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The first speaker is an 85-year-old White woman with a grade school education from Muncie, Indiana; she was recorded in 1969. The second speaker, also from Muncie, is an 83-year-old White woman with a high school education.



County: Delaware
State: IN

Commentary:
Located in east central Indiana, with a current population of around 70,000, Muncie is the county seat of Delaware County and the birthplace of the Ball Brothers Company, which made glass products, most notably jars. The five Ball brothers eventually purchased the closed Eastern Indiana Normal University and donated it to the state; it was reopened as Ball State Teachers College, now Ball State University. The city of Muncie was also known to some as Middletown, due to a widely published sociological study done in the 1920s and 1930s. In this segment the speakers talk about being the first family outside the city to get telephone service.
Inf #1: So, well, we all had experience. [Laughter] Uh, we got electricity in 1926. Then we put in a bathroom and, and water system. That???s for, it was 1926 when we put???

Inf #2: An-

Inf #1: We had the first telephone out of Muncie, too. That was in 19-, 18- uh, 98.

FW: Really?

Inf #1: Mm-hmm. [Inf #2: And tell him???] First telephone outside the city.

Inf #2: And uh, tell uh, about the, it was the first one outside the city, and to get it we had to g-, we had to furnish the pi-, the uh, poles, and my father went to the woods and cut down trees and, and they, and they planted the trees on the-, all the way uh, to town and then they, then the company, the telephone company, put the wires on and we were limited to ten cors-, ten calls a month. Anytime more than ten calls, we had to pay ten cents for each time we called, but there were so few people had car-, had telephones that??? So we had people, our business people in town would call us every morning to see what we would uh [FW: What?], they could call us without any charges. But if we called back, we had to pay ten cents [FW: Mm]. And that, uh, I think that was about two, two miles of those crooked uh, trees planted that they cut down in the woods and my father hired men, planted them along the road for the wires for the, for our first [FW: Well, uh, do you???] telephone poles, 1898.

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