GREAT-GRANDPA, THE PHONE HACKER

Imagine not being able to make a phone call because your neighbor is out feeding her chickens or chopping wood. Welcome to rural Sonoma County – or pretty much anywhere else in rural America – during the first years of the 20th century.

A reoccurring theme here has been describing how modern Santa Rosa began to appear in 1910 and 1911, as seen through its newspapers. There were several auto dealerships downtown showcasing next year’s models, and at least a portion of downtown was as brightly lit after dark as any big city; the Columbia Theater on the corner of B and Third had a big marquee dazzling with light bulbs “so as to show on Third, Fourth, and Fifth streets for blocks in either direction,” according to the Press Democrat. Santa Rosa merchants began running ads in both local papers promoting the latest conveniences (hot water heaters in bathrooms, electric washing machines and gas stoves, for ex) as well as coveted high-tech gadgets (Edison phonographs and Kodak cameras).

But it was a different world for their country cousins. There was no coal gas service outside of town, so the kitchen range was fired by oil or wood and the stove also had to heat water for a hot bath. Unless the farm was on a major road there probably was no electricity either, so the house was lit at night by kerosene lanterns and lamps and dirty clothes were scrubbed by hand.

Far worse than the lack of conveniences could be the sense of isolation on the farm, particularly during rainy, cold winters. Trips to town were no impetuous thing when it involved harnessing up the ol’ grey mare for a slow buggy ride, and when mr. farmer arrived in the city it was difficult to find a place to leave the buggy; the hitching posts around Courthouse Square had been removed to accomodate parking. The farm family could try to stay in touch with the community and world by subscribing to the Press Democrat but there was no home delivery in the country; three days’ editions arrived twice a week by mail, rolled up in a brown paper wrapper. Too bad you missed your friend’s funeral.

For these outlying country people, having a telephone was a necessity – but the phone companies only served urban areas, so anyone outside of city limits was out of luck. Thus was born the wild ‘n’ wooly world of the tiny rural telephone companies.

Here’s how it usually worked: An enterprising farmer or a group formed a business which contracted with the local phone company to connect (for Santa Rosa it was first Sunset then Pacific Telephone & Telegraph, called hereafter just PT&T – see sidebar). The farmer then built a little network, and here “build” is meant in the most literal sense; he put up his own telephone poles, strung the wires and climbed the poles again when something went haywire. From the phone company office the line usually went directly to his home where it was attached to something like the 1910 switchboard shown at right, which could serve up to twenty lines fanning out to customer’s homes. A small system like this probably only operated between dawn and dusk, or whenever the farmer or another family member was around; larger switchboards that handled 50 or more lines came equipped with night buzzers to wake somebody up. To have the service a neighbor generally paid $12-30 a year plus up to 10¢ per call, out of which PT&T took a nickel.

There is no known list of the “independent” companies (as they were called) that offered rural service around central Sonoma County, but its a safe bet that there were dozens. Here are some names: Russian River Light & Power, the Sonoma Valley Co., the Valley Telephone Co., the Cotati Co., the Mark West and Santa Rosa Telephone Co. (which went as far west as Mt. Olivet, currently the intersection of River Road and Olivet Road) and the Kenwood Rural Telephone Co. Some were not even named, such as the one that served Fulton. The biggest and best known was the Guglielmetti Telephone Company of Petaluma, which reportedly had nearly a thousand customers.

Also unknown is how many of these operations were run in a businesslike manner or were more of a break-even hobby. We know they could be very territorial; Guglielmetti filed a complaint in 1912 against Chileno Valley Telephone Company for encroaching on Chapman Lane with its very few residences. The Chileno Valley company also got in trouble for offering a five year contract with an up-front payment of $25, which would have been significantly below actual cost. But truth is, almost all of these independents were borderline legal, in that only Guglielmetti and a couple of others were properly registered with the state of California.

       
THE MAKING OF A MONOPOLY

Everything in this story orbits around “The Telephone Company,” which was then often viewed as a predatory leviathan that offered barely satisfactory service and nickel-and-dimed its customers with confusing rates and myriad special charges. Thank goodness everything is different today.

To be accurate, our story involves three telephone companies: Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. (PT&T) was the big boy on the block, being the West Coast tentacle of AT&T which controlled most telephone and telegraph service elsewhere nationwide. PT&T grew in the decades around the turn of the century by buying controlling interests in its competitors. One of these rivals-turned-puppets was Sunset Telephone and Telegraph, which provided service in Santa Rosa and much of the Northwest, and another was San Francisco-based Pacific States Telephone & Telegraph. This semi-independent arrangement might have rolled along indefinitely if not for the troubles of 1906.

