Friday, June 27, 2014

Telephone Operators

High Tech week would not be complete without a look at the telephone. Today's picture shows the old telephone operators who would rout our phone calls back in the day. The technology has certainly advanced since this picture was taken in 1937. 

I can remember growing up our phone was a "party line" meaning we shared the line with other families on our rural road.


  1. I just viewed the Player Piano/Violin video. How fascinating. Thanks for furthering our education!

  2. Amazing but the "party line" which seems ancient now given cell phones, e-mail, etc., was not really that long ago. I remember as a little boy my Grandmother who lived in a rural area had a party line. I love those chairs by the way. Sturdy and built to last forever. Great week of pictures.

  3. Still thinking about the chairs but I wonder if those chairs were good for back support or if they would be considered to cause back problems by our ergonomics standards of today? Kids liked those chairs in my younger days because you could spin like a top in those. My Dad had one in his work shop. He used to fix TV's on the side back in the day. Had a tube tester and all. You don't see many TV repair shops these days.

  4. In Russell Ks in the early '50's I worked at a cord board - United Telephone Co. We had three long distance positions and the other 7or 8 were local. One spot had all the rural lines. A paint brush was there to push up all the metal drops that fell down whenever there was lightning.
    We had party lines with small yellow, green, white and blue pins designating y, w and j on a line. The buttons for ringing that lines were the same color. It was primitive but a fun job!

  5. I started my "life if crime" as an operator for Ma Bell, right out of high school, and that picture could have easily been taken in 1960 as 1937.

    During WWII, almost everybody had a party line, as the phone lines were needed for the war effort. Our number ended with a J.

  6. Oh! Yesterday someday mentioned Charge-a-Plates, and I posted a like to a picture of one I still have after, lo!, these many years.


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