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When phones were phones


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Yeah, we had a party line. Pick up the phone and hear someone talking. Sometimes cut in and say you had to make a call. We even had a situation for a while where we had to ring up the operator and have her (it was all women) dial for us.

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Those handsets were heavy as you may recall, Marc. In the 50's we lived in an area with party lines and operators.

We had a wooden wall-mount phone with a black handset hanging on one side and a crank on the other. You lifted the handset and cranked to ring up an operator and gave her the number you wanted. Our number was 70L.

About 1960-61 we got phones like that one with a dial and a 7 digit number. They built a new telephone office that had no operators AFAIK. It was a square concrete block building with no windows. The old 2-storey telephone office was sold as a private residence.

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For those guys who don't yet know...I've been hearing impaired since 60', legally deaf since 69'. A genetic immune complex caused the hairs in my cochlear organs to fall out, depriving the nerve endings of stimulation. An electronic cochlear implant restored a lot of my hearing in 2001 but very little of my comprehension. That's gone for good. I can't converse via voice over a phone. I text many times per day.

My head piece in on the left side of my head. That's why my head is turned in my avatar photo[;)]

My spouse says I speak better than some hearing folks but she's biased. I talk with my HI clients onsite with only little difficulty.

I don't associate much with deaf folks. They can't understand anything and they talk awful funny[;)]

Marc

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Pretty sure this is the first type of phone I could remember... we had a party-line.. 1950's... Phone co was "New England Telephone" and of course had that 'Bell System' logo on the side... brown trucks, gold lettering... Phone was Western Electric "A Bell Subsidiary" That hand-set was SOLID

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Does anyone remember party lines in rural areas where your ring might be 2 short - 1 long so you knew the call was for you, and you could pick up the phone and listen to someone else's conversation?

............my first home, in the early 1970's had a party line with 2 short rings. Our line was "deluxe" and shared with only one other party - our 87 year old neighbor a mile down the road. More than once, while working in Nigeria, to call home I would wait for 3 or 4 hours to access the only public phone in Lagos and then have the old gal answer my ring (as she frequently did) - she never did know who I was[:-weepn]. Ahhhhh, the good old days........Greg

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Before low voltage.

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I've never seen or heard of a 110-volt phone before.

When I moved to rural Oregon, we got a private line, but several neighbors still had party lines and this was in 1990.

When I called to set up phone service, I had to pick which day I wanted because they only worked Tuesdays and Thursdays in our area.

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A sticker don't make it so.

I worked for the Bell System (Western Electric and Bell Labs and successors) from 1970 till 2002. The standard land line ran on -48 VDC (stemming from the days of local battery) with AC ringing voltage being impressed on it (ended being over 100 V) I won't claim absolute knowledge, but I never ran across 110 V phones as in the usual utility supplied juice

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The 110 volt sticker is someone's joke. I though it was funny.

Not funny if you catch the ring voltage. I did phone work for a while in Florida and on more than one occasion got bit by ring voltage on a hot day with a nice sheen of sweat on my arm.

It caught me once too and I wasn't sweating.

Maybe that's why someone put that 110 V sticker on there; they got shocked by the ringer leads and guessed it must have been 110 V.

Marc

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Hi Miss the hell out of Ma Bell.

Life was so much simpler and more fulfilling when we didn't have cell phones constantly interrupting every conversation and when kids played in the yard instead of burying their faces in a 4 inch screen or spent hours killing imaginary virtual foes on large screens. We used to play with cap guns. Hell, if a kid has a cap gun today the neighbors will call the police and complain there is a killer wandering the neighborhood.

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Those handsets were heavy as you may recall, Marc. In the 50's we lived in an area with party lines and operators.

We had a wooden wall-mount phone with a black handset hanging on one side and a crank on the other. You lifted the handset and cranked to ring up an operator and gave her the number you wanted. Our number was 70L.