Just weeks before the earthquake struck, San Francisco newspapers were howling because the Board of Supervisors had awarded an exclusive telephone franchise to a competitor of Pacific States. Once the city somewhat regained its footing after the disaster and the ongoing graft investigations resumed, it came out that Pacific States and its competitor were both shoveling enormous bribes to the Supervisors. The grand jury indicted a Pacific States vice-president and a lobbyist on a combined 23 counts. The company possibly might have weathered that storm, but it could not survive without income – and it lost over 90 percent of its subscribers immediately after the earthquake. Rebuilding infrastructure would be a long and expensive process. It was decided that as of Jan. 1, 1907, both Pacific States and Sunset would disappear into PT&T. It was completely a shell game; the old president of Pacific States was now president of PT&T. (The older companies survived in name until 1917, probably in part because of unsettled lawsuits.)

The people who built and operated those small independent telephone systems had more than a little in common with today’s computer hackers. They loved the tech of it; there were magazines breathlessly reviewing the latest equipment and offering anecdotes and photos from readers, expert tips, and emotional editorial essays barking or sighing over small matters. In short, they had the same passions as Apple or PC fanboys demonstrate today.

And just as Internet users can be heard speaking with contempt about the cable companies that provide their network connectivity, the independents regarded with fear and loathing the telephone companies upon which they likewise depended. They had reason to worry; after all, the phone company could put independents out of business overnight by expanding its service area outside the cities, which was something bound to happen eventually. But that was more of an existential threat; what really had the independents upset was the possibility of the phone company shutting down their sole equipment provider.

Independents purchased most of their gear from a company named Kellogg Switchboard and Supply Company. Kellogg stores sold everything they needed and provided instructions on how to put it all together – they even had the sort of crookneck electric lamp that was the perfect size to perch above your switchboard. In a pair of large display ads that appeared in the 1911 Press Democrat (shown below) Kellogg didn’t so much promote their brand as the wonderfulness of having a phone at all, which would be so very simple to set up, guided by their friendly illustrated booklets. It would not be too much of a stretch to call it a kind of Apple Computer for its day.

But in 1903, Western Electric – the hardware side of AT&T – quietly arranged to buy controlling interest in Kellogg. Once this became known, rumors began flying – either it was a conspiracy to shut down Kellogg and create a monopoly, or maybe Kellogg was in cahoots with the phone company to screw over the independents by price-fixing. Telephone Magazine offered a cartoon showing Mr. Kellogg holding down “the Kellogg customer” while the “Bell Company” roots through his pockets for change. In the same issue, an editorial hysterically called AT&T the “arch enemy” and insisted “buying of the Kellogg company is treason; it is furnishing ammunition and sympathy to the enemy in time of war.” Kellogg’s reputation was redeemed because minority stockholders sued to block the deal, but the lawsuit rumbled through the courts until the sale was finally prevented in 1909, causing five years of anger and turmoil in the little industry.

Even if the Kellogg stock battle hadn’t happened, the independents had reason enough to despise the phone company for how they were treated. In 1907 Santa Rosa, customers paid $21 a year to share a two-party line; although PT&T did no maintenance on the “farmer lines” or had other expense (aside from the few seconds needed for the operator at the central exchange to connect callers), the company charged the independents high per-user rates which meant rural customers paid about the same as city dwellers – except the country people had to share the line with twenty others, or however many were hooked to that independent switchboard. And even if you had a telephone in your farmhouse, you couldn’t make a long distance call; a farmer on Todd Road, for example, still had to go into Santa Rosa to call someone in Petaluma. There apparently was no technical obstacle preventing the call being made from an independent line; as part of the deal to settle the government anti-trust suit in 1913, the Bell System dropped the rule preventing long distance. It looks like they restricted the service simply because they could.

Independent operators were also required to collect PT&T’s 5¢ per-call fee. An internal company newsletter, Pacific Telephone Magazine from the years 1907-1909 shows the company often suggested better ways for them to pry those nickels loose from their neighbors. It urged independents to require a deposit from each subscriber, but no advice on how to handle any uncomfortable situation that might arise from demanding payment in advance – which a tight-fisted farmer might regard as an interest-free loan. But that’s a common refrain in the newsletter; any person or business with PT&T service was expected to have foremost consideration for the company’s wants. Drug stores were singled out as being particularly bad actors for letting just anyone walk in and use their phone free of charge. In a particularly rancid screed, the editor argued people with a telephone shouldn’t let others use it unless they could first verify the person was also a bonafide PT&T customer.

