Hopedale History
    December 1, 2015
    No. 289
    GReenleaf - 3   

    Hopedale in November   

    During the past two weeks, additions to existing pages on hope1842 have been made to: Memories of
    Marge Hattersley (Article added - the children's room at the Bancroft Library named in Marge's honor.)     
    Deaths     

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    Twenty-five years ago - December 1990 - Channel Tunnel workers from the United Kingdom and France
    meet 40 metres beneath the English Channel seabed, establishing the first land connection between Great
    Britain and the mainland of Europe for around 8,000 years.

    Lech Wałęsa wins the second round of Poland's first presidential election.

    Jean-Bertrand Aristide is elected president of Haiti, ending three decades of military rule.

    Tim Berners-Lee completes the test for the first webpage at CERN.

    Fifty years ago - December 1965 - The "Glasnost Meeting" in Moscow becomes the first spontaneous
    political demonstration, and the first demonstration for civil rights in the Soviet Union.

    A Charlie Brown Christmas, the first Peanuts television special, debuts on CBS, quickly becoming an
    annual tradition.

    Doctor Zhivago, starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, is released.

    Ferdinand Marcos becomes President of the Philippines.

    The items above are from Wikipedia.  Hopedale news from 25, 50 and 100 years ago from the Milford
    Daily News and the Milford Gazette is further down on this page.

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                                                                             GReenleaf-3

    Thousands of men, women and children in Milford, Hopedale, and Mendon, and sections of Bellingham,
    Holliston and Upton were in the throes of a new two-million dollar telephone system yesterday, testing the
    latest in ultra-modern communications with weary forefingers.

    Confusion, as expected, followed the conversion early Sunday morning from manual operation to that of
    automation, which has idled upwards of 90 telephone operators. But a special lineup of operators was on
    duty to intercept the calls of tired, weary and perplexed customers, and an orderly transgression to
    contented calmness was expected in a day or two.

    Milford was dark, damp and dreary at 1:45 a.m. Sunday when the nerve-tingling cut-over to dial took place.
    The switchover had many telephone workmen moving in unison when the final signal came.

    The old telephone office on Main Street went into oblivion in a cloud of dust as 11 pairs of hands pulled the
    heating coils. Elmer M. Hollis, retired veteran employee, intoned the final words. As the coils were pulled
    loose, dust from years of accumulation blanketed the entire rear section of the 80-foot equipment bay. A
    drop-cloth of gauze has been erected to protect workmen.

    Simultaneously, at the new dial building on Water Street, "shims" were pulled -- and two and a half years of
    work ended in dramatic success. Subsequent checks of all lines for dial tone by trained trouble-shooters
    showed the system to be in vibrantly healthy condition.

    Almost immediately, the internal racket in a snap, crackle and pop symphony punctuated the morning calm
    in the $315,000 brick dial building as scores of residents began to place calls to test the new equipment. It
    was estimated that several hundred households maintained a morning alert to be among the first to talk
    over the history-making system.

    Officials explained that the cut-over alert was sounded at 1:30 a.m. and the cut-over was made at the next
    opportune moment. All lines had to be cleared and all emergency calls completed before the old was
    replaced with the new. The conversion caught three or four lines still in use, and a terse announcement of
    the cut was made to these customers before they lost contact with the old system.

    Milford's permanent association with the new given name of GReenleaf is an actuality and a total of 9188
    telephones are now part of a marvel of scientific achievement. Milford has come a long way from April 7,
    1880, when the first telephone was installed in this town, about four years after Alexander Graham Bell's
    invention.

    Nearly 27,000 calls went through the dial equipment in Milford up to 11 a.m. yesterday, indicating the
    tremendous interest in trying out the new service.

    Loyalty of employees of the telephone company was starkly evident, as 30 off-duty and some unemployed
    girls gathered at the old office to watch the event.  An official said it was the first time he had ever seen such
    a turnout at a conversion. Earlier in the day, these girls had placed a wreath on the front door adorned with a
    ribbon. "Rest in Peace." The old manual office building on Main Street went into darkness for the first time
    since 1900 as the lines were severed.

    After a few minutes, three operators clutching headsets walked across deserted Main Street to the new
    building to take their positions at the new toll board. They were Mrs. Jane Marshall,  Mrs. Alice Gillon and
    Miss Elizabeth Van Alstine.

    The rundown of events leading up to  the dial conversion went this way:

    At 1:30 a.m. all permanent signals (receivers off the hook) were reported to Walter Parker, cutover
    supervisor, who dispatched repairmen to the homes where the receivers were off.

    At 1:40 a.m., on all new calls, persons placing them were informed that the office was about to be cut over
    and they were requested to place their call after 2 a.m. using the new dial number.

    At 1:42 a.m., on all calls that still existed that were started before 1:40 a.m., the operator cut in on the call
    and announced that the office was about to be cut to dial and asked the parties to place their call after 2 a.m.

    Since there were no emergency calls, and the old board was clerk of calls at 1:45 a.m., Richard Kingsbury,
    traffic manager, notified Parker at the new office who in turn called Elmer Hollis, retired wire chief at the
    equipment room in the old office. Hollis then told the central office repairman to pull the heat coils.

    Simultaneously, Parker told Howard Johnson, chief switchman in the new office of the condition and he
    notified his men to pull the blocking shims from the switches. With the shims removed, 48 watts of power
    then surged throughout the equipment in the new office and dial service was in operation. The entire Milford
    area with its vicinity towns are now on a dial system with the exception of Franklin. When the newness
    wears off here, subscribers will notice improved local and toll transmission, faster and more  trouble free
    service, as evidenced in other towns.

    One and two-party line customers are able to dial many parts of the country without the aid of an operator by
    using dial codes. There is no waiting for an operator to take a call. If a line is not busy, connection takes but
    a second or two after all local or long distance calls are dialed.

    The cutover of the "GReenleaf 3" office ended a series of events in Milford. Last Thursday the first call had
    been placed by Anthony Allegrezza, chairman of the board of selectmen to Elmer Hollis, retired telephone
    company wire chief. On Friday the first direct call to Atlanta, Georgia was placed by Thomas West, president
    of Draper Corporation. Mr. West dialed the code 404 plus the two letters and five digits of his Atlanta sales
    office telephone number and within fifteen seconds was talking to Walter M. Mitchell, director and vice
    president in charge of the Atlanta sales office of the Draper Corporation. Robert Bennett and Howard
    Johnson, central office switchmen, had actually opened up both lines so these were actual calls although it
    was a few days before the switchover. Nick Tosches, Milford Daily News, November 3, 1958.

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