Blue 196

Mississippi Valley Telephone - Hamilton Office   Our phone system up to about the time I joined the Navy in 1956 was a company called Mississippi Valley Telephone.  The phone was mounted on the wall in the dining room by the front door and was operated by turning a hand crank to get the operator.  Mildred Mills, a neighbor was one of the switchboard operators.  When giving the number, it would be a color, (black, blue, red, etc) followed by three digits.  Our number was Blue 196.  The businesses had two digit numbers.  The Cosgrove grocery store was 98.

    All fire calls were handled by the operators, who would set off the siren; one cycle for out of town, multiple cycles for in town.  The first volunteer to reach city-hall would open the door and start the engine.  The next would pick up the phone, direct to the operator, and find out where the fire was.  All others jumped on the truck as it headed out the door.

Telephones old and new.  Jan 1956.    Back to the subject.  The replacement phone, as I recall, didn't have a dial, so wasn't much of an improvement.  I don't remember talking much on the phone as a youth, which is odd, as I  made my living at one time, talking on the phone 8 hours a day.

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