Monday Memories: Ogden Center, Mich., entered a new era of telephone technology on July 27, 1969. The small community about 8 miles southwest of Blissfield, Mich., had been the last Michigan community with magneto, hand-crank telephones. But on that Sunday, Ogden Center transferred to the most modern telephone system in the state. In this Toledo Blade photo taken by photographer Don Flory July 29, 1969, Mrs. Harlan Griffith, a former operator at the Ogden Mutual Telephone Co. demonstrated how the old system used to work. She and four other operators lost their positions when the phone system was upgraded, but they seemed supportive of the improvement. With the new system, local operators were no longer needed, and the long distance calls were handled by operators in Adrian. Every home in the 300-phone area was equipped with a new beige-colored push-button phone that did not depend on batteries. The old magneto phones had batteries that helped increase voice volumes. When the batteries failed, the phone company would need to come to the customer’s home to replace them.
THE BLADE/DON FLORY
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