Instead of looking for photos of people on the phone, I thought I would look for evidence that phones actually existed in our area. Once I thought of the idea then I wondered if I knew the difference between a phone line and a power line. I guess I really don't. This view is looking towards Murray in 1940.
I do remember in rural southern Iowa in the 60's, that our local phone poles were barely 8 to 10 feet high and they had a limited number of two or three wires on them. They leaned a lot as the rains in Iowa would tend to wash away the soil from the base of the pole. I don't think they were buried only three of four feet into the ground. One could see them as you drove down a dirt or gravel road while traveling to town to get groceries.
My parents lived in the back of a filling station that was outside of town. This is in the late 40's and again I don't know if these are power lines or phone lines. I bet they are power lines, I am really off theme with the wrong kind of poles. But poles near a building do tell a story.
This is an old house in Osceola with one power line in view but there is a single pole in the background that probably was the phone line. Today, most of the phone lines in Iowa are buried underground so you can't see them coming into a house.
This is a house that my grandfather built north of Murray, Iowa. From what you can see here, I bet the house had neither electricity or telephone. I am sure it was taken in the 30's or earlier so phones companies didn't exist.
It is the 40's and my dad is standing on a street in Belgium. There is one pole standing in the background. Wires for something went into that house.
So I found another pole. It is my photo of me and my three older brothers. I even remember this pole and it was our telephone pole. It sat next to a large ditch next to our gravel road that went past our front yard. My mom had planted flowers around it and it always seemed unnatural to have it there as the oiled tall poles didn't come from any trees that we grew in Iowa. I am sure they came from a grove of tall pines that grew out west in the mountains or in Minnesota.
I stil don't have a visual of the first phone that I ever saw but we had a crank wooden phone that hung on the wall just on the right side of the window. The wooden box had the black speaker phone projecting out of it with the receiver hanging to the side of the phone.
It was early 50's and I was too short to reach the phone and no child in the house was allowed to touch such a thing.
There was a fuse box on the outside of the house and it was common for the lightning to travel through the lines and the fuse would need to be replaced.
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