I retired from Comporium in 2004. I began my employment with Rock Hill Telephone Company in 1960. After three months of working on the outside construction crew, I was moved to the Central Office, the dial switching center of the company. It was located where the Museum is today. In those days, the dial switching equipment was electromechanical as opposed to the digital systems of today. There were thousands of individual switches in the office and during busy call periods they kept up a constant “clickety-clack” as the switches connected one dial telephone to another.
After a few weeks working in the dial office, you became accustomed to the constant drone of the switches and, eventually, could even pick out a switch that was not operating properly.
Significant news events always led to increased telephone usage and thus more noise in the dial office. I was always amazed at the surge in the office when the first snowflake of the year fell. It seemed as though everyone in town would pick up their phone to call a relative or friend to let them know it was snowing.
The most memorable moment in my working time in the dial office, however, came on November 22, 1963. I had been making repairs to the main operator switchboard in another building when one of the operators told me that news was coming out of Dallas, Texas about shots being fired at President John F. Kennedy. I ran back across the street and into the dial office just in time to hear what sounded like every switch in the office operating at once. That sound is forever etched in my memory.
1960 – 1974; 1979 – 2004 Retired with 39years of servicet