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    ddinham's Avatar
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    Telephones

    I was creating some web pages today and ran across this gem and thought a few might be lucky to be old enough to appreciate this. Warning... two hanky alert.

    Dave

    ************************************************** ***
    TELEPHONES
    From the Internet, Author Unknown

    (This would not be foreign to those of early days of the telephone, when operators were at switchboards and gave personal service, information of goings-on, etc.)

    When I was a young boy, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it. Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

    My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver and held it to my ear. "Information, please" I said. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear, "Information."

    "I hurt my finger." I wailed into the phone. "Isn't your mother home?" came the question. "Nobody's home but me," I blubbered. "Are you bleeding?" the voice asked. "No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts." "Can you open the icebox?" she asked. I said I could. "Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice.

    After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park, would eat fruit and nuts. Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, "Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say but I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?" She showed concern, for she said quietly, "Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in." Somehow I felt better.

    Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please." "Information," said the now familiar voice. "How do I spell fix?" All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone, but those childhood conversations never really left me.

    A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had time between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please." Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. "Information." I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?" There was a long pause, then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now." I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?" I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls." I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. "Please do", she said. "Ask for Sally".

    Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, "Information". I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?" she said. "Yes, a very old friend," I answered. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said, "Sally died five weeks ago." Before I could hang up, she said, "Wait a minute, is your name Wayne?" "Yes." "Sally left a message for you. Let me read it to you." The note said, "Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean." I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant. We didn't know what we had meant to each other.
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    grnspot110 (02-04-2015), Levi (02-05-2015), Marlin (02-04-2015)

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    Quote Originally Posted by etcallhome View Post
    A day in the life of a phone man
    I remember that day!
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    My Dad and his younger brother both worked for New England Telephone for a combined 76 years. They both started after WWII and enjoyed it until the culture between management and the I.B.T.W. union workers deteriorated in the '70's. By the time they both retired they couldn't get out fast enough.
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    I remember when we only had to dial 4 numbers to call someone. There was no 911. We dialed 0. It was easier to remember.

    I remember when a Coke was 6¢. It was very cold and in a 6.5 oz. glass bottle. Real glass!

    I remember when my first pedal tractor was a model 70. No, not the year........

    I also remember when gasoline was 25¢ per gallon.
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    I have never worked for a phone co but retail has to be a close second to the kind of stupidly that is shown on the video.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    I used a crank phone last summer, not a rotary phone, a crank the handle and every phone on the line rings. It was used for dam release communications to places down stream, and for camp to camp communication.
    I Dialed 0 for information, and did get to use 4 number dialing. I also remember quite a few party lines, although the operator no longer listened, many of your neighbors did. They were around until 1990 +/-
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    Quote Originally Posted by etcallhome View Post
    Isn't that the truth, I am eligible for early retirement this April but would like to stay for another 6 1/2 years. Hope it stays the same until then.
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    I was the first full time male operator in WV in 1974 using the old cord boards to answer and place collect or credit card calls. in 1974 still had some 8 party lines and when I started working outside (77) we still had 4 and 2 party lines. I think it was 1989 and all party lines was eliminated in WV.
    Yes I have used the old crank phone , my aunts and uncles living near my home still had them back in the 50's . When we moved to WV in 63 we was on a I think a 4 party line , GTE had a timer in the central office and if you was on the phone for 9 mins you would hear a beep in your ear. At 9 min 30 you heard two or three beeps. At 10mins you was disconnected......BYE
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    Gene

    Have fun and be safe !!!
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    We have a Red Honda Pioneer 700-4 (4 seater) w/soft top , doors, and winch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etcallhome View Post
    I was the first full time male operator in WV in 1974 using the old cord boards to answer and place collect or credit card calls. in 1974 still had some 8 party lines and when I started working outside (77) we still had 4 and 2 party lines. I think it was 1989 and all party lines was eliminated in WV.
    Yes I have used the old crank phone , my aunts and uncles living near my home still had them back in the 50's . When we moved to WV in 63 we was on a I think a 4 party line , GTE had a timer in the central office and if you was on the phone for 9 mins you would hear a beep in your ear. At 9 min 30 you heard two or three beeps. At 10mins you was disconnected......BYE

    I was in the USAF stationed up at Loring AFB up in Northern Maine and the base operated on an old Strowger step-by-step switch up until the day it was closed in the mid-1990s. As the base was closing it turned out that it was only one of 2 Strowger central office switches still in operation and our's still had the old corded switchboard. We ended up pulling the switchboard and a large portion of the switch out and it all got sent to a telephone museum somewhere in upstate NY.
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