How Do You Send a Text On This Thing?

A Telephone Museum.  One Block from My Office.  In Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Telephone Museum of New Mexico.

Miss Doodle and I Take a 30 Minute-Lunch Break Tour.

Step Out of the Blinding Sun and Into History.

I had forgotten my own connection to the Telephone Company.

I was a New York Telephone Operator at 16…Part Time After School…Do you remember Telephone Operators?

For emergencies you’d dial “0” and sometimes you would get Me(!)  A 16-Year Old Kid…Yikes.

Here’s an Old Switchboard.  All the exhibits had these funny mannequins.  Hilarious.

Miss Doodle 2 (who can’t wait to get an IPhone) tries out a rotary dial and hand set.

All the Funky 1980s Styles.


For Summer Breaks during College, I worked a Department Store Switchboard at Abraham & Straus in New York.

I Hated the Job, but Loved the 20% Store Discount.  I was the best-dressed college student ever.

 Going Back in Telephone Time.

All the Way Back.

To the Beginning.


A Telephone Lineman at Work.


1950s Women in the Office and Telephone Etiquette.

How Do I Transfer a Call?

Some Tools of the Trade.  Low Tech.

It’s Going to Be a Long Day.

Farther and Farther Back in Time.

Telephones on the Western Plains.

The Telephone in War.

Do You Know All the Pertinent Information to Give in a 911 Emergency Call?

Role Playing.

I thought She Knew This.  She didn’t.

On to the 1970s.


And a Glimpse of Me…if My Career had been as a Telephone Operator.  🙂

WOw…a very cool 30-Minute Tour on a rather ordinary work day.

Thankful to have found a bit of Magic.

12 thoughts on “How Do You Send a Text On This Thing?

  1. Wow! I love magic that is older than me! What memories. I too graduated high school at 16 and one of my first jobs (right after filing cards for an insurance company in lower Manhattan for $32.50 a week) was as a switchboard (PBX) operator for Stern’s department store in Manhattan! I thought I had died and gone to heaven, I felt so grown up! Thanks for all your discoveries!

    1. It wasn’t until I walked into the museum that I remembered my first “career” as an operator…for me it was a bored-silly job that reinforced my quest to secure a college degree… 🙂

  2. I’ve never seen a Barbie telephone before. How interesting! But I LOVED Goofy! And the military phone was interesting, too. Now I know why they had to wind it up. It had a battery. Great post, Jeanne!

    1. Back in the day I had a Kermit the Frog phone…his crossed legs were the spot to hang up the handset. My poor father could never figure out how to hang up that phone. Funny, but I still say “hang up the phone” when it should probably be “push the end button”…or something like that. We certainly have come a long way…hope I’m not showing my age. 🙂

  3. That looks so cool! And I think it’s really important for children to see how technology has evolved. I love old phones – I insisted that we keep a landline when we moved into our new house and opted for a 1950s replica. Cherry red. It’s like a Batphone!!

  4. Hey Jeanne…I was a directory assistant operator 1973-74 in the building for Ma Bell back then. Craziest job I ever had.

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