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Telephone on the Farm

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Time Frame: Early to Mid 1900's

The telephone connected farm families to the outside world. Eavesdropping was a common pastime.
Iowa Heritage Roots in the Soil
©1979
Iowa Public Television

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Transcript

In the early 1900s telephones came to the farm.

Hey kids, look what I got! Look here! Look what I got!

When they first put in telephones here farmers had to buy the wire, buy the insulators and put in the poles and put the line up. They formed the company, it was what they call the ‘Harmonious Telephone Company” here.

(phone rings)

Does that sound good? What do you think Mom?

Great! We’ll keep it!

Ok. Now you got to turn it around, there you go that’s how you do it.

(phone rings)

There would be ten on our line and if they rang our neighbor it came in our house and if you wanted to listen you just take the receiver down and listen to them. You could hear everything that was going on. Why that was a big entertainment to listen in on somebody else.

 


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