Whether you are old or young, you might have seen a telephone like this one:
This is similar to the one we had on our dairy farm when I was a child. Ours had the crank on the side and the separate receiver, and we were connected by a party line. A party line doesn’t exist anymore in urban areas but it consisted of your phone line and a few other neighbors’ lines all being connected. To call someone, you would crank the handle once or a few times and for a certain duration to identify the person on the other end. Each line had their own distinctive ring. Two short rings, two long rings, one ring, etc. Every neighbor knew the identity of the rings.
This made it extremely easy to know who was calling who, that they were home, etc, and we had one neighbor who was infamous at listening in on all calls. We were phoned by a friend one day and it was obvious the intruder (Mrs. B) was listening in. Unfortunately for her the friend had visited the intruder earlier in the day. While we conversed, he suddenly said, “Mrs. B—, you’re beans are burning”. Mrs. B. yelled, “Oh, my goodness!” and put the phone down.
Telephones have come along way!😉