Mr. Dees Goes to Town

UTILITIES

Of some 6,500 independent telephone companies that operate about 20% of the U.S.'s 22,600,000 telephones, the Mt. Vernon Telephone Co., of Rockcastle County, Ky., is certainly not the best. Most of its null subscribers suffer old-fashioned wall crank phones. Once a break in the line was not repaired for three months. Some lines are down because poles have rotted away and have not been replaced. On a $6,372 gross last year, the company lost $39.58, It prints no directory; subscribers merely give the crank a whirl and say: "Gimme John Boone," etc....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

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 TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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