Sometime around WWI Pacific Telephone & Telegraph finally began adding more rural service, which was the death knell for some. That followed the 1911 purchase by California Telephone & Light Co. of the Healdsburg Telephone Co. and several other local independents. The longest to survive was rural Petaluma’s Guglielmetti Telephone Company, which was around until 1949.

A final word of caveat lector; there is no previous research into this topic – at least, that I can find.  A few books have sketched a bit about the Kellogg suit and the overall independent history but no local historian has touched the topic; there’s lots available on the Sonoma County phone scene from about WWII onwards, but no mention of these interesting early days. There are not even any surviving regional telephone books prior to 1928. This article has been cobbled together primarily from old State Board of Equalization reports, legal notices, trade magazines and materials placed online by telephone equipment collectors. If anyone has more, I’d love to know.

Although there are no surviving early regional telephone books, some kind soul has made available the complete 1898 directory for the greater Bay Area. the section for Santa Rosa shows only 26 residences in town had telephones. Followers of this Comstock House blog will not be surprised to learn that one of those lines went to the home at 431 Tenth street owned by James Wyatt Oates, the man who loved having the latest technology and had to be in the center of everything.

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TELEPHONE NUMBERS, VERSION 3.0

Oh, look, junior’s using the phone. How precious is that? Wait – is he talking to the chief of police?

Today, every family album has an adorable picture of a toddler sitting at a computer, and a century ago, it was too-cute when the little ones spoke on the telephone. It was even newsworthy; in 1908, both Santa Rosa papers had stories about kids using phones. Before Christmas that year, several children asked the operator to connect them with Santa Claus. After a bit of head-scratching at the telephone office, it was decided that their calls were to be transferred to the Chief Operator, who ho-ho-ho’d and took down their present requests. And then there was the five-year-old who called the police chief to report his missing tricycle; unable to understand what the child was saying, an officer rushed to the house to find out exactly why the boy had summoned help.

Telephones were still regarded as cutting-edge technology, and some adults remained uncomfortable or uncertain about how to operate the things; one of the Santa Rosa newspapers had printed articles on telephone use and etiquette the year before (“the undignified ‘Hello’ seems to have come to stay”). The UI was also in flux; although you still initiated a call by speaking to an operator, the procedure of indicating who you wanted to contact was becoming complex and confusing.

Until 1905, it was possible for someone in Santa Rosa to ask for a connection by name: “Get me John Smith.” The proliferation of home and business telephones now required numbers be assigned to each line, which meant that telephone books also had to be printed and distributed. Exchanges were also added at the same time: In Santa Rosa there primarily was “Red,” Black” and “Main,” so someone trying to reach John Smith would be required to provide an exchange and number, such as “Red 333.”

I also found four digit numbers sometimes mentioned in the newspapers around that time; if that many numbers were available there really was no need for an exchange system at all, as Santa Rosa’s population would not surpass 10,000 for a couple of decades. And stranger still, I sometimes saw letters included after the numbers, such as “333Y.” Huh? It was an odd little history puzzle and I probably never would have figured it out, had I not stumbled across the article below.

The core of problem was that there were still many party lines in use, and the operator had to know how many “rings” to send to alert a particular customer. Thus if John Smith expected two rings, his number might be “Red 3332” – the last of the four digits indicated the number of rings needed (it might be better understood as “Red 333-2,” for ex).

Even with the “ring” suffix, it was the direct ancestor of the seven-digit system we use today. Similarly, Oakland and San Francisco were at the time using an exchange+4, such as “Kearny 4444.” As the city grew, this provided the flexibility to create another exchange and be good for another 9,999 connections. But in 1908, some genius at the telephone company imposed a telephone ID system in Santa Rosa that made no sense whatsoever.

Gone were the exchanges; now you gave the operator a three-digit number, followed by the letter R, Y, J, or L. The first two letters corresponded with the old Red exchange, the latter two with the old Black exchange. The particular letter indicated one or two rings. So John Smith – originally “Red 333,” then “Red 3332,” was now “333Y.” The reasoning behind the new system was not explained, although the choice of these particular four letters could have had sadistic racist inspiration; the Asian community might have had trouble expressing Americanized R and L hard consonants through the lo-fi transmitter, as Hispanics might have struggled with Y and J.

