The party line on the old telephone lines | TheFencePost.com

The party line on the old telephone lines

Willard Hollopeter
Wood Lake, Neb.

On the old multi-party telephone line, everyone in one direction from the switchboard was on the same line and when one phone rang, they all rang. So each party had a different ringing sequence, like a long and a short ring or two shorts and a long.

The thing about that system though, was everyone on the line could hear everyone else’s conversation so it behooved you to be careful what you said over the phone, and who you said it about. This phone system was also out of order pretty often because the line wasn’t all that good.

On the old multi-party telephone line, everyone in one direction from the switchboard was on the same line and when one phone rang, they all rang. So each party had a different ringing sequence, like a long and a short ring or two shorts and a long.

The thing about that system though, was everyone on the line could hear everyone else’s conversation so it behooved you to be careful what you said over the phone, and who you said it about. This phone system was also out of order pretty often because the line wasn’t all that good.