Vignette > New Switchboard

Telephone Exchange in 1910 [click to enlarge]

In July 1911, the telephone exchange was moved from a Throckmorton store to the west half of the newly constructed Bank of Mill Valley (today, the Bank of America on the corner of Throckmorton and Corte Madera.) In November 1911, the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company delivered a new switchboard and other equipment. Installation changed the old magneto or “ring up” system to the new system. To place a call under the old system, hand cranking a wall-mounted telephone was required to ring a bell that would attract the attention of the “Hello Girls.”  The new system only required lifting the receiver to place a call with the operator. The headline article in the Mill Valley Record/Enterprise was “Splendid Service is Given Telephone Subscribers – New System Works like a Charm and Patrons Express Appreciation of Improvement.”  Two years later Sausalito installed a duplication of Mill Valley’s system. In 1949, Pacific Telephone moved the Mill Valley telephone exchange to its new building at 300 East Blithedale, where it installed ultra modern circuitry, the first installation of its kind west of the Mississippi.   Mill Valley: technological front-runner!

Telephone Exchange in 1938 [click to enlarge]