Emma Nutt Day, three steps down the memory lane.

It was a quiet afternoon, and I was having my power nap which is essential for survival, while the coffee maker was brewing my most important potion for the day, ”coffea Arabacea.”

The mobile rang.

“Hey call Birla Sunlight wati se hai”

After ticking the person off, for not checking if I was free to take his call, or if I understood Hindi spoken like a 500 km/hr train shooting through a tunnel. The intrusion is appalling , just when I thought I was alone and safe these calls come, some times they change our lives, at times they could change others lives too. the ring tones may way, but once the instrument is on, it is the same flat mechanical noise, in any case it gives no clues about what is waiting on the end of the line, one can never be too careful,  the phone I conclude is an instrument that intrudes into order.

With all this cranial activity, I really need a pick me up, nothing like a cup of Kapi, and with the second one,  I realize that my grey cells have actually begun to network, maybe it looks like that spider web trapping information, I  can faintly recollect reading that fellow Alexander Graham Bell, who is responsible for this obscene intrusion into our lives… if you didn’t know he invented the telephone,  he confessed, I shall quote him verbatim… “I had made up my mind to find that for which I was searching even if it required the remainder of my life. After innumerable failures I finally uncovered the principle for which I was searching, and I was astounded at its simplicity. I was still more astounded to discover the principle I had revealed not only beneficial in the construction of a mechanical hearing aid but it served as well as means of sending the sound of the voice over a wire. Another discovery which came out of my investigation was the fact that when a man gives his order to produce a definite result and stands by that order it seems to have the effect of giving him what might be termed a second sight which enables him to see right through ordinary problems. What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.”
Before this there were telegraph offices and telegraph operators. In January 1878 Boston dispatch company started hiring boys as “voice telegraph operators,’  George Willard Croy I am told was the first person to embark on a career of telephone operators, but boys will boys, and rarely up to any good, so they were rude,  impatient, and sometimes cursed or played pranks, that made them unacceptable for live phone contact. But Boston Dispatch was dedicated, it took on women operators, on September 1st 1878 Emma Nutt became the first woman  launched in a career as a telephone operator, she served for thirty odd years. Her sister Stella followed suit. Before long, Bessie Snow Balance, Emma Landon, Carried Boldt, and Minnie Schuman joined the ranks of telephone operators in Michigan.

It was Emma’s soothing cultured voice and patience that brought about this gender shift.

Of course telephone operators, had to be unmarried, between seventeen and twenty-six of age … I am a little confused here about how Emma Nutt stayed twenty-six years old for 30 odd years, any way,  Jewish and African-American women were of course a no- no.

emma nutt
Emma Nutt the first ever woman telephone operator.

Graham Bell had personally recruited Emma, for a salary of $10/month and 54 hour week.  They did not need telephone directory those days, because she could remember every number in the directory of New England Telephone.

Sept.1st is  Emma Nutt day in her memory, and EMMA is a synthesized speech attendant system created by Preferred Voice Inc. And Philips Electronics NV dedicated to honour Emma Nutt.

Ref: online research, Wikipedia.



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