An American Telephone Pioneer in Lowell, MA

Thanks to Vincent Valentine, founder of The Telephone Museum, for the following blog post:

Recently, we set the wayback machine to April 19TH, 1878 and went to Lowell, MA. We found Charles Jasper Glidden and his brother J. Clark Glidden on a roof top with what seemed to be hundreds of wires coming from every direction. This was over at 36 Central St where we also found Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson of the Bell Telephone Company.

They told us that Charles Glidden had just demonstrated proof of concept for a switchboard that could handle 50 telephone lines. The Lowell Telephone Exchange opened and was the first Massachusetts exchange to be connected “long distance” to the Boston Telephone Dispatch Company in Boston, MA. Eventually, the Lowell Telephone Exchange, as well as the Boston Telephone Dispatch Company, transformed into The New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. “Hello Central!”

Rialto as NE Tel(Above: The New England Telephone and Telegraph Co. at the Boston and Maine Railroad Building, 246 Central Street in Lowell).

Charles Jasper Glidden (August 29, 1857 – September 11, 1927) was an American telephone pioneer, financier and supporter of the automobile in the United States. Charles Glidden, with his wife Lucy, were the first (in 1902) to circle the world in an automobile, and repeated the feat in 1908. – from Wikipedia

2 Responses to An American Telephone Pioneer in Lowell, MA

  1. Renee Malloy says:

    Great find. Where was the Boston Telephone Dispatch Company located in Boston? Do they know who the first 50 customers were?

  2. Vincent Valentine says:

    The Boston Telephone Dispatch Company was located in ET Holmes’ building at 342 Washington St, Boston.
    A list of the first 50 subscribers can be found in the book, A Wonderful Fifty Years: By Edwin T. Holmes.