An early telephone operator

Telephone operator

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can tell when and where she had her picture taken. See it larger.

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    Where?

    By on

    Who knows, but I think I have the when nailed down: February 10th.

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    1896

    I'll guess 100 years before my son was born. Probably close given her dress.

    Or maybe 1796 ... looks like Washington was president.

    Where? What sort of facility would have a switchboard that early? Maybe Mass General Hospital or Boston City Hospital?

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    Not 1796

    By on

    "Or maybe 1796 ... looks like Washington was president."

    I don't think there were any cameras in 1796. Nor telephones.

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    More precisely....

    ... it was February 10th, and the year was one in which February 10th fell on a Monday.

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    T'was filling in

    Poor Winnifred! The dear girl sent her brother to my door, and said that she was taken abed with ague fever.

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    Emma Nutt

    First female telephone operator, hired by the Boston Telephone Dispatch company in 1878.

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    Monday

    2/10/1878 was not a Monday. Although, 2/10/1879 was!

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    As were

    By on

    2/10/1890, 2/10/1896, 2/10/1902

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    Playin' With The Switchboard

    By on

    I learned to run a switchboard when I was just a little boy, but this one's even older than me! I'm guessing it's either 1902 or 1908 (years when Feb 10 was a Monday).

    The job operators did, in making all communications in a business run smoothly, is a lost art. Automated attendants and voice jail were a cheap way to eliminate employees, starting in the 1980's, but effective customer service was eliminated as a result.
    IMAGE(https://i3.sndcdn.com/artworks-000041703763-n45ioo-large.jpg) IMAGE(https://i2.sndcdn.com/artworks-000041506406-anfthi-large.jpg) IMAGE(https://i1.sndcdn.com/artworks-000042414991-0337vc-large.jpg) IMAGE(https://i4.sndcdn.com/artworks-000029971465-gj2l3z-large.jpg)

    Also gone today, are the old analog and electromechanical sounds of the telephone network. It sounded totally different back in the 1970's, and was lots of fun to play with! I spent many hours as a kid playin' with telephones and switchboards. I still love playin' with the phone!
    IMAGE(https://i1.sndcdn.com/artworks-000041785407-maorz0-large.jpg) IMAGE(https://i1.sndcdn.com/artworks-000036722317-xibvhr-large.jpg) IMAGE(https://i1.sndcdn.com/artworks-000031800714-hfmr0s-large.jpg) IMAGE(https://i1.sndcdn.com/artworks-000031695579-x5qf8e-large.jpg)

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    Anyone else

    think it's weird that she's behind a railing like some kind of exhibit?

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    Thinking the same thing

    I almost said, "Why, this was obviously taken just this past Monday, February 10, 2014 in a museum! Nice Instagram filter."

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    No, Not At All ...

    By on

    ... the operator was always situated in a somewhat restricted area. She might also be the receptionist, but the switchboard always came first in her duties. The railing prevented anyone coming too closely and interfering with her job. Even in a more modern office, the operators would be placed "on a pedestal" and/or located behind a glass partition.

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    Hey, that's Sandy!

    By on

    Loyal producer at the Howie Carr Show. She's waiting for the next call from a grumpy old white guy

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    Answer

    By on

    Thanks for playing! This is the switchboard operator at Boston City Hospital on Feb. 10, 1896.

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    Ha!

    Well done, Swirly! Very good guess.

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    Thanks!

    I'm amazed that I nailed it myself!

    My eldest was born that day in 1996 ... so it was just a wild guess.

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    Washington

    By on

    That portrait of Washington was ubiquitous in Boston-owned buildings at one time. I saw it in every school I attended, as well as every building associated with government. I'll take a guess this is the old Boston City Hall, 1902.

    Suldog
    http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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    Geez

    By on

    When I started writing my reply there was no answer. It took me a half-hour to write three sentences? Maybe I should reconsider this writing gig.

    Suldog
    http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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    Judging by all the dropped

    By on

    Judging by all the dropped calls on my cell, I would say, Sprint headquarters, 2014.

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