9 thoughts on “Local? What does that mean anymore?

  1. This is so interesting. I have thought about this as well and share some memories like the person-to-person collect call trick. Having grown up in a small town I didn’t even have to use but 4 numbers for a long time to make a local call. Later they added a 3 digit number in front of the 4 digit number. We got a completely new number but only had to use 5 of the numbers to call anyone local. Then, we had to add a 1 in front of the area code and the 7 digits to call out of area. Then after Ma Bell got broken up we had the calling cards where you had an account for long distance calls and put in an account number to make the calls. Cell phones have changed so many things.
    When our son lived in Europe for a few years he set up a VOIP phone that was a number in the US but he was using it in Belgium. We had to remember the time difference but didn’t have very expensive calls since he used this magic trick. Ah, technology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Alice! This is really fascinating. We will have to talk about this some more. I am picturing ringing the operator and party lines and all of that too. Since you are from a small town, you may find the telephone book story kind of funny too if you don’t already know it.


  2. I remember my dad talking about phone calls in rural Illinois in his childhood, 1930s. You picked up the phone and the operator answered and rang your party with their signal such as 2 long and a short etc. you had to listen to see if it were yours and if not you knew who was getting a call. And you might pick up and listen on the party line. Depending on how interesting you thought it might be. In my childhood we had the same system where you knew where a person lived by the prefix. I remember when my town grew enough to get another exchange. Everyone was so confused by that. Long distance was also used for holidays or emergencies. Never just a chat. And you’d better run if you were called to the telephone long distance, time was money. My parents had the same phone number from 1965 to 2018. I will never forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is another terrific story. I never actually knew anyone with a party line but I am thinking they were quite common. I’m interested in hearing more on this topic. You can tell me your phone number too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Reading this entry flooded my thoughts with memories! I lived in Burholme, so our numbers began with PI (Pilgrim) 5 or 6! That was my “Senior” mind check for the day.

    I remember having a party line and some of the use rules. One of our neighbors had a reputation of not immediately releasing the connection when there was an emergency or to leave the line open when a household was waiting for a doctor to return a call. Finally, there were enough complaints, with proof, Ma Bell placed the neighbors name and address on a “Do Not Hook Up” list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know there were party lines in the city! PI was also used in Frankford (Pioneer) But the number following I think was PI3 or PI4. I remember the nickname for Frankford High School was the Pioneers. I wonder what they pioneered???


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