Purchase a reproduction of this item on VintageMaineImages.com.
This Maine Medical Center switchboard in 1959 had 12 outside lines and 17 incoming, with 178 stations throughout the hospital.
Between 3.000 and 4,000 calls were handled during an eight-hour period by a staff of seven, keeping the lines open 24 hours a day. Note the Portland Physicians' Directory perched near the hospital intercom.
It was possible for anyone to call the hospital and check on a patient's condition with the operator. In addition to the continuous physician contact, operators were able to check the various floors to keep up on the patient census and relay messages from anxious callers.
Please post your comment below to share with others. If you'd like to privately share a comment or correction with MMN staff, please use this form.