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Communications in Seattle in our Virtual Museum Partners
For more about the equipment
described in this exhibit, see the Science of Phones
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In this display case we draw attention to the Vail Awards
Established in 1920, the “Vail Awards” for noteworthy service were presented to employees in recognition of heroic efforts above and beyond the call of duty. The bronze medallion here was awarded to Frank C. Hopkins in 1923. Hopkins rescued an employee who was badly injured when his pole climbers failed. We have some additional Vail awards displayed in the miscellaneous section
For more information on Theodore N. Vail, see our Heroes section
. For more about the Vail Medals, click here
Other items in this display case:
Great emphasis was placed on employee recruitment, including women to staff “Operator Services.” Here we see an example of a recruitment incentive. (For more on women operators, see the sidebar in our 931 14th Street Building Tour. You can see photos of women operators on the THG Operators page.)
The Bellboy pager was introduced at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. It was the first radio-operated paging device and the forerunner of the small pagers in use today.
Here we see the evolution of pagers beginning with the 1962 models.
From the earliest days, the telephone company was safety-minded. Throughout the Bell System, this motto was displayed everywhere: “No job is so important and no service is so urgent that we cannot take time to perform our work safely.”
First-Aid training, safe-driving practices, and safe work procedures were considered essential. They were incorporated into every job description and work practice.
During the 1930s some of the operating companies sponsored baseball teams. Players were hired as players and did telephone work in the off-season.
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