You may have seen this image before, as there is a copy of it in the Dean Building (Hood River County Administration) on 6th and State. That was the site of this earlier telephone exchange, which included this switchboard.
The women are identified, though unfortunately the handwriting is very indistinct. My best guess at the names is:
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
As I remember Georgia Gibbs was still working as an operator when I started working at the telephone company in 1960. Her son Bud Gibbs was an Assistant Football coach at Oregon State.
Norma on 15th October 2014 @ 7:15am
Wade Dean is one of those people who leave you amazed at what he was able to accomplish for the Columbia Gorge area.
He came to this area as a young man (about 1903) laying rails for Western Pacific and stayed. One biographer said: "Wade was fascinated by everything new. He was never to hurried to stop and inspect a new way to do an old job. His curious mind retained every detail."
In 1905 He married Effie Byrkett of Trout Lake. He started a stage line out of White Salmon and then took over Tune Wyers' White Salmon Valley Telephone Company composed of a wire strung through the trees.
He and Effie opened an office at Husum. Effie was operator during the day and Wade during the night.
By 1907 the business had combined with the Home Telephone and Valley Telephone companies of Hood River.
In his spare time, as a representative for a development company, he selected land for Mt Adams Orchard, which became the largest D'Anjoy Pear orchard in the world.
In April of 1937, Wade signed papers and took control of the the Oregon-Washington Telephone Company with headquarters in Hood River.
This took in towns from Cascade Locks to the Yakima Valley to Bend.
President was Minor Corman, Vice president, Wade Dean, E.O. Blanchard treasurer, C.E. Copple and H.B. Crandall directors and Z.O. Brooks secretary.
l.e. on 15th October 2014 @ 7:52am
Thanks l.e. for expanding our awareness. You always come up with such interesting info. But those poor women, sitting in those chairs for 8 hours a day.
nels on 15th October 2014 @ 9:35am
Was 11-12 yrs old when phones were installed in the community where I lived. As a kid, we didn't need phones to talk to our friends--we had bicycles and horses for rapid transportation to visit and play with our buddies. I understand what instant communication has done for the productivity of our economy so far as the direction that the poor and middle class's financial well-being seems to be headed. And now our younger generation has instant commumication with friends without having to see them or interact personally. This has to be progress. Everybody says so.
Buzz on 15th October 2014 @ 10:13am
come on Nels....foot rests, cooling fan, sitting down....sure beats my Mother's stories about packing fruit....
Arlen Sheldrake on 15th October 2014 @ 1:40pm
In the 1940's, I would visit my Grandma in Carlton, OR. Sometimes we would visit her friend. Leslie, who happened to be the telephone operator for Carlton. Leslie had a smaller but similar looking switchboard right there in her living room. If a call came while we were visiting, She would excuse herself, take care of connecting the call, then come back to talk with us. I guess she did that in the evening too.
Bill Seaton on 15th October 2014 @ 4:28pm
When I was little, there were still some of the old crank type phones in use, out in the country, gradually being replaced with dial types. We went to visit a friend one day and on the wall they still had one. I said, "oh I see you have a whoop and hollar phone." Where I got that idea, who knows. Out of the mouths of children.
Charlott on 16th October 2014 @ 7:06am
My family came to Hood River in 1966. My then husband installed switching equipment that was made by North Electric Company in Galion Ohio. It switched the old phones to a dial phone. People had a hard time learning to even dial! Look at us now :^)
Judy on 16th October 2014 @ 8:32pm
Work on the telephone exchange building began in 1912.
Jeffrey Bryant on 8th October 2017 @ 1:32pm