Hot adult party line

This often led to traffic congestion in the telephone network, as the line to a destination telephone was often busy.

In December 1942, University of Tennessee's strategy in an American football game versus University of Mississippi was revealed to the opposing coach as a telephone on the Ole Miss team's bench had been inadvertently wired to the same party line.

A majority of Bell System subscribers in the mid-20th century in the United States and Canada were serviced by party lines, which carried a billing discount over individual service; during wartime shortages, these were often the only available lines.

They could not support new technologies and subscriber-owned equipment such as answering machines and computer modems.

Meanwhile, the electro-mechanical switching equipment required for their operation was rapidly becoming obsolete, supplanted by electronic and digital switching equipment.

Thus spoken, for example, as "nine, three; ring two, two" to mean subscriber No.

93 with ringing code 2 long and 2 short, and written as "93R22", (and if outside the given exchange, then the exchange would be asked for by name before the requested number and ringing code, e.g. "(On the) Rockridge (exchange), (subscriber No.) nine, three; ring one long, and two short," and written as “Rockridge 93R12”.

In May 1955, a Rhinebeck, New York woman was indicted by a grand jury after her refusal to relinquish a party line delayed a volunteer firefighter's effort to report a grass fire; the fire destroyed a shed and a barn.

By the 1980s, party lines were removed in most localities.

The earliest selective system was the code ringing system, in which each telephone subscriber was assigned a specific ringing cadence, (not to be confused with modern ring tones).

Although various systems were implemented, one that limited the number of coded rings but established a uniform and readily understood format, was to first give the subscriber number as individual digits, which could be from one to four digits long per exchange, separated by the instructional word "ring" followed by the two digits of the ring code where the first digit indicated the number of long rings, followed by the second digit indicating the number of short rings.

The new telephone exchange equipment offered vertical service code calling features such as call forwarding and call waiting, but often was incompatible with multi-party lines.

Party lines in the United States were also ineligible for Universal Service Fund subsidies, leading telephone companies to convert them to individual lines to benefit from these subsidies.

and the company's last party line finally shut down in 1996.

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