebox' Callahan was my father.

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