so you can buy a car, rent a car,get married , Buried and have your teeth pulled......One stop shopping
Reminds me of Ron Popeil,
It Slices, It Dices, It Makes Julienned Fries – BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!!
You forgot that he deals with horses too!
I've never seen a phone number like that before; three numbers and one letter.
Perhaps he was Jr. Samples Father, remember Jr. Samples used cars on HEE HAW...Phone BR549
I hardly ever miss HEE HAW either now or back in the day!! Bud.
The J in this number makes it a party line. J, M, R, and W were the originals used on Western Electric phones.
Back in the days before Ma Bell taking over most of the nation, nearly all local phone systems were run locally and independently. Party line were the norm, and the length of a phone number depended totally on how large or small the company or the exchange was. Two digit numbers were very common, even on private lines. Three and four digit numbers were also common in the '10s and '20s. And I have seen a few single digit numbers in early ads.
Different parts of the country did variations on exchange numbers. One of the most common was to name an exchange after the original customer in an area. Commonly, the first two letters of their name became the first two digits of a future phone number. When I was growing up (in San Jose CA), we moved to the "Andrews" exchange. Our phone number was originally Andrews 4-27XX. That later became 264-27XX.
Joe Van, Can you elaborate on what all those designations mean? Are they all party lines? Or something different? Western Electric was one of the largest pre-Ma Bell phone companies in the country. Independent phone companies never went away entirely. I think it may have been Western Electric that still owned the system in Los Gatos CA about fifteen years ago when we were doing systems work in a hospital there. We had to deal with a few system compatibility issues. If I recall correctly, Los Gatos was at some point, one of the last largest non-AT&T systems left in the country. Now, of course, with cell, VOIP, and other private and piggyback technologies, there are even more so-called "independent" phone systems.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
A very common arrangement on manual service which catered for up to 4 parties per line used a single letter J, M, R, or W after the number. So if your number was 256-J, the three other people sharing your line were 256-M, 256-R, and 256-W.
When anyone asked for a call to any of those numbers, the operator would plug into line 256 and then just press a different key for J, M, R, or W which selected the type of ringing. You would listen for your ring designation (two longs and a short, etc.)
The sounds for the letters were picked to be distinct so that there was as little confusion on which number you were trying to reach.
Joe V, I always like learning details about things. Thank you. When I was little, my grandparent's ranch was on a party line, so I was taught how to use it. It is interesting (at least to me) to hear about how the other end worked.
As I recall, when we made that move to a new house in the "Andrews" exchange, there was a shortage of phone lines into the area. The phone company promised us a private line as soon as possible, but for about a month we had a party line. It was difficult because my parents were trying to run a business out of the house. I think they got a private line extra quick because of that.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks for the explanation about the workings of the party line. I heard people talk about them when I was little, but never really understood how they worked.
I had a friend in college who was from Lindsborg, Kansas. She told me they had hand cranked phones and a switchboard operator until the early 1970's. It provided call forwarding and it also precluded the need for a phone book since the operator knew everyone in town and the surrounding towns as well.
She remembered being able to locate her parents easily if she needed something whenever they might go out for dinner at a neighbor's house.
The ever onward march of technology is not always draped with advantages.
Awe, party lines. Gives meaning to the term "rubber neckin."