Judging by ads in the newspapers, this third mod to the telephone system in as many years was not widely accepted. Some advertisers used the suffix, others held on to the old Red and Black exchanges. Many downtown businesses continued to ignore all of it, providing only their old two or three digit number. Rather than making it easier for the operators, it suggests the customer attitude hardened: t’Hell with it all, I’ll just let the “Hello Girl” figure it out for me.

SWEEPING CHANGE IN PHONE SYSTEM
After November 7 There Will Be No More “Red,” “Black” or “Main,” But it Will Be Easier For Patrons

On November 7, at midnight, the Telephone company will change over to its new system and move into its handsome new quarters on Third street. As a result, a number of innovations will be put into effect. As far as the general public is concerned, however, these changes will apply principally to the numbering of the phones.

The old prefixes of “Red,” “Black” and “Main” will be done away with, and everything except suburb and rural lines will be known as “Santa Rosa.” In the new directory this prefix will precede every number. Local subscribers calling main line subscribers will not find it necessary to use the prefix, but may secure the number wanted by simply asking for “268,” or whatever the number may be. Out of town subscribers will merely have to ask for “Santa Rosa 268.”

Another change that will apply to all two-party lines is that the letters “R” and “Y” will hereafter be used to designate the number of bells in the red, and “J” and “L” in the black, instead of the suffixes 1 and 2 as at present.

Everybody may not know that the last figure in the numbers now in vogue simply indicate the number of bells which should be rung, but such is the case. Take the number “Red 2861,” for instance. The “1” means that in calling a subscriber the operator is to ring one bell. If the last figure were 2, the operator would ring two bells.

Under the new arrangement, as stated, these latter figures will be discarded on all two-party lines, and the letter “R” will stand for 1 bell in the red, while “Y” will mean two bells red. “J” will represent 1 in the black, and “L” will stand for 2 bells in the black. “Red 2742” will thus become “Santa Rosa 274Y,” and “Black 2741” will become “274J” to local subscribers, and “Santa Rosa 247J” to subscribers calling up from other towns. By remembering this subscribers getting hold of an old directory will be able to secure the number desired by merely substituting the proper letter for the missing suffix, although the new directory will be out and distributed several days before the changed conditions go into effect. This directory will be effective on and after November 7, at midnight.

– Press Democrat, October 31, 1908

ALEX TRACHMAN CALLED POLICE
Youthful Citizen Invokes the Help of the Officers

Alex Trachman, the five-year-old son of Dr. and Mrs. H. J. Trachman, sustained a very material loss on Tuesday, when some miscreant stole his tricycle. For several hours during the morning the little chap endeavored to have his father call up the chief of police and report the loss, but to no avail, and so finally taking the matter in his own hands, he climbed on a chair and reaching the telephone, got the ear of “central” and told her that he wanted the chief of police. The connection was made with the office of Chief Rushmore, and Master Alex told his tale of woe in the ear of a sympathizing chief. The boy does not talk very distinctly as yet, and hearing the youthful voice over the phone the chief surmised that something must be wrong at the home, and after learning from the child that he lived on Humboldt street, Police Officer Nick Yeager was detailed to hurry over there and ascertain what the trouble was.

In the meantime Alex hung up the receiver and went into his father’s office and told him he had reported to the chief the loss of his “wheel.” In a few minutes the door bell rang and Mr. Yeager inquired what the trouble was and why he had been called. Mr. Yeager was panting and all out of breath when he reached the door, having made a “hurry-up” trip around the block, fearing that something was wrong at the home, and that the child had been used to summon help.

– Santa Rosa Republican, November 11, 1908
CHILDREN PHONE TO SANTA CLAUS
Much Diversion Caused at “Central” by Numerous Messages to the Time Honored Gift Bestower

“Number, please.”

“I want Santy Claus.”

“Who?”

“Santy Claus.”

“All right, just a minute.”

This what has been going on over the telephone line at “Central” during the past few days. The first message came over the wire from a child who could barely lisp her desire.

At first the “Hello girl” at the receiving end was puzzled. Manager Morrill was called into conference and Santa Claus began coming in, and Manager Morrill is one of the most kind-hearted of men. And, like the rest of us, he was a child once himself. He is not very old now, either.

