Early Rural Telephone Systems In The U.S. Relied On What?
Answer: Cattle Fences
Over a century ago, in the early days of telecommunication network deployment, there was a whole lot of space not covered by the telephone grid. Thousands upon thousands of acres of the rural southwestern and western United States were well beyond the reach of the telephone network and early telephone companies were in no hurry to incur the expense of running miles of line between every farm and ranch west of the Rio Grande.
While rural farmers didn’t have access to a telco-laid wire network, they certainly had more than enough wire to go around. All those thousands of acres of rural land were demarcated with wire fencing. At some point in the late 1890s an unknown but ingenious rancher realized he could hook a telephone up to the fence on one side of his property and ring a phone hooked up to the other side. Because fence wire was routinely woven into the fence wire of neighboring ranches to increase strength and stability it was possible to trace a single wire route for miles and miles.
Over the years, ranchers upgraded the lines by adding additional wire, using old bottle necks to insulate the wire and improve the signal, and even set up switchboards manned by ranchers’ wives. As late as the 1970s there were still many areas in rural Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico where the only way to get a phone call out to a remote ranch was to use the fence-wire network.
More Trivia Questions
The Killer In 1978’s Horror Hit Halloween Wore A Mask Of Which Sci-Fi Actor?
The Hollywood Walk of Fame’s Only Non-Star Tiles Are In Honor Of What Event?
Which Famous Scientist’s Family Has Won The Most Nobel Prizes?
Which Of These Astronauts Performed The First Untethered Spacewalk?
Which Of These Common Household Items Was Invented By Accident?
The Oldest Verified Computer Program Still In Use Is Used For?
In 1984 The U.S. Experienced The First Death Caused By What?
The First Scientist To Accurately Measure The Distance Between Stars Was?
The First And Only U.S. President To Have A Doctorate Degree Was?
The First Toilet Shown On Television Appeared In An Episode Of?