Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/233

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229
DEVELOPMENT OF TELEPHONE SERVICE

NOTES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TELEPHONE SERVICE. IV.
By FRED DELAND

VII. Some Early Telephone Switchboards

THE switchboards in the New Haven and other pioneer telephone exchanges were far more crude mechanically than the marvelous and sensitive hand telephone. The first switchboard that Mr. Coy installed in New Haven had a capacity of only eight lines, but as every line was a party-line, and as an average of twelve subscribers were on each line, the board served a hundred or more subscribers. This board was designed and built by Mr. Coy, in December, 1877, with the aid of a local carpenter, and formed a part of the partition

PSM V70 D233 Early telephone switchboard.png
Fig 6.

that separated the office from the battery-room. So far as known no photographs of the exchange or of the board were ever taken, and when the partition was removed the switchboard no longer existed. However, in Fig. 6 is an excellent reproduction of a rough sketch made from memory many years ago, of what Mr. Coy asserts was the first switchboard, though others claim that the board had no annunciator attached during the first two months.

Crude as the construction of the board was. without cords or plugs,