The Telecom Digest for May 21, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 138 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Re: Do you know where there are Teletype machines for sale? (Tim Wolseth)
Re: On This Day In 1960 (Jeff or Lisa)
Re: JitterBug? (Wesrock)
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Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 22:16:40 -0500
From: Tim Wolseth <email@example.com/>
Subject: Re: Do you know where there are Teletype machines for sale?
Yes I have 6 or 8 of them. I am located in MN and want to sell them. Please Email
Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 21:03:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jeff or Lisa <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: On This Day In 1960
On May 18, 10:57 pm, Anonymous <anonym...@not-valid.telecom-
> The following note was in the Owensboro (KY) Messenger-Inquirer:
> May 20, the Owensboro office of the Southern Bell Telephone Co. will
> have a new type of monthly billing for long distance calls. In
> addition to the present information on each bill, it will give the
> phone number called. The new statements are the result of machine
> billing. The operator will mark the necessary information on an IBM
> card when a call is completed. These cards are sent to the
> accounting office where they are sorted, rates are figured and the
> toll statement is printed -- all automatically.
Such IBM cards were still an integral part of an operator's supplies
in TSP/TSPS units despite the automation. Apparently there were
enough special situation calls that AMA couldn't handle and the
operator would manually write up a charge ticket. There was a slot in
the board face to hold the ticket during the call. When we had a tour
of a TSP office in 1971 they said manual ticketing was a critical part
of the job.
IBM cards used were called "mark sense" cards. They were read by a
particular tabulating machine known as the "reproducer" which punched
holes in correspondance to the marks, under control of the machine's
plug board. (This was 1948 technology, but stayed in wide use into
the 1970s). Other machines, either tabulator or computer, then read
and processed the cards. The marks were read by touching the card
with brushes--the graphite in the pencil conducted electricity. IBM
directed that special pencils be used with extra graphite so that a
good mark would be made (there's a manual on bitsavers explaining all
this). Bell operators had mechanical pencils.
On one of the websites out there they described a semi-automated
computerized cord long distance switchboard. Apparently the
operator had a small sized CRT terminal at her position and entered
data via keyboard instead of marking a card. I think the computer
dialed the number and timed the call, too. (If anyone knows more
would you share it with us?)
Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 20:57:20 EDT
Subject: Re: JitterBug?
In a message dated 5/18/2010 6:02:58 PM Central Daylight Time,
> It appears to be a service catering to senior citizens with a good,
> no nonsense phone that's easy to use.
> Flipping through its manual, I found this factoid on page 30:
> April 3, 2009 is the 36th anniversary of the first public phone call
> made on a portable cell phone. That call was placed by Martin Cooper
> who created JitterbugŪ with his wife, Arlene Harris, the founder of
I have been tempted but have never taken action. I use my telephone
as a telephone and the little size and little keypad I think is a
Yes, I'm a senior citizen. I often have to use my fingernail on the
buttons because otherwise [I] push two or three buttons at once.
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