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.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

    Comments

    Where?

    By on

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

    up
    22

    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?

    up
    10

    Not 1796

    By on

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

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

    up
    14

    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.

    up
    18

    Emma Nutt

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

    up
    14

    As were

    By on

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

    up
    15

    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)

    up
    14

    Anyone else

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

    up
    15

    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.

    up
    14

    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

    up
    14

    Answer

    By on

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

    up
    17

    Thanks!

    I'm amazed that I nailed it myself!

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

    up
    11

    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

    up
    15

    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

    up
    13

    Judging by all the dropped

    By on

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

    up
    18