Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sepia Saturday #162 for 2013 February 2: First Telephone in Klamath Falls, Oregon

Courtesy of the Klamath County Museums
The prompt for this week's Sepia Saturday  was Western Union Messengers, Danville, Virginia, or young lads with caps on their heads, or -- in my case, the first telephone in my home town of Klamath Falls,Oregon.  The telephone was installed in 1910 and it appeared to be in front of a boarding house on Klamath Avenue.   Klamath Avenue is just one street off of Main Street.  In 1910, Third Street was just far enough away from the river area to start accommodating boarding houses and stores.  As you can see from the picture, the streets were dirt and the most common transportation was by horse and wagon or buggy.  However, a few people owned cars and had to share the streets with cattle drives, horses and horse drawn conveyances.

The obvious pride these fellows take in either installing the telephone, or having their pictures taken on the momentous event, makes this one of my favorite pictures. 

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications



34 comments:

  1. Life probably got a little easier with the convenience of telephones in Klamath Falls. Or maybe it got more complicated? You wonder if the Western Union people saw the writing on the wall. Love the big bold sign on the pole. I've never seen that before in old photos.

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    1. Seems to me that the boldness of the sign goes well with the swaggery stance of all of those fellows. A Klamath Falls sort of thing, me thinks.

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  2. Great history and take off for this weeks Sepia Saturday, I am now your 99th follower!

    Jan

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    1. Jan, thanks for the nice words. I was hoping the picture was not too far off of the theme. Thank you for being a follower of this blog. Hope you enjoy my offerings.

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  3. Pretty big pole and LOTS of those cool glass insulators that have no doubt gone on to their reward in antique shops somewhere. I like this picture too - especially the HUGE letters announcing the telephone.

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    1. Boy, o, boy, I used to have a bunch f those glass insulators -- they were in my living room windows for years --- wonder what I did with them?? Good to be reminded about those old treasures. Thanks.

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  4. Interesting the way those chimneys have been adapted - I wonder what that's about?

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    1. Brett, you do ask interesting questions. I hadn't really noticed the chimneys, but now that I look at them more closely, I think it may have something to do with the draft. It looks as tho the chimneys with the metal extensions are lower on the roof line -- and behind the big facade -- so the smoke may not have been drawn out as well by the prevailing south winds.

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  5. It looks very ordered, tidy and smart. Interesting pic.

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    1. Yes, it does look ordered and tidy --- strange concept for my rollicking, cowboy town........but interest is the picture as well as my old home town.

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  6. Was it a public telephone? (I'm looking at the huge sign on the pole.) Great photo.

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    1. It must have been the first public telephone as the Midway Telephone and Telegraph Co.
      offered 24-hour telephone service in Klamath Falls beginning in 1905. "Two rings for Central, and you can talk with the world any time day or night," manager O.B. Gates was quoted as saying. Given the look and size of the sign, I think this must have been the first public telephone.

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  7. The TELEPHONE sign really stands out!

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    1. I was always rather taken with the size of the letters on the sign -- dinna want the telephone to be missed, eh?

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  8. That must have been so exciting, really. I am enjoying your stories about Klamath Falls.

    Kathy M.

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    1. Glad you are enjoying this bit of Klamath history. When ever I venture back over the mountains to Klamath Falls, I like to stop in at the Klamath County Museum --- they have some really great pictures.

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  9. Wow. Those men really look pleased with themselves. I can see that they took a lot of pride in their work. Nice photo. Interesting twist on the theme.
    Nancy

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this little bit of early Klamath Falls history. I have been hoping to come upon a picture of the actual phone --- now that would be fun.

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  10. Wow, what an historic event for the town. Thank you for sharing.

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  11. I believe the word "telephone" is also shown on the front wall of the building, at the top. But apparently that was not clear enough.
    This picture postcard dates from 1910. We are now well over a 100 years down the road and we still have giant "poles" to facilitate our mobile phones. Some things just don't change...

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    1. Unfortuantely, the cell towers are even taller --- and in our neck of the woods cause a whole lot of angst -- nobody wants those danged things in "my back yard.".

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  12. We didn't have a telephone until the 1970s as there was a shortage of lines. We could have done with a public phone on our street.
    Your's is a truly historic picture; those men can't be that comfortable posing with their legs so far apart.

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    1. The wide legged stance is pretty typical in those old cowboy towns-- even when they dinna ride horseback all that much. My younger cowboy relatives still have a similar stance.

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  13. A great picture for tht theme and I enjoyed reeding about this small bit of Oregon history in 1910.

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  14. I wonder who was the first person they phoned-up?

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    1. Well when they entered the "phone-world" the manager said "two rings for Central and you can talk to the world." Me thinks their world was mighty small.

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  15. I am really enjoying reading everyone's posts this week. I joined Sepia Saturday last week and am so excited.

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  16. P.S. I just became your 100th follower!!

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  17. What a wonderful photo and description! Count me in as a follower too, and welcome to fun at SS!

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    1. Karen, thanks for the warm welcome. I am so impressed with the variety of photos on SS -- I feel a bit overwhelmed. as you can most likely tell, I love the stories with the pictures.

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  18. Great picture! In my imagination, I can see similar scenes playing out in small towns across the US as each got their first phone.

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    1. When did Helena's family get telephone service installed?

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  19. Great photo! I have many female relatives that were telephone operators in the 1910s-1920s.

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  20. While this surely was a momentum moment for a community to connect with each others and the world out there, they had no idea what would come later. I wonder how they would react if they saw our mode of communication now.
    Great pic!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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