Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vintage Phone System

Coloradolady welcomes you to join her and friends for a great Vintage outing.  It all starts at

In this photo a telephone operator gives a "hear your own voice" demonstration to students and their teacher in 1936.

A toll operator poses at her long-distance switchboard in 1930. This was the type job I had when I started working for the telephone company back in 1949.


RachelD said...

We still had an operator when we got our first big old anvil-sized black table model, and we were just discussing at the breakfast table yesterday that we'd like to have one again, just for old times' sake.

And I always think of Sissy Spacek in RAGGEDY MAN every time I see one of those around-the-neck mouth-and-earpieces.

Hope you're having a wonderful New Year!


Lola said...

Love to see photos like those above - in the days when we had "service" from phone companies! Not outsourced to Asian countries as it is now in some European countries!

Lola said...

PS Just to clarify: directory assistance services outsourced to countries unfamiliar with European names and geography leading to all sorts of misunderstandings!

Mrs. Sarah Coller said...

Good morning, LV! These are neat pictures! Thanks for sharing them and for visiting me this morning. I hope you have a great weekend!

HaPpY vInTaGe ThInGiE tHuRsDaY!
Mrs. Sarah Coller

Antiques And Teacups said...

Great post on vintage phone service. We had an operator when we first moved to a rural area...guess I'm vintage too! Happy VTT!

Unknown said...

Hi LV!
We lived in a town in Mississippi once where the old telephone like the one in your button still hung in the wide hallway of our house. The phone company had installed a new one below it, but they said the old one was still wired up. The house had originally belonged to the town doctor, he had one of the first phones in town and his number was #3!
The telephone operator lived in a house up the street and they said she could just look out of her windows and see who was home or not! Kind of like the famous "Sarah" on the Andy Griffith show.
Thanks for sharing,


When I came to Ecuador to visit my relatives in 1970 and later met my husband on that same aunt had a telephone button like that and it hanged in their family room. Back then this town of Cuenca had 10,000 people and everyone knew their numbers and my aunt and uncle's number was 236! Great post and memories. How cute you worked in the tel. co. dear LV. Thank you for your sweet visit, I love it so! Enjoy the weekend.

Ginny Hartzler said...

You and me both!!! I worked on a huge three position board, and I loved it!! To this day, I think of the feel of the cords and pairing them up to connect. Frankly I miss it! Did you like it?

Jeanne, backyard neighbor said...

Hi LV, I love your vintage pics and I remember the phone operators so well. I be you liked your job LV. We lived on a dairy farm and had the old fashioned wall phones. I still remember our number. 35F3 and my aunt (my mom's sister) lived a quarter of a mile away and her phone number was 35F31. Isn't it funny what a kid remembers?

Thank you for your visit today. I need to get some visiting in tonight.

Stay warm,
Love, Jeanne

Betsy Banks Adams said...

We had a telephone operator in our small town when I grew up... Our mountain town was 'slow' in getting a good telephone system --and also in getting television reception. We didn't have a TV until about 1960... Not sure when they got a good telephone system.

BUT--I do know that my telephone number was 213. I'll never forget that. The operator would say "Number Please".... I even remember my friends' numbers to this day.. Crazy, isn't it? ha


Chubskulit Rose said...

Oh I thought, it's you.. she's pretty!

Chubskulit Rose said...

Oh I thought, it's you.. she's pretty!

Sally Annie Magundy said...

Such fun photos LV! We have forgotten what it was like making calls in years past. I applied for a part time job at an answering service when I was going to college and they had a board like with all those lines, scared me to death. Thank heavens I didn't get the job, I would have been a bundle of anxiety. It must have been ever so much more chaotic at the phone company.

Happy VTT!

Mary said...

Oh, these pictures bring back memories of my grandmother's party line. Every time there was a good rain in the county every one got on the line at the same time to compare totals.

Becky (A Touch Of Femininity) said...

Hi, LV...Thanks for your visit to my blog.

These photos caught my eye. When I was growing up, we were on a party line. We had a couple of gabby neighbors who were on ALL the time, and we used to have to wait quite awhile for them to get off so we could make a call.

This was also the day of the kids making prank calls. Only problem was, it was a party line, and the neighbors used to know and tell our parents if we tried to make any prank calls. We were too afraid of being "reported", so only ever made ONE prank call, ha ha!

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Unknown said...

Those are really nice pictures! I think the antique telephones bring back so much memories as well as pictures like that. My house has a few antique telephones. People always compliment on how neat they look. I got them from here:

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