Today’s post will be a video from a local access facility circa 2010 of the NH Telephone Museum. This was produced at the Londonderry, NH Access Center (LACTV.) Apologies for the scratchy audio.
A little known fact: I know the people (including the host) from this facility and I once lived in Londonderry at the time, I was going to go up to Warner with host but was unable due to scheduling. I’ve done some programming for them and I wouldn’t allow such audio quality to happen if I taped it.
With that aside this 18 minute segment features the NH Telephone Museum, featuring an interview of the president of the museum, and demos of exhibits, some changed since the recording and the first time I ever went on March 7th.
Below features one exhibit the morse code system
Sidenote: If you listen to WTIC radio in Connecticut, they use the Morse Code V for the top of the hour alert (if you were one of those people who set clocks to a radio time. I once did before the age of cell phones, digital cable, broadband internet syncing to time servers often) V stood for Victory, such tone was used after World War II, for that station.
If you happen to see the switchboard post from earlier on, this video featured the demo of how a switchboard worked.
In the end of this segment featured their Step By Step switch functioning. Since this airing, and when I visited earlier this month, the switch was malfunctioning. The switch locked up and couldn’t place a call to the other phone featured. Now it can be fixed, as many step by steps were replaced ultimately by Electronic Switching Systems such Nortel’s DMS or AT&T’s ESS or other switches by the 80s (some markets, yes some of them were still using this technology as late as the early 1990s), so likely there are retired techs that are out there in theory who could fix such thing.
Remember that was just one switch. SXS switches were essentially motorized and automated switchboards. To handle a community, there were in some places hundreds of these switches, and it would be very noisy. From what I’ve gathered from viewing other YouTube videos was the SXS switches were electromechanical, and even in the modern world of ESS (and now IP based switching) that the smell of the switches still exists in many central offices.
I’d recommend this place if you are in the area, it’s got something for everyone and you can literally get lost for hours if you’re a telecom pro, someone who worked for the industry, or just the hobbyist. More stills from my visit will follow over time. Thanks to Erin and LACTV for giving me the copy.