Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Legend of the Switchboard..........

Gather around my rocking chair kiddies and let me tell you a story of the olden days and the fancy machine your granny used to work called the switchboard(insert old lady shaky voice here). LOL So the other day I was out running errands and doing some shopping when I stopped at a store. When I went to pay the young girl behind the counter was telling me she needed a rest room break and wasn't able to leave all day because there was no one to relieve her. Well, I told her how that was the case when I had my very first job right out of high school working a switchboard. She looked very puzzled as if I was speaking another language so I said to her "you have no idea what a switchboard is, do you?" and she laughed and said she never heard of them before. So I told her exactly what a switchboard was. Does anyone else remember switchboards or is it just old ladies like me? LOL Here's the definition of a switchboard for all you young folk out there. A switchboard( also called a manual exchange) was a device used to connect a group of telephones together manually to one another(like the one in the photo above). The switchboard user was known as an operator. Switchboards(or PBXs) gradually disappeared during the last half of the 20th century. It was a good first job but a little tedious. So there's a whole new generation that doesn't even know about this. So it's back to my rocking chair dreaming of the olden days..........hey, I remember milkmen delivering milk to the house also...............I must be ancient............

16 comments:

Celestina Marie said...

HI Joan,
I have heard of the switchboard. How really cool that your worked one. Growing up we had a milk shoot where the milkman left milk and dairy products. We also had an egg man. I was about kindergarten age, but I do remember that. When all that changed, my Dad bricked up the milk shoot to close it off after the neighbor had been robbed through theirs. Milk shoots were right next to the side door so a robber could reach in and open the door. Not good planning on the builder. LOL

Enjoyed your post, have a great week.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Becky said...

Oh yes....I remember switchboards. Did I just date myself? Tee hee hee. As a little girl I wanted to be a telephone operator and momma told me they didn't hire left handed people....that just burst my bubble.

Donna said...

Oh yes, and I remember party lines too! LOL. And how many young'uns these days have ever heard of keypunch machines? In college, I had to punch out computer code (which I wrote first) on paper cards using a keypunch machine. Then the cards had to be assembled (by hand, of course) in the right order and then fed into a bin for the LARGE computer (not one that sits on your desktop). And then the program would not work because, invariably, I would have one punched card out of hundreds out of order. God help you if you accidentally dropped your stack of cards too, LOL! (Been there, done that.)

Yeah, I'm ancient too!

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

Too funny. I remember when you could dial 0 and talk to a real live operator.

Donna said...

I've done both...keypunch And switchboard...S/B was a job I had as a kid at the Holiday Inn...Hahaa...what fun That was...hughugs

Brenda said...

I remember the switchboard.

And the party lines (has only been 20 years here since that was going strong in these parts)

And prefixes on phone numbers that began with letters (grandma's was RO8 and I even remember the phone number!)

And GASP! My first computer class was before Windows!

TCKK said...

Well, I guess I'm an old lady too. I ran the PBX Switchboard at Kings Island when I was 17 & 18.

Sally said...

Raising hand here also. :)

S/B
Telex
Key Punch
Burroughs bookkeeping machine
Crank phones on the wall with the party lines; first one I saw was in l948, and I'd listen in to all the other people. hahaha Okay, now you know I'm REALLY old!! :)

Sit A Spell said...

When I was a kid and we finally got a phone...we were on a party line! Is that a roar or what...now every member of my family, under one roof EACH has a phone # (cell)...well, except for my 6 yr old and Golden. How times have changed.

I noticed your duck picture...I just posted one similar...no issues here...they like the neighbors pool! Also, scroll on down my blog to see Point of Grace...we are college friends.

Jules from "The Roost" said...

I could so make anyone feel ancient!

Leedra said...

This one looks little. I worked the 'old cord board' as we called it. Which was a larger version of what you have a picture of. I worked for Ma Bell, still do, except Ma died in 1983 thanks to the Judge.

I also helped my Papa delivery milk out of the back of their car (6 days a week) until I was grown.

I guess I am showing my age too.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun

Leedra’s Greeting Cards

Photography By Leedra

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