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THE first communication system in the town was a telegraph line, privately owned and installed between the homes of Edward L. Clark and his brother, Elias T. Clark, who lived just over the town line in Woodbridge. This line was started about 1880, and the Morse system of dots and dashes was the medium used for their conversation.
About 1895 the first telephone system was inaugurated as a single, private, party line, from the homes of Sylvester Colburn, Charles S. Clark, and Arthur D. Clark, and extending to Scobie's store. Later four other circuits were established in different parts of the town, with a switch-board in the grocery store.
When the number of subscribers had increased to forty-eight, this town system was taken over by the Southern New England Telephone Company on October 13, 1908, and became known as the Orange Telephone Exchange. The switch-board and central station was located in the former home of Alpheus N. Merwin.
On January 7, 1938, the Orange Exchange was incorporated with the New Haven Exchange, with 288 telephones at that time. The number of subscribers has steadily increased since that date. At this time the dial system was inaugurated, doing away with the old custom of calling the central operator in order to complete a call. An attractive brick building, which is used as a dial exchange, was erected on Orange Center Road, opposite the Center School.