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County Kildare History and Heritage

Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903

Intro and Menu | June Articles

Leinster Leader, Saturday 20 June 1903, Last Edition - Page 5


During the week the work of connecting Naas and Newbridge districts telephonically with Dublin was competed. Naas and Newbridge subscribers were afforded opportunities of testing the system, and found it most satisfactory. The “Leinster Leader” office tested not only the local line, but were “put on” to both Dublin and Belfast on Friday morning. The results were all that could be desired. The voices in Belfast were as audible and distinct as the voices in Newbridge – a circumstance which enabled us to very keenly appreciate the blessings of the “new departure,” for the communications with Belfast were of such an urgent and technical character that they could not have been properly carried out through the medium of the telegraph.

The prompt courtesy of the Naas Postmaster, Mr. Croker, in facilitating the tests of the system and giving the fullest information to the public, deserves special acknowledgement. The same remark applies to Mr. Cooper, of the Headquarters’ staff.

Subscribers at Naas, Newbridge and the Curragh will pay (in addition to their ordinary subscriptions) a fee of 3d. per three minutes for conversing with Dublin. For Belfast, the tariff is 1s. per three minutes, and charges for other centres, nearer and farther away, will vary according to distance. A booklet giving the different tariffs can be obtained at the Post Office. Time will be reckoned (for charging purposes) from the moment at which the conversation starts between the subscribers at the different points. It is important to note that anything exceeding three minutes is calculated as six and so on.

Subscribers will have to secure a list of the numbers and names of those “on the telephone” in the various towns. A supplemental list of new subscribers is already available locally, and the main directory will, we understand, be procurable in a few days. Those new to the instrument will save themselves, the Exchanges and the Post Office a world of worry and delay if they remember – there are no “persons” in the telephone world, only “numbers,” and Mr. Fitzpatrick, of Dublin, or Mr. Barnes, of New York, must be asked for, not by their surnames, but as (say) No. 3080 or No. “046850, New York,” and so forth. In the same way, a Naas subscriber, while communicating with officials, ceases to be Tom Jones or Dick O’Brien, and becomes for the time being “No. 10, Naas,” or “No. 12, Naas,” as the case may be. “Always have your own number and the number of the person you want on the tip of your tongue.” This is the golden rule of the telephone.

Subscribers can dictate their telegrams to the Post Office, where they will be written down and transmitted. If a local subscriber wishes to communicate with a person in any outside centre who is not on the telephone, he will be able to speak a message to the Post Office for the centre concerned. Here the message will be written down and despatched to the address by special messenger, for which the usual Express Delivery Fee will be collected from the addressee. The charge will be for Dublin the same as in ordinary cases above mentioned, namely 3d. for three minutes. The value received will depend, of course, upon the sender’s capacity for condensing all he has to say in words that can be reduced to writing within the three minutes’ space.