TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Using a 608

Using a 608

Mike Sakowitz Twomey (
Fri, 11 Aug 2006 13:55:11 -0400

What memories I have on a 608. I was in high school and happened to
find a newspaper ad for a telephone operator in a large city hospital.
Since I had always been fascinated with switchboards and telephone
equipment this was a job that I had to have. I was only 16 and this
was 1979 so when I was called for the interview I just knew that I was
going to encounter a "PABX" console type board. I was elated to find
a 608 when I went in. 8 position board with 1 call director for
paging. I was the youngest they had ever hired but this was run like
a CO and I learned telephone etiquette at its best. We kept this
board until 1983 and went to a system by the trade name of
"Dimension". The level of service dramatically dropped and I went off
to college and would periodically go back to reminisce with some of
the gals I worked with.

Being a young kid I had more fun when the supervisors were not looking
I would depress a "talk" key and hold it down while I depressed the
others along the board. All of the talk keys would light up and then
I would depress the "release" key and they would all click off making
all of the relays in the board rattle. I learned quickly that if
there were a connection on the board it would quickly disconnect the

We also learned that we could take a front cord and connect it to an
extension jack then depress the "ring front" key and we could almost
press out a tune.

I could go on and on. I miss that service and the days of
switchboards. I was lucky, even then that 608 was considered very
dated but since we had it doing very advanced things (tandem lines,
long distance billing, conference calls) the powers that were decided
that the 608 was the only acceptable board for us until 1983. From
what I could tell they spent a lot keeping the board up and parts were
becoming very scarce. I never will forget the day we converted to
Dimension and all of the 608 positions were removed. Was like they
had taken a part of my heart.

Michael Sakowitz Twomey, Director
Morrow Tourist Center
6475 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, Georgia 30260
Phone/Fax 770-968-1623

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