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Communications in Seattle in our Virtual Museum Partners
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described in this exhibit, see the Science of Phones
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How do you order telephone service? In the old days, this is how it was done. After a credit check (and other business details), a “Service Order” was written and transmitted to connect the service. The Teletype (TTY) network was used to transmit the order to the Plant Service Center (PSC). The order listed the customer’s name and address, the type of service ordered, premises access information (if required), and the “due date.” The PSC received the multi-copy order on their TTY machine. Using the “service address,” the nearest cable facility access (called a terminal) was identified and noted on the order.
All-important information was noted in record books. In the books on display here, you can find assignments for each pair of wires from the CO (central office) to the terminal. Also listed was the associated telephone number (if assigned) and where each wire pair appeared at the central office equipment distribution frame.
Repair Service Desk and line records
At this point the multi-copy order form was “split” for dispatch. One copy was given to the telephone installer. Another copy was kept at the central office. Still another copy was kept at the PSC/Repair desk as an “as-built” record for future troubleshooting. Yet another copy of the installation order was sent to the billing office. This was used to bill the customer once the new telephone service was installed. If the customer had a problem with his service, his call was routed to the Repair Service Reports Desk. The repair attendant would fill out a trouble ticket and “pull” the line card record from the card file and associate it with the trouble ticket.
LTD Local Test Desk
The trouble ticket with the line card attached would be routed to the Local Test Desk (LTD) for testing. The tester would “dial-in” from the test position to attach the test meter circuit to the line in trouble. By noting the meter reading, the tester could determine the approximate location of the trouble. Additional tests made it possible to further isolate the problem so that the repair service could be dispatched. Once the repairs were completed, the tester would close out the ticket. These methods have all changed with the upgraded technology. Today, repair technicians do all testing and repair from the field.
Information and Intercept Desk
This desk is a four-position Information/Intercept desk. In its day, these positions were used with a rotary file above the desk. As information requests came in, the attendant would locate the information in the rotary file. This system required constant changes to remain up-to-date and was very labor-intensive to maintain.
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