|Calif. Families McBride Arthur Thomas & Elva Telephone Connection|
See Telephone Companies History
Actually the family connection with communications started in 1847 when Samuel Finley Breese Morse our 8th cousin 2 times removed, patented the first commercially viable telegraph system and invented the Morse Code.
The American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) was formed from the merger of Morse's telegraph company and Alexander Graham Bell's (another Scot) telephone technology.
See "How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It" by Arthur Herman, 2002.
In a 2016 shoot out on the Jay Leno show our cousins 170-year-old communication technology proved to be faster than current technology.
See two ham radio operators using Morse code with telegraph keys against two guys using texting on their smartphones. Video
In 2011, when my son and daughter-in-law were planning their wedding in the Hudson Valley in New York, where she grew up, I proposed Morse's Locust Grove Estate overlooking the scenic Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, NY, which is available for weddings, but it was too far Rhinebeck where Brooke was from.
Many times, barbed wire fences were used as transmission lines.
This was especially true during the war (WW II) when wire and other metal products were dedicated to the war effort.
Some lines were on poles, so Sandy had some climbing irons and a climbing belt to go up poles and attach the lines. We still have them at our cabin and have used them for tree trimming. I couldn't find pictures of Dad so I went up a pole myself.
A majority of Bell System subscribers in the mid-20th century were serviced by party-line service, so up to 20 people could be connected to one pair of wires.
Private lines were expensive.
Every household had phone # with an exchange name and a one-letter code e.g. Antelope-M.
People had magneto phones, where you turned a crank which rotated a wire coil between to large magnets to generate a ringing voltage which caused everyone's phone to ring.
You rang out a code which went to everyone on the line and you knew the call was for you based on the Morse code for your letter e.g. 2 long rings for M, Of course, everyone could listen to other's conversations.
The line was connected to a Roseville Telephone Switchboard operator who you could contact to make a call to Roseville or long distance.
Eventually a switchboard was put in at the Antelope Store.
Designing the network which Gramp and Dad did had one advantage, you had control over the connection to Roseville Telephone. Gramp had a switch to disconnect local customers when he wanted to have a private conversation with someone in town. He would occasionally forget to turn the switch back on. When someone would come to the ranch to say their line was down, he'd say he would ask Sandy to check it out, wait a while and flip the switch back on.
The Roseville Telephone Company, an independent company run by the Doyle family, was not associated with Pacific Bell, which was part of the Bell System under the original American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) which covered most of the country.
See Telecommunications Technology History at Donsnotes.com
Telephone cable was expensive to manufacture and install.
One of his jobs was to minimize cost over the long run and maximize flexibility to handle future growth.
The Central Office contained a switch that replaced the switchboard operators to connect calls in your local area or send the call over trunks to a hierarchal network of switches which provided long-distance service connecting the whole country and eventually the world.
We had people who did Wesley's job giving us input on how the process worked.
I suspect if you could diagram the connections in Westley's brain used to do his job it would look like this. Most boxes in the diagram had more functions within them.
The project was put on hold when Bellcore was sold by the baby bells and it turned out to be more complex to build than originally thought. I moved on to another project and never knew if it was ever implemented.
It was a system with lots of economic data and algorithms plus a
type of rule-based artificial intelligence expert system to help in the decision making. These frequently did not work as anticipated because most subject matter experts (Doctors, Engineers, ...) could not put into rules what they intuitively knew from years of experience.
See Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Donsnotes.com
Arthur McBride installed an electrical outlet in the side of the table above, so he could have his toast hot.
I installed a modern outlet with USB charging ports connected to an extension cord which I've pluged into a wall outlet to charge my phone and watch.
If I told Gramp that I plugged my phone and watch into a new outlet on the table to charge the batteries he would think I was crazy.
Other phones :
Candlestick phone with dial (1920-1950) - My Grandparents in Davis had one.
Dad had a car phone in his car he used for his insurance business in the mid-80's before handheld mobile phones.
Acoustic coupler with a modem for dial-up data services - Compuserve, The Source, AOL. (1970-2000)
See telephone history
In the 90's I managed the modem pool at Bellcore, so people could work at home on snow days or when traveling. The Internet was just being rolled out and no one had Internet connection at home. Our modem pool was connected to the corporate network and the Internet. We still had the Bell Labs R&D culture; That and less worry about hackers gave employees more freedom than they have today.
I also managed the AppleTalk Local Area Network (LAN) at Bellcore. It connected 3,500 devices, Macs, Laserwriters and Servers, on 4 campuses. It was also connected to the Internet.
I could only find the total miles on Morse's telegraph network not the number of stations, but as far as the number of devices/stations I think I'd give him a run for his money.😁