Once upon a time...
At the time before there was twisted-pair ethernet (10Base-TX) and Cheapernet (thinwire i.e. 10Base-2) there was real ethernet or Thickwire (10Base-5) - better know as yellow cable.
It's called yellow cable after the pretty colour of the finger-thick coax serving as a medium. There really is only one cable per network segmant, run along the wall or through the hall. On this cable sit the transceivers, which are connected via the drop cable to the AUI connector of each computer. The AUI port is the 15 pin D-shell connector, getting more and more rare on networked computers.. The drop cable is nothing more than an ordinary 15-core cable leading from there to the AUI connector of a transceiver. The transceiver connects to the network medium (i.e. the cable) and is therefor also called a Media-Attachment-Unit.
Straight along the wall
The drop cables can get quite a couple of yards long. This is necessary, since it can be some distance fro the cable to the desk. If three of four computer stand together you can utilize a multiport transceiver instead of several separate ones, like the adjacent four-porter. Multiport transceivers differ in having separate transceiver chips for each port or two or more ports having to share one chip.
The transceivers are connected to the cable with vampire-adapters, obliviating the need to rip apart the cable for attaching a new station, as this is the case with Cheapernet. Unlike the name suggests they a quite toothless. The spike, does not pennetrate the cladding to the core by itself, but you need to drill a small hole with a specialized tool in which it is levered to suck data.
On the whole a well tought out concept and operational save, which only was reached again with modern structured cabling. Unfortunately the yellow cable end at 10MBit/s so it will vanish from the last production environments sooner or later.