The Telephone in Lowell: There were days, and then there were days
Vincent Valentine, founder of The Telephone Museum, shares another story about the early days of the telephone in Lowell:
Charles Glidden and his brother Clark were struck with amazement at how adolescent boys can wreak havoc simply for the sake of wreaking havoc, no matter what the strict rules were at the Lowell Telephone Exchange in 1878.
It was a stormy day and telephone lines were susceptible to the rainy environment their paths took to the exchange. While the statically distorted calls were a great disruption to communications, they were a source of entertainment for the boy operators who typically broke out into impromptu wrestling matches. Amid the shenanigans that were telephone switchboard operations of the day, Charles remarked to Clark that female telegraph office dispatchers would probably be better suited as telephone switchboard operators than are the boys.
After the rain stopped and the telephone wires dried up, Charles called his friend and business associate, Alexander Graham Bell, to discuss the use of female telephone operators. Shortly after, Emma Nutt and her sister Stella became the first two female telephone operators in the world.
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