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
|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-