TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Historical Rules About Private Line Services?

Re: Historical Rules About Private Line Services?

T (
Wed, 7 Feb 2007 07:37:08 -0500

In article <>,

> On 5 Feb 2007 07:34:17 -0800, wrote:

>>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Although what you say is correct, telco
>>> had very strict rules on things. For example, a pair of wires from
>>> point A to point B which did not go near an 'actual phone line' but
>>> was still used for communication purposes was regulated according to
>>> Bell rules and defined as a 'private line' according to their
>>> rules.

>> Many large organizations, such as a transit system, city government,
>> or large manufacturing plant, had their own private telephone
>> networks. As I understand it, these networks were not
>> interconnected with Bell and operated and maintained by the owner.
>> In the 1960s and even 1970s you would see two phones on a desk, a
>> typical Bell 500 set, and then an obviously old AE (Automatic
>> Electric) phone, with a fabric cord, the metalic stripe accents on
>> the handset, etc. I doubt that the owners of such systems paid Bell
>> anything for them, otherwise, they would've interconnected and been
>> more up to date.

>> The Phila public schools had a modest PAX (private automatic exchange)
>> in most schools for internal use within the school. Each classroom
>> had a non-dial phone. When the handset lifted it rang in the school
>> office. The school office phone had a dial. No interconnection to
>> Bell. I suspect such a system required only one SxS switch and a few
>> relays. I understand that system is now gone and now classroom phones
>> have dials, and parents can call a teacher directly, instead of making
>> the teacher come to the school office where the outside line was.
>> (I'd love to know what happened to that gear when replaced.)

> Sure, in a common battery office, you didn't need any moving parts :-)
> A cord board had some number of cord pairs, an attendant headset, and
> a rotary dial mounted on the attendant's desk. You brought the
> exchange line(s) to a bank of jacks, and the box of relays to sense
> the current of the phones and bring in the signal to the board. IIRC
> we called them 557 cord boards and they still existed in answering
> services to the mid '80's. A new-fangled company called Amtelco made
> an add-in that read DID numbers to make it continue to work toward
> 1990.

> ALL of our phones were AE's, after GTE bought us out. Before that
> there were some North electric gear, like Ericofon's. I don't
> remember if we had any Stromberg keys, I only remember the AE 187
> mechanical stuff and early 1A1's. Toward the later days, we still had
> a TON of Leich crossbar in service.

> I remeber that the early PBX's had some sort of out dial restriction,
> whether by tarriff or by preference. Only the attendant console could
> dial outside, and all the other phones could dial internally, but had
> to dial 0 to make an outside call. In fact, a Leich console had both
> a dial and a keypad. The keypad dialed internal numbers and the dial
> outside.

> PAX Steppers only had to have a line finder, first selector, and a
> connector, since the 3 digit numbering plans were easy. A first
> selector only used levels 1,2,3 and maybe 9 and 0. The first levels
> went to a connector, the 9 to a trunk, and the 0 to an attendant.

> The last stepper I worked on in 1980 went to some third world
> country. Why, I haven't a clue. More of it probably went to a guy in
> New Philadelphia, OH for precious metals reclamation and landfill.

>> If anyone can offer more about such large private networks used in
>> industry, I would appreciate if you'd post it.

> Of course the most successful private network was some railroad named
> Southern Pacific. I think they went public about 1980 or so as
> Sprint.

If you really want to uncover the true root of all evil regarding
corporate dominance of the political sphere, it's that same Southern
Pacific vs. Santa Clara County in what I believe was 1860. That's when
corporates got the false notion that they should have the same rights as
a living human being. That little notion was inserted by a clerk in the
pocket of Southern Pacific and Justice Harlan made sure he referenced it
at the beginning of the case, thereby permanently encoding it in law.

So Sprint is the ultimate recipient of that ruling.

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