Party line (telephony)
A party line (multiparty line, shared service line) is a local loop telephone circuit that is shared by multiple telephone service subscribers.Party line systems were widely used to provide telephone service, starting with the first commercial switchboards in 1878. 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. Farmers in rural Australia used party lines, where a single line spanned miles from the nearest town to one property and on to the next.