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93 with ringing code 2 long and 2 short, and written as "93R22", (and if outside the given exchange, then the exchange would be asked for by name before the requested number and ringing code, e.g. "(On the) Rockridge (exchange), (subscriber No.) nine, three; ring one long, and two short," and written as “Rockridge 93R12”.

(The two examples cited in this paragraph are taken directly from usage in the 1935 American film Party Wire.) Again, however, it should be noted, whilst this practice was common, it was not ubiquitous, since despite giving a standard configuration for terse, easily interpreted numbers with their respective ring codes, its chief functional drawback was with the first ring always being long and the second always being short, this limited the number of brief and thus practical ringing combinations that could be used on single multiparty subscriber numbers.

A majority of Bell System subscribers in the mid-20th century in the United States and Canada were serviced by party lines, which carried a billing discount over individual service; during wartime shortages, these were often the only available lines.

British users similarly benefited from the party line discount.

In rural areas in the early 20th century, additional subscribers and telephones, often numbering several dozen, were frequently connected to the single loop available. They were frequently used as a source of entertainment and gossip, as well as a means of quickly alerting entire neighbourhoods of emergencies such as fires, becoming a cultural fixture of rural areas for many decades.