You may not think that listening in on other people’s conversations are fun, but many people do enjoy it and some even pay money to listen in!
In many ways, social media is like a telephone party line. You can be actively involved, or you can just quietly allow conversations to unfold without engaging at all.
While researching online, we came across an article entitled; “Telephone Party Lines Were Once High Entertainment”, by Lawrence P. Gooley. Mr. Gooley writes on a variety of topics, including the telephone.
We found his post interesting [and fun] so we asked if we could share it with you.
“History is often said to repeat itself, or to come full circle, but the same is seldom said about technology, which by its very nature constantly improves and leaves old ways behind. But an old way of doing things has enjoyed a resurgence of sorts, buttressed by the capabilities of modern telecommunications. We’re talking here about telephone party lines.
Yes, they’ve become a thing again, which should come as quite a surprise if you were lucky enough to experience the original.
The big difference is that today’s party lines are opt-in systems, so you know others are listening (that’s the point). With the old party lines, there was the expectation – OK, the ridiculously faint hope that your conversation was private. Eavesdropping was a very common practice.
In the twentieth century, phone service took about seven decades to permeate the North Country. During that time, various manifestations of party lines were the norm everywhere. They served from two to twenty parties, and in most systems each party had a certain ring, which was actually a mix of short and long rings. Each family had to know their own code, so they could answer calls directed to their home.
If that sounds complicated, put your mind at ease, for the reality is that many people knew several or all of the codes on their party line, which helped them decide whether or not they should eavesdrop at any given time. And as many of us can recall, anytime was a good time for listening in”.
Continue reading Lawrence’s article on the Adirondack Almanack.
Learn more about Mr. Gooley here.
The direct link to Mr. Gooley's post is: www.adirondackalmanack.com/2017/04/telephone-history-party-lines-were-once-high-entertainment.html