Call Me Maybe?

The first known telephone in Florida was installed in Jacksonville in 1878, only two years after Alexander Graham Bell successfully completed the first telephonic conversation at his laboratory in Boston.

First telephone in Lake City

Signal Corps telegraph and telephone office: Jacksonville, Florida (1898)

Signal Corps telegraph and telephone office: Jacksonville, Florida (1898)

 

Woman at telephone switchboard: Coleman, Florida (1906)

Woman at telephone switchboard: Coleman, Florida (1906)

The first telephones came to Miami in 1898. The 25 subscribers included Henry M. Flagler, Julia Tuttle, Flagler’s Royal Palm Hotel and the Miami Metropolis.

The first service operated from a switchboard at the rear of a drug store closed every evening when the first operator, Miss Eunice Coons left for the day.

Occasionally the owner, John Dewey, would keep the telephone system open late to play a musical program for all subscribers.

Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company: Miami, Florida (ca. 1925)

Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company: Miami, Florida (ca. 1925)

The telephone quickly became an indispensable part of American work and culture. And of course, the teen social life.

“Kaye Batchelor, elected 1957 May Queen by fellow high school students this morning, grabbed the phone to tell her family.” (1957)

 

Shella Alexander using the telephone at his home in Tallahassee (1959)

Shella Alexander using the telephone at his home in Tallahassee (1959)

 

Pine Crest School students using a pay phone: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (ca. 1966)

Pine Crest School students using a pay phone: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (ca. 1966)

Pay phones expanded the reach of the telephone.

Phone booth users at the beach (1984)

And now the cell phone means we never have to be out of touch.

St. Petersburg Times reporter Lucy Morgan with video camera and phone.

 

Cattle rancher Tom Everett, Sr. speaking on his cell phone in Sumter County, Florida (2006)

Cattle rancher Tom Everett, Sr. speaking on his cell phone in Sumter County, Florida (2006)

What’s next for the telephone?

Tags: ,

One thought on “Call Me Maybe?

  1. I remember when we first surveyed this cemetery and were going to publish a book on it, and I was researching obituaries for the book……I thought his story was interesting !

    Almon Brown Strowger

    Birth: 1839
    Rochester, Ulster County, New York, USA
    Death: May, 1902
    Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, USA

    Inventor. He was an undertaker who believed that telephone operators were sending calls to his competitors unfairly. Before the turn of the 20th century he invented the first Dial System so people could select for themselves. He brought it to the Bell System who was not interested. He then brought it to Automatic Electric Co who adopted it. Telephone switching based on his invention (The Strowger Switch) was in use into the 1970’s.

    Burial:
    Greenwood Cemetery
    Saint Petersburg
    Pinellas County
    Florida, USA

    Maintained by: Find A Grave
    Originally Created by: William R Cunningham
    Record added: Oct 29, 2002
    Find A Grave Memorial# 6892494

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments Policy