Today, our ability to communicate is literally right at our fingertips! We can call, text, e-mail, and even video chat with people from almost anywhere in the world. And we can do this while we're on the move. Mobile devices have become a staple of our daily lives.
Now imagine this...you want to talk to a friend, so you pick up your corded phone, speak to an operator, who then connects you to the person you want to speak with. That is, if they are home!
PHOTO ABOVE: The switchboard on display at the MOR Showcase is a fascinating look at how far telecommunication technology has come, especially when comparing your hand-held smartphone to the refrigerator-sized equipment.
This MOR Showcase display reminds us of the importance of connecting with each other and building a community. Even now as our normal day-to-day routine has been disrupted with COVID-19, imagine a lockdown without the technology we now have? Without the ability to conduct business and more importantly continue to connect with friends and family through video chats, phone calls, or even a quick text?
The quote by Amos Isaac is printed directly above the switchboard, reminding us that a vibrant community is one that connects and communicates with each other...engaging in conversations about our community and the values we hold.
While we no longer need an operator to connect our calls, they played a vital part in building connections. Every day for over 100 years, switchboard operators not only connected people's calls, they also connected with people, handling an extensive variety of emergent and sometimes unexpected situations.
This video from the AT&T Archives shows the life of a switchboard operator in the late 60's. While the video is 17 minutes long, it's an entertaining, funny and even endearing look at a life now changed by technology. Think about this as the operator explains the cost of the call, "$12 for the first 3 minutes and $4 for each additional minute..." for a long distance call! (Clicking on the video will take you to YouTube)
EXACTLY WHAT IS THE MOR SHOWCASE?
The MOR Showcase is a temporary construction of a museum gallery inside the old Redlands Daily Facts building on Brookside Avenue. This is the same building that will be completely reconstructed into the permanent Museum of Redlands.
Built in the fall of 2018, the Showcase is approximately 2,000 square feet, which includes galleries and displays to provide a glimpse into what the permanent museum could be like. It uses items from MOR's current collection. The Showcase will be removed once construction of the new building begins.