About 1960-61 we got phones like that one with a dial and a 7 digit number. They built a new telephone office that had no operators AFAIK. It was a square concrete block building with no windows. The old 2-storey telephone office was sold as a private residence.

I remember being busted in the head more than once by a receiver like that as a kid,ah brothers! hahaha

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Hi Miss the hell out of Ma Bell.

Life was so much simpler and more fulfilling when we didn't have cell phones constantly interrupting every conversation and when kids played in the yard instead of burying their faces in a 4 inch screen or spent hours killing imaginary virtual foes on large screens. We used to play with cap guns. Hell, if a kid has a cap gun today the neighbors will call the police and complain there is a killer wandering the neighborhood.

[:-thumbu][:-thumbu][:-thumbu][:-thumbu]
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  • 4 weeks later...

A sticker don't make it so.

I worked for the Bell System (Western Electric and Bell Labs and successors) from 1970 till 2002. The standard land line ran on -48 VDC (stemming from the days of local battery) with AC ringing voltage being impressed on it (ended being over 100 V) I won't claim absolute knowledge, but I never ran across 110 V phones as in the usual utility supplied juice

I agree, I worked for Bell Canada and it was the same 48 volts with a ringing voltage of over 100.

40 feet up a pole wearing spurs in the rain and someone decides to call the line you are working on, I am sure we all been there done that.

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Does anyone remember party lines in rural areas where your ring might be 2 short - 1 long so you knew the call was for you, and you could pick up the phone and listen to someone else's conversation?

I used to install them. I remember a cool new device, we called it an AML, allowed party lines to become private lines over the same wires when there was a shortage of dedicated pairs for each separate line. Wow have things changed

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I probably shouldn't tell you all this, but I still remember our first phone number. I was taught the number just before they taught me how to walk the 3/4 mile from our house up through town, over the crosswalk at the light and down to the school to kindergarten. I started school just after my fifth birthday. I bet I wasn't 3ft. tall at the time.

The number was 393 - three-nine-three. There was no dial on the phone. One picked up the phone and waited for the operator to come on and say, "Number please," in her high nasal voice and then you spoke the number into the phone and she would say, "Just a moment," and then she'd say, "Your number is connected, go ahead please," and we would say Hello into the receiver and wait for the other person to respond.

They also taught me how to use a phone booth. My mother put a nickel into my pants pocket every morning so that if I had an emergency somewhere between the house and the school I could go into the drugstore on the corner and call home.

Can you imagine a family today teaching a five year old how to walk through town, use street lights and walk all the way to school on his own? The parents would probably be cited for child endangerment, the kid would be taken away and put in foster care and it would be all over the news as a scandal. Back then it was routine. Along the way I used to run into several other kids my age or close to my age and some older bullies. I used to take the nickel and put it in my shoe so they wouldn't find it when they frisked me.

On Fridays I was allowed to take my five nickels (I'd save them all week in my desk at school) and take my $.25 cents into the five and dime across from the drugstore and buy myself a treat. I loved that place. Trays of stuff all over with tons of stuff that a five-year-old would want. I usually didn't get much beyond the counter though - the candy behind the counter and the egg cremes sold at the soda fountain usually diverted me first.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Society has changed, I don't want my 8 yr. old daughter walking several blocks to school by herself. We all had to do fire drill at school now they are having lockdown training, all classroom doors lock, the kids crawl into closets or under the teachers desk, just in case some nut job tries to abduct their kid or any other strange situation. I wish I could just let my girl go down the street to play at the park on her own.

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At 8 years old I was dropped off at a donut shop 20 miles from home, the closest stop for public bus transit. From there I would ride 10 or 12 miles into the big city, Buffalo, where I would have to change busses for the next 6 or 8 mile leg of my trip to school. My mother made the first trip with me so I would know where to go, and so she would know I'd find my way back to the donut shop.

My 13 year old gets measured doses of that freedom, and has for the last 3 years now, largely because he has a cell phone and I can check up on him.

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