Back then no one would have hardly believed where we'd be today. If much of our grid, communications and satellite guidance all stopped working tomorrow, and theoretically we're vulnerable to some types of attacks and natural phenomenon, I wonder how many people would figure out how to get through it?mrj wrote:That phone was easy compared to the one at my grandparents 'farmhouse!
It hung high on the wall, was a wooden cabinet maybe 18" high by 12" wide, and 6" deep. Had a hand held receiver hanging on the right side of the cabinet, a mouth-piece to speak into on the front center area of the cabinet, and a small handle to turn to 'ring' either 'central', aka the phone operator who sat in an office in a town ten miles from the house. Our voices were carried over a wire, which in our case was the actual top wire of the barbed wire fence. That is why the neighborhood company was the Barbed Wire Telephone Company. I know of at least four or more families which were connected to it, as well as going into the town of Midland, SD, where the 'central' office was located. I'm not sure if it was staffed 24 hours a day, or what? One of my aunts worked there for a time, and I was privileged to occasionally climb the very long flight of steps up to visit her on rare occasions. Seems like very short time till things began to be more mechanized, and I'm guessing the company started in the late 1930's or very early '40's. I must have been 4 o4 5 years old when climbing those stairs! I'm sure we had our first 'dial' phones in early 1950's and doubt the office was there after '55 or so. Mechanization of most lines came pretty fast, but the one on this ranch, built and maintained by our family was still in effect after we were married in '57. Strange that I don't recall perfectly, as my spouse was not thrilled with that job. We had a party line, and sometimes the party talking was reluctant to give up the phone. Fortunately, there were only five families on our line. The bad thing was, that everytime we had rain or snow, the line would short out frequently, sometimes it actually broke, being simply a wire strung between posts, and even a few trees! But it served quite well for many years.
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