Swift's Market House
1890 Party Line Telephone
On the east side of Disneyland's Main Street, at the corner of East Street (on your right-hand side as you head for Sleeping Beauty Castle) is the Market House General Store. Originally sponsored by Swift's, it was designed to reflect the rustic charm of a general store of the 1890s. On the wall in several places are replicas of the old-fashioned party line telephones that were typically found in rural America.
Photo of Market House postcard Courtesy of Phil-Sears.com.
Back during Disneyland's glory days, (the first recording was made February 1974), the conversation between young Annie and her Mama over the high cost of living and prices at the store were of particular interest to Miss Flump. Mama also waxed heroic over her caseload of household chores. We offer that listening experience below.
over phone reads: "Listen in to 1890 party line conversation"
Today, when you lift the receiver and listen, you hear two interwoven conversations on a small town party line. The two conversations interplay one into another and back into the first in a never-ending loop. A portion of this contemporary conversation is presented further down the page.
over phone reads: "Listen in to 1890 party line conversation"
Mama and Annie
Recorded February 1974
of hand-crank phone ringing "1 long 3 short" and numerous
clicks on line)
*Important safety note: Kids at home, do NOT apply kerosene or other flammable fluids to your hair. Just don't.
|Click on Jiminy to download and play the entire 1974 Party Line Telephone conversation in one Real Audio file. - 4,252kb.mp3 1,896kb.rm (3:37)||
postcard shows a lax attitude towards holding character Cast Members
to theme, as we see 1880s Frontierland's U.S.
Marshall Willard P. Bounds and what would evidently be a Riverboat
Gambler from the Mark Twain (and would you look at that hair!)
transcend a temporal vortex to appear on Main Street at the turn of
the century, where they are casually brandishing handguns!
The Paddy Wagon & The Barn
Recorded December 5, 2001
(We join the call already in progress...)
Sergeant: Is there somebody on the line?
Quentin: That you, Mick?
Sergeant: Yeah. Is that you, Quentin? What's all the ruckus? Is there a fire or something?
Quentin: Nope, just a false alarm, I guess.
Sergeant: Well, then get off the line Quentin. I've got an important phone call to make.
Quentin: Okay, then. Talk to you later. (hangs up)
Sergeant: (singing) "When Irish eyes are smiling…"
SFX: (ringing phone)
Hezekiah: (sound of birds squawking in background) Good morning, Bird Seed and Feed Company, Hezekiah Bird, Proprietor. "We've got seed for your need."
Sergeant: Save your breath, Hezekiah.
Hezekiah: Good morning, Sergeant. How are you today?
Sergeant: Never better, Hezekiah. I'll have you know that me and the boys at the station house have taken possession of a brand new paddy wagon.
Hezekiah: Well, what do you know?
Sergeant: Listen, Hezekiah, I was wonderin' if you'd be on to doin' us a wee little favor…?
Hezekiah: Always willing to help an officer of the Law. It's my civic duty, you know.
Sergeant: Knew I could count on you. Now, can you keep a secret?
Hezekiah: Of course.
Sergeant: Well, this morning, me and some of the boys took the car for a little spin, a test drive, you might say. And well, we had a…uh…altercation with Mr. Harrington's oak tree.
Hezekiah: Oh, my!
Sergeant: Dented the fender pretty bad, and well… Hezekiah, d'ya hear somethin'?
Hezekiah: Why, yes, I can hear someone breathing.
Sergeant: Is that you, Mrs. Anderson? Come on now, we can hear you breathin', pretendin' like you're not listening in.
Mrs. Anderson: I was not listening in, I was just trying to hear if the line was free, so I might call my friend Jamie over at the Ribbons & Bows.
Sergeant: Gertrude, you were just tryin' to hear what Hezekiah and I were talkin' about.
Mrs. Anderson: I certainly was not! I do not, Gentleman, engage in gossip. And besides, what do I care that that old paddy wagon was destroyed by poor Mr. Harrington's oak tree? There are more important things to be concerned about.
Sergeant: Now don't get yourself in a tizzy, Gertrude.
Mrs. Anderson: Well what is this world coming to, I ask you? Just the other day, I saw that new piano teacher, Miss Sarah Fields, and I saw it with my own two eyes mind you, this is not secondhand, ridin' on the trolley with the new dance instructor. They were holding hands, as brazen as a pair of blue jays.
Sergeant: Say now, that is quite a piece of gossip, Gertrude.
Mrs. Anderson: Gossip? I thought you should know about it, Sergeant. I'm only doin' my civic duty!
Sergeant: Well now, Gertrude, there's no law against people sparkin', you know. You ought to try it sometime.
Mrs. Anderson: Well, well… Well, I… I never! (hangs up)
Sergeant: I don't doubt it. Anyway… Hezekiah, back to the paddy wagon.
Hezekiah: You were saying?
Sergeant: Well, I was wonderin' if we could use your barn, to… hide it from His Honor, The Mayor. Just until we get it fixed, mind you.
Hezekiah: Oh dear, at present, I'm storing my excess avians out in the barn, you see. But I suppose…
Sergeant: Great! I'm glad to hear you say that, Hezekiah, because, well, I already took the liberty of puttin' it inside your barn this mornin'.
Hezekiah: Oh, dear, I have several cages of parrots and cockatoos in the rafters, you know.
Sergeant: Is that a problem?
Hezekiah: Only to the paddy wagon's paint job, I should think.
Sergeant: You're a pal, Hezekiah! I won't forget you for this. Tell you what, I'll be sure and send you and the little woman free tickets to the Policeman's Ball.
Hezekiah: Oh, that'll be nice. I'm sure that will please my wife, Thelma.
Sergeant: Thanks, again, Hezekiah.
Hezekiah: Always glad to help, Sergeant. Goodbye.
SFX: (clicks of phones hanging up - ringing sound)
Thelma: (sound of crackling flames in background) Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?
Quentin: Hello. I've got it, Eugenia.
Thelma: Hello? Oh, thank Goodness! I want to report a fire! My barn is burning and there's lots of smoke and I can see the flames comin' through the door! Please come quick!
Quentin: A fire, d'ya say? Well, then you'll need to speak to the Fire Chief.
Thelma: Who are you?
Quentin: Quentin Spoon, City Postmaster, at your service.
Thelma: But I thought…? I rang the Fire Station!
Quentin: This is the Fire Station… and the Post Office… and the General Store…
Thelma: I need the Fire Chief! My barn is burnin' down!
Quentin: Alrighty, just a minute… Hello, Quentin Spoon, City Fire Chief, here.
Thelma: You…you're the Fire Chief, too?
The missing portion of the conversation reveals that the lady whose barn is afire, is Mrs. Thelma Bird. The confusion between her and Quentin Spoon over Mr. Spoon's place in civic affairs, leads to sufficient delay to allow her barn to be totally consumed by the flames. As she hangs up in dismay, Police Sergeant Mick comes on the line and speaks to Quentin Spoon, at which point we rejoin this endless conversation loop at the top. (Recorded 12/5/01)
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