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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/323

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319
DEVELOPMENT IN TELEPHONE SERVICE

as transmitter and receiver (Fig. 25) naturally followed. The introduction of this magneto ringing device displaced the circuit-breaking push-button method of calling central, and the single-stroke bell as part of the subscriber's equipment. It also enabled the local companies

PSM V70 D323 Wall mounted magneto ringing telephones.png
Fig. 24. Fig. 25.

to secure more equitable rates by increasing the rental where the new equipment was installed.

In the pioneer days when local rates ranged from $18 to $36 per year, nearly all the subscribers were on party-lines, and few lines carried less than twelve telephones. 'How many boxes are there on your line?' was a question often asked by subscribers in the days when it was not unusual to have twelve, or even twenty or more subscribers on a grounded iron-wire circuit in towns. In May, 1878, it was stated that one circuit had 'fifty-six instruments, and conversation is carried on with perfect ease.' Another town boasted of forty-three telephones on one line. Naturally there was more or less eavesdropping, with the usual entailed bitterness. Thus the parent com-