Sunday, May 14, 2017

Day 90: Connecting in the Early Days, Life Before Cell Phones! (Mother's Day)

It was a big deal in 1917 when Baldpate Inn opened with hot running water and a phone line!  From early ads we can see our phone number was 2-W.

Folks in my generation can remember, although I know millennials won’t have a clue, but before cell phones, we all relied on Ma Bell’s phone company to chat! Oh, we were charged for long distance calls, so you always got to the point quickly.  And sometimes, like when we bought the Inn in 1986, you actually had to share a phone line since there weren’t enough to go around.  Can you imagine, we were on a “party line” our first couple of years!

Our Baldpate staff thought it was a great improvement when a few years later, we were able to get a private line and then finally a dedicated Staff Line! When we finally got that second line there was Staff Phone in the staff private dining room as well as one in the Wild (West) Staff Wing.  Now it’s hard enough to imagine having to wait for your turn to make your call but think about keeping track of your long distance charges so you could pay them back. We had some rather pricey bills to collect when there were out of state boyfriends. So next time you complain about “no service,” recall you are not the first to struggle with connecting. We are grateful that with the sometimes spotty service in the mountains of Colorado, we do have cell service at The Baldpate Inn!

Another days gone by item was the pay phone booth which was in the lobby at Baldpate and only 10 cents even in 1986. (The phone company quickly upped that rate once they realized how cheap it was!) Would have to admit there wasn’t much privacy to calls made on that phone. No longer a sensible use of space, it was removed during our lobby renovation in 2011.

And certainly before texting the quick (albeit expensive) method of communicating home was good ole Western Union.  Love this 1938 Mothers Day telegram! 

Written by Lois Smith 

No comments:

Post a Comment