I was brought up during the time of, “Number Please” when you picked up the phone. I never knew the operator like Andy Griffin did on his TV program, but they always sounded so sweet.
During that period, if you were on a ‘party line’, there were advantages and disadvantages. Let’s see, I know there was a way to tell if it was your call or not. I think it was the rings. Like two short rings might be you, while a long and a short might be Mrs. Harris’s house. (I just checked with Paula, and the #/type of the ring is right)
So If Mrs. Harris got a call and mama or daddy wasn’t around you could lift the phone as quietly as possible, put your hand tightly over the mouth piece and listen in on someone’s private conversation. Many times (not me of course) folks would hear,”Is anyone listening on this line?” Then the offender (not me of course) would have to decide to bluff this out or hang up. Big decisions.
Disadvantages were, if someone in your family wanted to make a call, you could not if you had ‘phone hogs on your party line’.
That all said, I think the first real technological advancement was the dial phone. No waiting on your end, and if the party you were calling was on the line you got the busy signal. You called back later. Amazing, no more ‘Number Please’. To make a long distance call you dialed ‘0’ and got a real operator again.
With the dial, Kids invented new pranks. Kids had a way of finding fun on the phone. Pick a number, dial it:
“Maintenance here, is your Frigidaire running?”
“Yes it is, why?”
“Well you had better go catch it!”
Kids called a store: “Do you have Sir Walter Raleigh In a can?”
“Why certainly, several.”
“Better let ‘im out, he cannot breathe”. Kids, dying laughing and hanging the phone.
There were hundreds of these, and many a kid had gotten in trouble with mom and dad for that.
(And then the push button, wow!)
The first Mechanical advancement I remember was relocating the Brake Master Cylinder of a car, from under the horsehair backed rubber floor mats to the firewall. Many times, while adding brake fluid, I have held that stinking dirty mat with my head. LOL
Thanks for coming by the log.
Observations on Growing Older
** Your kids are becoming you, and you don't like them -- but your grandchildren are perfect!
** Yellow becomes the big color -- walls, hair, teeth.
** Going out is good; coming home is better!
1932 Ford (and the ‘34) were the most popular base for hotrods in the 1950’s.