Jumping back in time a little bit. But, we had these things called landline telephones. Yes, some people still have them today. But, growing up they were a lot different than they are now They were a nice gadget to have.
I am not going into a long detail of how this all about, but on March 7, 1876, when Alexander Bell picked up his device and said “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you. Mr. Watson heard each and every word.
Not everyone had their own line. Wait a minute, what are you talking about Willis. No, people didn’t have one to them self. They had what was called a party line. Let me break down what a party line was.
It was a group of about 4 to 8 homes, sometimes more on a shared a common line. You picked up your phone and you asked to be connected to a number. The operator then connected to that number, however, it wasn’t private. Whoever was on that line could listen in on that conversation.
We never had a party line. My dad worked for the phone company and he pulled some strings and he got us a private line. This private line was strung from the phone booth along the fence to the house. For about 6 months until we could get it properly done along the poles. But, it was nice, not to have a party line and to have a private line. People didn’t understand why our number was different than the rest. But, those party lines didn’t last much longer, and they were all replaced with private lines. But, that was the normal thing for a lot of years before my time where I grew up.
Land Line phones
This was the ultimate gadget at the time. Everyone wanted their own line, and yes the party lines went away and I can still recall some of the numbers from my childhood like my home phone number had it for over 40 years. I can remember time and temperate.
The only problem was these were hooked to the wall. You couldn’t go any further than the cord could stretch.
These are what the phones looked like:
Cordless phones came along, and you had more of a freedom than the landline, but it still operated on a line from outside, but you could have the base station and walk around with the phone and talk. This was a nice new gadget.
Here is what the cordless phones looked like:
This was the only thing you could do to talk to people unless you wanted to send a letter in the mail. So this was a great thing to have, you could talk to people as long as you knew the phone number and it was 7 digits long. The city I grew up in had digits like the following:
Then four digits after this, like 224-8745.
When you add an area code to it, looks like this 801-224-8745, then you needed to add a 1 to it. So it looks like this 1-801-224-8745.
If you called this number growing up 801-373-9120 it would give you the time and temp from Central Bank. You can still get it the same thing to this day.
My parents had the same phone number stating in 1969 up until my mom passed away.