This Day in History: “1904– With a crank and a jingle, 48 subscribers entered the telephone age as Sarasota got its first telephone exchange. Miss Woodruff was the town’s first operator. The owners had expected only 25 customers or so.” — from Yesterday’s Sarasota 1993 Calendar by J Whitcomb Rylee in conjunction with HSoSC. (The photo’s from a book for sale on eBay; if you’re quick you can get it!)
My grandfather was a telephone repairman in the early 20s in Sarasota where he met my grandmother also working for the telephone company as the chief operator around 1926 in Sarasota. He went on to work for the phone company until he died in 1950
My grandmother was a telephone operator in Marine City, Michigan around 1910. She was about 17 years old. She was given the job, after a horrible storm on the Great Lakes, to call the new widows (those whose husbands had been lost at sea, to tell them that they were widow. Great job for a young girl. Can you even imagine how awful that must have been for her?
That’s a novel, waiting to be written, Sue!