Ringing off at Stewartstown
To remind you how far we have come in communications in the past 55 years–the headline above introduces a full page picture story from the June 19, 1961 Gazette and Daily. Just think, switchboard with live operators to dial phones on party lines to push buttons, then car phones and cell phones the size of a brick. They got gradually smaller until the leap to smart phones, essentially a computer in your pocket. In a few years we will be looking back at them as old fashioned.
The introduction to the article reads: “The next to last hand-operated telephone exchange in York Telephone and Telegraph company’s service area was taken out of operation yesterday when automatic dial telephone service was begun in Stewartstown. The switch cost over $325,000, according to L.E. Grandy, vice-president and manager of the utility. The one remaining hand-operated exchange is located at Fawn Grove and is scheduled for conversion to automatic operations in November, Grandy said.”
The rest of the story is told in the lengthy captions to each photograph, as transcribed above and below.
The interactive telephone exhibit at York County Heritage Trust’s Agricultural and Industrial Museum is one of the most popular with children. They can operate a real telephone switchboard as well as dial each other up.