Other messages of inquiry for Santa Claus began coming in, and Manager Morrill not wishing to cause the little ones sending their messages disappointment, suggested that for a few days when such reports came for Santa Claus the Chief Operator might impersonate the gift bestower the children all look for on Christmas morn. Consequently the Chief Operator has been taking down names and list of presents desired by the children.

“Just as well to let the children have a good time anyway. Expectancy is half the fun, too,” said Manager Morrill yesterday after he had taken a call for old Santy himself.

The children phoned for every kind of gift calculated to delight the child heart. In some instances parents took this opportunity of ascertaining what the youngsters wanted most for Christmas. In other instances, doubtless, hearts were heavy while the childish prattle went over the wire to the imaginary Santa Claus at the other end, for perchance the wherewithal to procure the presents was not available.

– Press Democrat, December 24, 1908

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FUTURE SHOCK:1907

Over the course of 1907, the future arrived Santa Rosa. The 20th century came late, and not because of the big 1906 earthquake; that disaster actually thwarted meaningful progress and entrenched the town in its 19th Century ways, as hashed over in an earlier essay. But finally by 1907, ownership of an automobile was no longer such a novelty that the newspapers always reported the purchase; electrical service was reliable (well, reliable-ish); and most of all, private telephones became ubiquitous appliances.

Just a couple of years earlier, there was an average of about one phone for every ten residents, and lines were shared with several other homes. Now in 1907, even two-party lines were to be rare because more telephone numbers were available (three digits, now!) and prices were reduced – although still expensive by today’s standard. Then residential phone service was $1.75/month, the equivalent to about $41.00, adjusted for modern inflation.

But for some, telephones created an early wave of “future shock” – anxiety over rapid and widespread introduction of a new technology – which in this case, was being unsure that you knew how to use a telephone “correctly.” Some even had trouble communicating with the local “number, please” operators who did the actual technical work of making the connection, as joked about in a 1906 humor item. The two instructional items below (reprinted uncredited from elsewhere) provide a list of rules for having a proper telephone conversation and discusses the etiquette of ending a call, while bemoaning that “the undignified ‘Hello’ seems to have come to stay.”

MANY PHONES IN USE

There are 870 telephones in use in the City of Roses at present. This number almost approximates the number of phones that were in use here before the April disaster last year, and in the near future it is expected the former record will be exceeded. There is a constant increase in the number of subscribers…

– Santa Rosa Republican, March 15, 1907

TELEPHONES ARE ADDED
Two-Number Phone Contracted On Main Line

Manager H. S. Johnson of the local telephone office stated Wednesday afternoon that there are a great many contracts being made these days by patrons of the company for the change from party lines to main lines. The work of the changing to the mainline system has progressed so rapidly that already all of the two figure lines have been contracted for and they are now making contracts for the three figure phones. The recent reduction in telephone rates has had a good effect upon this part of the business, and soon they are to issue a new directory giving the changes…

After the canvass for the main line business has been concluded, the representative will be put to work on the party line business and it is expected that there will be a great many people who will desire to change lines carrying fewer number of phones, and this will tend to greatly improve the phone service of the city.

– Santa Rosa Republican, July 25, 1907
SOME CHANGES IN THE PHONE SYSTEM
Two Party Lines Are to Be Adopted–New Directory to Be Issued Very Soon

County Manager H. S. Johnson of the Pacific States Telephone & Telegraph Co., is now engaged in getting the Santa Rosa business into shape for the new directory soon to be issued which will contain the names of subscribers and their street numbers as well. The work is quite extensive and means a lot of labor but will prove of great benefit and convenience to the patrons of the company when once completed.

Preparatory to doing anything in the matter, it has been decided that all four party lines shall be raised to two party lines, so as to do away with the ringing of the bell unless the subscriber is wanted. It will also lessen the complaint of “line busy.” The Company has recently granted a reduction in independent and two party lines, both business and residences.

This latter move has proved extremely popular with patrons, although it has meant quite a heavy loss in revenue for the time being to the Company. Later the loss will probably be made up in the increased number of such ‘phones used. Prior to the fire the price for individual business lies were $3 and now they have been reduced to $2 per month. The two party lines in use prior to the fire were $3 for business houses. Now they are $2.50. For residences they were $2.50 and now they are $1.75 per month. Another concession has been made to the patron of the Company, as a desk ‘phone is now placed, if more convenient, without extra charge. Previously there was a charge of $1.50 per month for a desk ‘phone in addition to the regular rental for the class of ‘phone used.

