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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:31 pm 
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Location: Myrtle Beach
In the mid 1950s, switchboards were giving way to self-dialed phones. AT&T, playing the role of the geeky kid who teaches Mom how to use the new computer, created this film to show people how they would make their own telephone connections using a rotary dial. Lessons taught in this film, among others, include 'Wait for the Dial Tone,' and 'The Difference Between Ringing and Busy Signals.'"

The goal of this film was to aid in reducing customer dialing irregularities by demonstrating the correct way to use the dial telephone. It documents the shift between operator-based connections (which were on the way out) and having to dial the phone and make the connection yourself.

This film even has to explain what a ringing and busy signal sound like!

http://techchannel.att.com/play-video.c ... u-Can-Dial

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:51 pm 
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That's great, does anyone remember their phone # from that era, mine was "Stuart 1 9723" strange what we remember :) I recall my grandmothers prefix was Gaspee and my best friends was Hopkins.

Gary


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:59 pm 
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Location: Vandalia, Ohio
Does anyone remember "party" lines? These were phone lines that were shared with other households in your neighborhood. We were on an 8 party line and you received the rings for four of those. They would be one long, or one long with a short following it, two short rings or three short rings. You had to wait to see how many rings before you knew if the call was for you. When you wanted to make a call and you picked up the receiver, you might find it was already in use and you could eavesdrop if you wanted. Everybody knew your business. There certainly wasn't any privacy! Also, if you were visiting one of your neighbors and you heard your ring, you could pick up the call there. There were private lines available, but they were very expensive. I don't remember what year we finally got a private line but I would guess it was in the early '60's.

Vicki

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:37 pm 
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We didn't have a party line, but I knew people who did. Some, in the more isolated areas of southwest Virginia, had party lines until the late 1980s.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 10:01 am
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Location: Evansville, IN
We moved a year ago, but our old house has two functional rotary wall phones. Our Grandkids would always opt to use the rotary when making a call. Our rotary phones worked great until we had to push 1 for english. Would have to hurry to the cordless to push 1. Got lots of comments through the years about those phones. Many of the younger generation had never seen a rotary phone.

I remember the party lines and having to wait sometimes to use the phone. Also remember our phone number from back in those days, HA (Harrison) 48941. HA was usually a west side number and GR (Greenleaf) was usually an east side number.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:37 pm
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Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
I have very clear memories of the operator directed calls when I was a boy. The number of my grandparents' house was 272. On occasion when I would call them and the operator would ask, "Number, please?", the voice would be very familiar, as my mother was an operator in our local telephone office. I cannot recall, however, our own 3 digit number; I guess I didn't call it often.

When our community moved to dial phones in 1953 my parents' old black phone was replaced with a bright yellow table model and our phone number became ELmwood 2-0825, a number that was theirs until I sadly cancelled the service after my father's death in 2009. Of course, the EL letters on the dial eventually gave way to their numerical counterparts, 35, hence the more common appearing 352-0825. The almost immediate impact on my family and others was the loss of employment since many operators were no longer needed and my mother's position and others were eliminated in much the same way as ATM's in later years reduced the need for bank tellers, and a layer of personal service was lost forever to the march of technology.

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