(Roughly) Daily

On acorns falling not far from their trees…

"The first is a picture of my mom when she was 16. I remember seeing it for the first time as a teenager and being wowed by how geek-chic my mom looked."

For more children reproducing the poses of their parents, see Zefrank‘s “Like Mother, Like Dad.”

As we shiver at the power of parental precedent, we might recall that it was on this date in 1878 that Emma Nutt became the first female telephone operator.  Her employer, Boston Telephone Dispatch, had opened earlier that year with boys as operators.  But the males’ work habits (impatience with callers, pranks, et al.) led the company to try Emma (and a few hours later, her sister Sheila).  Overwhelmingly positive customer response to the girls’ patient, cultured tones led to the total replacement of males in the operator ranks– and to the establishment of a pattern of employment that would persist through the entire operator-assisted era.

Stella, who was hired away from a telegraph office by Alexander Graham Bell himself, fit what became the formal requirements for the job:  she was unmarried, between the ages of seventeen and twenty-six, had prim and proper look, and arms long enough to reach the top of the tall telephone switchboard.  It was a bonus that she could, reportedly, remember every number in the telephone directory of (what became) the New England Telephone Company.

Emma and Shiela, at work before the disappearance of of male operators


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