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Telephones, typewriters, and Insulators


Whitehead Memorial Museum in Del Rio Texas had an amazing array of things from the past. Posting photos of items used in the past seems to be a hobby of some social media types–and here I am joining in.

First up: A telephone operator’s console.telephone20console-l

My aunt was a telephone operator in the small town of 200 people where I grew up. She and her family lived in the upstairs apartment with the telephone equipment in a narrow hallway on the first floor. The other part of the first floor was a barber shop. In those days telephones were fairly new and we were all on party lines and had to listen for our particular set of rings. Some people listened in on everyone”s calls. No-one called after 8 in the evening as people all had to be up early the next morning for work. A call late in the night meant a true emergency–lost children or a medical problem.

Next: Manual typewriterold20oliver20typewriter-m

With the advent of electric typewriters and now keyboards, carpal tunnel problems have become a significant problem. These manual typewriter–similar to one I learned to type on and went to state representing our school required changes in hand positions as the paper was rolled in, the return to the next line was a rest for both hands and used the forearm muscles in a different position. But if you typed too fast, those keys would get tangled up with each other; the ribbon sometimes also got tangled and required some time to return the typewriter to functional status—another rest for the hands and wrists.

And Lastly for today: Insulatorsglass20conductors20from20light20poles-m

These were glass insulators, some in clear glass, some in a darker green color. My grandmother would walk along fence-lines and roadways and pick them up. I don’t know what replaced them but as they were no longer needed, they would be tossed to the ground. Grandma had a large collection of them and somehow I managed to get one of them that lives with my collection of glass paperweights.

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