Medicine: Call the Doctor!

Like many another country doctor, Dr. Leander C. Bryan of Rutledge, Tenn. (pop. 518) had fumed & fussed for years over poor telephone service. Things came to a head in 1936 when the dilapidated telephone system was threatened with a complete shutdown. Nobody else wanted to buy the decrepit concern, with only 36 subscribers, so Dr. Bryan took it over himself for $600 in order to keep in touch with his widely scattered patients.

Many of the company's poles had rotted and fallen; much of its wire had corroded and snapped. Dr. Bryan hired a young lineman to put in new poles...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!