In olden days, making a call on the road meant getting out of the subway, getting out of a taxi or pulling into a rest stop and hoping you had change in your pockets.
Newspapers and wire services depended on reporters having stacks of change, to make calls and dictate stories.
When I worked at the City News Bureau of Chicago, I had a mental map of corners with payphones.
When I lived in London for a semester, the red telephone boxes were a link across the ocean to home.
Wikipedia has this most awesome payphone: