As the news media recently announced the release of the newest Smart Phone and discussed the various features it contained, even the ability to use a fingerprint for security access, I found myself remembering what seems like only a short time ago when things were much different in the industry.
I can recall the first telephone my family used in the 1940’s. It hung on the wall and we were on a party line with several other families, which made it difficult to have a private conversation that wasn’t overheard by everyone else. To begin a call you had to turn the crank on the side of the phone which would ring through to the operator and could be heard by anyone on your party line so they could pick up their receiver and listen to the conversation. As we lived in a rural area, there was no Central Office…the operator had a switchboard for the party line at her home. The number was alpha numeric and was spoken something like this: JUniper 2-3404. No area code was needed as it required an operator to handle all long distance calls…there was no such thing as direct dialing!
In the 1950’s & 1960’s, telephone styles and features continued to change. We progressed from rotary dial to push buttons (touch tone) and my family thought we had finally arrived when we got a Princess style telephone for our bedroom.
In the 1970’s, I remember the onset of mobile phones and how large they were to carry and use. The battery packs alone were larger than a single phone today. Who would have ever thought we would eventually be able to carry one in a small shirt pocket, or even wear it like a wristwatch and that the battery life would extend far beyond one day?
In mid 1980’s, I worked at a LEC during the time they were contacting customers to purchase their landline phones. This was an entirely new concept to many…we had always relied on the telephone company to provide and maintain our telephone instruments and all we had to do was contact them whenever a problem arose to have them replaced. Now, the customer was responsible for the purchase and maintenance of their phone, unless they paid a monthly fee for that service to their local telephone company.
The 1990’s and 2000’s flew by with even more changes and the dependence on the internet began. Now we were able to have phone conversations via the worldwide web.
I am now able talk to my youngest granddaughter (8 years old) frequently when she calls me from her iPad. We discuss her day and I watch as she plays with her favorite doll. Every grandma’s dream.
As a Senior Adult who has been working at Technologies Management, Inc. for the past 16 years, I have had the privilege to see the industry changes first hand. It’s exciting to see what advances have been made and what are still ahead.
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