Milton Gets the Telephone

By Muriel Bristol | November 19, 2018

The New England Telephone and Telegraph Company (NET&T) “placed” a telephone switchboard in Milton Mills, NH, in 1896. Milton Mills got its first four telephones in that year.Early-porcelain-sign

  • Milton had no telephones in 1896; Milton Mills had 4 telephones.

During the year 1896, the NET&T Co. erected 696 telephone poles on its Milton-Sanbornville line, “for the extension and reconstruction of the toll line system.”

  • Milton had no telephones in 1897; Milton Mills had 4 telephones.
  • Milton had 10 telephones in 1898; Milton Mills had 6 telephones.

NET&T Co. opened an exchange in Milton, NH, in 1898. Milton got its first telephones in that same year, two years after Milton Mills. One of its first ten telephones was the “public telephone” in Charles D. Jones’ store. He also offered there gents’ furnishings, sporting goods, cigars, tobacco, and drugs.

  • Milton had 17 telephones in 1899; Milton Mills had 10 telephones.
  • Milton had 17 telephones in 1900; Milton Mills had 8 telephones.

Milton had 17 telephones and 346 households in 1900; 4.9% of its households had telephones. Milton Mills had 8 telephones and 93 households; 8.6% of its households had telephones.

  • Milton had 26 telephones in 1901; Milton Mills had 8 telephones.
  • Milton had 26 telephones in 1902; Milton Mills had 11 telephones.
  • Milton had 27 telephones in 1903; Milton Mills had 11 telephones.

New switchboards were “placed” at Milton and Milton Mills, NH, in 1904.

  • Milton had 32 telephones in 1904; Milton Mills had 17 telephones.
  • Milton had 65 telephones in 1905; Milton Mills had 25 telephones.
  • Milton had 75 telephones in 1906; Milton Mills had 35 telephones.
  • Milton had 72 telephones in 1907; Milton Mills had 44 telephones

NET&T Co.”placed” a new switchboard at Milton, NH, in 1907. In that same year, A.A. Fox, funeral director, advertised his “long-distance telephone connection at residence” in Milton Mills; and the Mills Drug Company (E.W. Emerson) advertised its telephone connection also.

  • Milton had 65 telephones in 1908; Milton Mills had 42 telephones.
  • Milton had 68 telephones in 1909; Milton Mills had 40 telephones.
  • Milton had 85 telephones in 1910; Milton Mills had 45 telephones.

Milton had 85 telephones and 282 households in 1910; 30.1% of its households had telephones. Milton Mills had 45 telephones and 97 households; 46.4% of its households had telephones.

Eglantine (Miller) Young, of Milton 3-Ponds, aged thirty-four years, worked as a telephone operator for the NE Telephone Co. in April 1910.

  • Milton had 94 telephones in 1911; Milton Mills had 89 telephones.
  • Milton had 96 telephones in 1912; Milton Mills had 94 telephones.
  • Milton had 98 telephones in 1915; Milton Mills had 95 telephones.
  • Milton had 101 telephones in 1916; Milton Mills had 94 telephones.
  • Milton had 113 telephones in 1917; Milton Mills had 91 telephones.

Alice J. Downing, of Silver Street, in Milton, aged twenty-one years, worked as a telephone operator in 1920. Doris M. Page, also of Silver Street, but a different household, aged twenty-five years, was also a telephone operator for the NE Telephone Co. Gladys H. Ayer, of School Street, in Milton, aged twenty-two years, worked the telephone exchange. She was said to have done so in her “home.”

In the face of all these very important developments, most subscribers still answer a call with, “Hello!” – just as was done thirty years ago [1880]. This answer necessarily calls for the introduction of a question, such as, “Who is this?” or “Is this the Jones company?” and a reply to one of these or other questions before the two connected parties overcome the customary preliminary formalities of a telephone conversation thus losing much time (McMeal, 1910).

References:

McMeal. Harry B. (1910). Telephony. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=Jv7mAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA305

NE Tel. & Tel. (1898). Annual Report. (Multiple Years). Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=TL4pAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA11-PA23

NE Tel. & Tel. (1900). Annual Report. (Multiple Years). Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=CNMpAAAAYAAJ

NE Tel. & Tel. (1902). Annual Report. (Multiple Years). Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=XyYwAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA24

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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