Pictures from the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC. We stopped here going down to Atlanta and coming back.
Text on signs accompanying this telephone:
This telephone is similar to those South Carolinians had in their homes in the early 1900s. Instead of a dial, the phone had a crank to signal the operator. A caller could also ring another phone on the same line directly by cranking a series of short and long rings which indicated that number.
THE HAND-CRANK TELEPHONE
Follow the instructions from this 1912 telephone directory and see if you can ring the telephone on the other side of the exhibit area.
HOW TO USE THE TELEPHONE
The first two digits of your number represent the line number and the last two represent the ring number. For example: 6023 means two long and three short rings on line 60.
LISTEN BEFORE CALLING. If you hear no voice on the line, ask: "Line in use?" "Line in use?" If no one answers hang up your receiver and make your call.
A LONG RING is three quick turns of the crank.
A SHORT RING is one quick turn of the crank.
The space between rings should be equal to the time consumed in about two turns of the crank.
RING OFF WHEN YOU ARE THROUGH SPEAKING by giving one short ring. This will let others know that you have finished and that the line may be used.
Do not leave the receiver off the hook as it runs down your battery, keeps others from using the line, and prevents your telephone from being called.
The Sandy Springs Mutual Telephone Co., 1912