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County History

A Telephone Man Interviewed

Transcribed by Crist Middaugh

Alleg. County Reporter, August 2, 1883

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A Telephone Man Interviewed

The New York and Pennsylvania Telephone Company’s Operations

“How is the telephone business progressing?” Asked a representative of The Reporter, of Mr. J. H. Francis the general canvasser for the N.Y. & PA., telephone company.

“Never better,” was the reply. “We cannot build lines as fast as the people want them, though out company has built several hundred miles in the past few months.”

“What are you doing for Wellsville?”

“We will soon have you connected with Belmont, Hornellsville, Bath, Corning, Elmira, and number of villages in the vicinity. It is not generally known that you can now talk with parties in Bradford, Olean and intermediate points, form the phones in Wellsville.”

“How are your lines general working?”

“As well as any telephone lines. Those unaccustomed to the use of the phone expect too much of it. When they put their ear to the instrument they seem to expect a noise like a clap of thunder, and if they do not hear at once, pronounce the thing is a humbug. The telephone is a delicate instrument and to hear the words of a person speaking a number of miles away any one at the phone must have patience and give the strictest attention. If the phones of subscribers do now work well the central office should be notified at once, and they will be but in order. The time of trains will be given form the central office, as to answer constant inquiries of the agent at the depot would take up too much of the time of that official.”

“Where are your men working now?”

“On the line from Wellsville via Andover, Whitesville, Rexville and Greenwood to Hornellsville. We will in all probability commence at once a line to Belmont, where there will be several new subscribers to the exchange at this place. Business is now open to Scio, four miles from Belmont.”

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