Mastodons among us
March 15, 1956 Top story of the Pleasanton Times
Headline: "New Device To Aid Party-Line Troubles"
"Line hoggers," the scourge of party telephone line users everywhere, but particularly on the farm, are on their way out.
They've just overdone it, causing too many service complaints to come before the California Public Utilities Commission, said J.J. Duel, director of the California Farm Bureau's public utilities department.
Now in various parts of the state, dial telephones are replacing the old "crank and pray"-type of instruments, which for many years served for party-line communication in the rural West.
A "line-hog controller," in the form of a mechanical circuit breaker, is being installed. This shuts off conversation automatically after a certain length of time.
First tried in the West Los Angeles district some years ago by the old Associated Telephone Company, the automatic circuit breaker is now in regular use on several systems, including the General Telephone Company, which serves areas in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, and the Farmington Telephone Company in San Joaquin County.
The period of time permitted for conversation before the anti-line hogging device goes into operation varies from 10 minutes in Southern California to 20 minutes for Farmington subscribers.
A warning sounds in the receiver shortly before the circuit is broken, thus giving an opportunity to bring the conversation to a quick close.
Way back then
Real Estate: Two-bedroom home in good condition, three years old. Linoleum kitchen, dining and bathroom floors; others in hardwood. Fireplace, dual-wall furnace, insulated attic, attached garage with work bench and storage overhead. Metal window awnings, roof gutters, lawn in front, patio in the rear on black top with 30-foot metal awning. Nice long clothesline in rear. Lot 50-by- 120 feet, blacktop driveway. No flood problem, facing county road, Vineyard Avenue. Cost is $12,350. Will sacrifice for quick sale at $9,475 -- save $2,875.
Groceries: Hagstrom's, Pleasanton: Large Nulaid Eggs, Grade AA, 53 cents a dozen; corned beef, boneless brisket, 33 cents a pound; clipped top carrots, two pounds for 15 cents; and Duncan Hines cake mixes -- marble, devil's food, white and yellow, four for $1.
At the Movies: State Theater, Livermore. Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker, Kim Novak and Arnold Stang in "The Man With The Golden Arm. The co-feature was "Battle Taxi," starring Sterling Hayden, Arthur Franz, Marshall Thompson and Leo Needham in the roaring adventures of Air Rescue Command.
Trivia question: Who were the 1964 American Football League and National Football League champions?
Answer to last week's question: The top U.S. film of 1950 was Walt Disney's "Cinderella, which grossed $34,100,000.
Contact Louise Hartman at lhartman@bayarea- newsgroup.com or follow on Twitter at Newsie1195.