A number of canvassers are now at work seeking a renewal of the contracts under the reduced charges and are meeting with ready acquiescence all along the line as soon as the plan is fully understood. The work of making the changes in the system is already under way and as fast as possible all lines will be worked over into the single and two party system. There will be no more four or ten party lines accepted.

A temporary ‘phone directory is being prepared to meet the demands made necessary by the change from the four to two party lines, but as soon as the system is arranged a complete new directory with the street numbers will be issued by the Company in Santa Rosa. It is expected that the work will be completed by the first of the year.

– Press Democrat, November 8, 1907
YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW TO TELEPHONE

One of the assets of the man who does business today is his telephone voice, provided he knows how to make a good impression when he talks over the wire. All sorts of affairs are now conducted by telephone, but the importance of telephoning in the proper way is often overlooked by business men who would on no consideration permit a poorly typewritten letter to leave their offices. Take the trouble to fix firmly in your mind half a dozen simple rules, put them in practice and see if your telephoning conversations are not made of increased value in your business. Here are the rules:

1. When you are talking by telephone to a person in your own town, speak in an ordinary tone of voice. Do not whisper into the transmitter, but, on the other hand, don not shout at the instrument as if you had a grudge against the telephone system and everybody who uses the telephone.

2. When you are using a long distance line elevate your voice and speak a little louder than you would speak to a man in the room with you. This does not mean however, that you should try to make noises as loud and discordant as those produced by the calliope in the circus parade.

3. Besides speaking distinctly avoid talking too fast. There are orators who reel off words at the rate of 300 a minute, and still make themselves understood, but they couldn’t do it by telephone.

4. When you telephone devote yourself to telephoning. When you write a letter you do not at the same time look out of the window to see who is going by on the other side of the street. If you turn your back on the telephone and send your words flying hither and yon all over the room and into the great world outside, It is not fair to blame the apparatus and the man at the other end of the line if he does not hear distinctly all that you say.

5. Remembering rule 4, speak directly at the transmitter. Don’t get so near it that you seem to be trying to crawl into it. Neither should you keep it at arm’s length. It won’t hurt you. Sit or stand so that your lips re about an inch from the transmitter and your words will go flying on their own journey without trouble.

6. If you are using a desk telephone don’t hold it upside down or at all sorts of odd angles. The desk telephone was made to do its work while standing on its own base or held in a perpendicular position. You should not expect a thermometer to be accurate if you hung it wrong side up. Why not use the telephone as it was intended to be used?

Moral: Should you think at first that it really does not make much difference how you do your telephoning remember than an average of 16,940,000 telephone conversations pass daily over the lines of the Bell system and that three million people in the United States are subscribers to the service. That in itself shows how great [a] part of the telephone plays in the daily life of the American people. Personal appearance counts in the business world. It is important to make a good appearance when you meet a man face to face. It is equally important to make a good impression by telephone.

– Santa Rosa Republican, May 7, 1907

PHONE ETIQUETTE
The Undignified “Hello” Seems to Have Come to Stay.

“How do you ever stop a conversation with a girl over the telephone?” asked a worried oung man the other day. “Grace X. called me up last evening to tell me that she had heard frome somebody I was interested in, and then we talked along in a desultory way, while I was wondering how I was ever going to get into my dress suit and call for Ethel in time for the opera, and Ethel dotes on the overture. I didn’t think it was my place to say ‘goodby,’ and Grace evidently had nothing pressing on hand and felt sociable, and there I was. At last she seemed to reflect that I might have something to do besides gossip with her and she rang off, but I was fifteen minutes late at Ethel’s. The matter was not made better with her when I explained that I had been detained by Grace at the telephone.”

It is the place of the young lady to stop the conversation. The younger should always wait for the elder of two men or two women to end it.

And beware how you call the name of your unseen friend until you are sure. The other day a young man responded to a ring and, after a moment’s talk, exclaimed, “How good in you, Emma, to call me up!” Coldly came the rejoinder, “This is not Emma; it is Gertrude.” Strained relations marked the rest of the interview.

The undignified “Hello” seems to have come to stay. Nothing better has been proposed in place of it, but when we can substitute “Good morning” or “Good evening” let us do so.

– Santa Rosa Republican, June 3, 1907

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