Turn-of-the-Century Telephones

Rules and Regulations

contributed by Stacy Vellas, who says:
"Remember these rules that we lived by in the early days?"

1. In case of fire notify the operator, she will give a general alarm of one long ring.

2. If you are on a party line, listen on the line before attempting to use your telephone. If another is using the line do not listen, as it a discourtesy and reduces efficiency of service. Do by others as you would have others do by you.

3. Speak Clearly and Distinctly in an ordinary tone of voice directly into and about one- half inch from the transmitter.

4. Should you want to signal the operator after the number is given, hang up the receiver and give one short ring, immediately remove receiver and await the operator's answer.

5. When through talking, give one short ring to signal the operator to disconnect.

6. Operators are expected to be polite and patient under all circumstances; kindly accord them like consideration.

7. The Company assumes no liability for damages accruing from error or omissions in making up or printing its directory. Every effort is made to avoid errors, but such mistakes will occur. It reserves the right to change any telephone number at any time.

8. Report trouble to the operator. If trouble is not remedied within Twenty-four hours kindly send notice in writing to the Manager at Hill City. No credit for service can be extended if the ruling is not observed.


Subscribers will be held responsible for any toll CAllS placed from their homes.

Different rates apply for the different classes of calls. Station to station calls should be placed when you will talk to anyone answering the telephone called.

Evening Rates apply on station to station calls from 7:00 PM. to 8:30 P.M., during which time the charges are about 25% less than day station to station rate.

Night rates are in effect on station to station calls from 8:30 p.m to 4:30 A.M. during which time the charges are about one half day station to station rate.

A Person to Person Call should be made when you wish to talk with a specified person. The rate for this c1ass of service is somewhat higher than for station to station calls.


A report charge is made on uncompleted person to person messenger and appointment calls when the failure to establish the connection is due to no fault of the telephone company.

To obtain rates to any place, call the operator. If you want to know the charges on a call at the close of the conversation, notify the operator when you place the call.


1 ~ one long ring
2 ~ two short rings
3 ~ three short rings
4 ~ four short
5 ~ five short
6 ~ one long - one short
7 ~ one short - one long
8 ~ one long - two short
9 ~ two short - one long
10 ~ one long - three short
11 ~ three short - one long
12 ~ one short - one long - one short
13 ~ one long - one short - one long
14 ~ one long - two short - one long
15 ~ two long
16 ~ one long - three short
17 ~ three short - one long
18 ~ six short rings
19 ~ two short - one long - two short
20 ~ one long - one short - two long - one short
21 ~ three short - two long
22 ~ three short - one long - one short
23 ~ three short - one long - two short
24 ~ one long - four short

Stacy says: "We were too poor to have a phone. We also lived three quarters of a mile from the Main Road to Outing and we had no telephone poles. But I desperately wanted a phone. My brother and I finally got a phone, but not legally. It was an adventure, but that is 'another story.' Now I have three phones inside my house and one outside."