First Telephone Switchboard

Village of Concordville: The First Telephone Switchboard in Concord Township

K . Jester house, circa 1870,
Resource # 174 on the Concord Township Historic Resources Inventory

The Village of Concordville grew during the mid-late nineteenth century, with homes and businesses to support the growing agriculture in the township. Located at the intersection of Baltimore Pike and Concord Road, it still serves as an important transportation hub today. This photo shows the C. K. Jester home, dating to the 1870’s, located on the north side of Baltimore Pike, almost directly across from where Concord Road comes out to the Pike. It was the location of the first telephone switchboard in Concord, during the early part of the 1900’s. At that time, a call was placed by picking up the telephone handset and waiting for an Operator, who would say “Number Please”. You would give her the telephone number and she would connect you via a switchboard, an example of which is seen in the photo above.   It was easy at that time to know the Operators in this small local exchange area. The early exchange for Concord was “Valleybrook”, followed by 4 numbers. When dial phones came to Concord in the 1960’s, phone numbers went to 7 digits, with Valleybrook being replaced by the new “Globe 9”, which later became known as “459”.

August 2014