137137 Division Street South

On January 22nd 1953, the Kingsville Reporter wrote: “Today was “D-Day” for Kingsville.” The newspaper was describing the town’s conversion from magneto to a dial telephone system. Preparation for the conversion was a year in the making, 1,500 new dial telephones having to be installed in homes and businesses in the Kingsville area. A directory supplement had been mailed to
all subscribers with dialing instructions, giving the example: “a typical number, Regent 3-9999 is dialed RE 3-9999.” The following day, the business office was transferred to the new exchange building on Main Street West. Sterling Gee, who had this house built in 1953, was a Ford-Monarch used car salesman and his business telephone number at Sanford’s Service Station was RE 3-4252.

Mr. JH Smart is putting a telephone in his office, and Mr. D. Conklin is having one placed between his mill and his house, and other business men will put in phones in a short time.

The Kingsville Reporter, February 2, 1894 p.5

It costs $1.40 to talk with London, Ont., for six minutes over the phone.

The Kingsville Reporter, May 16, 1901 p.5

The Bell Telephone people are connecting up the underground cables at the corners of Main and Division Streets. When completed the cables and wires together with poles at the corners will come down which will make a great difference in the appearance of the street.

The Kingsville Reporter, March 15, 1923 p.5

Kingsville Converted to Dial Telephone System in Seconds

[. . .] The new dial system which took well over a year to engineer and construct, was placed in operation in a matter of seconds.

[. . .] The actual conversion was carried out by a team of about 10 Bell employees working with split-second timing. The main centres of activity were the new exchange building on Main street west and the manual exchange on Division street north.

Everything was ready in advance, thanks to the extensive preparatory work during the past year. The new building had been constructed and equipped, telephone lines had been extended and rearranged to connect with the dial equipment in the new building as well as the switchboard in the manual office. New dial telephones had been installed in all home and businesses.

[. . .] The work of removing the magneto telephones from all homes and businesses also started right after the conversion and will be completed within about two weeks.

The Kingsville Reporter, January 22, 1953 p.1

Most of Local Operators to Go To Leamington

[. . .] Mrs Mildred Donaghy, night operator for nearly 25 years, is retiring on pension. Mrs Donaghy started with the company on May 1, 1928, and recalls when the switchboard was located in the old Main street office, on the property where the Greyhound bus depot is now situated.

The Kingsville Reporter, January 22, 1953 p.1

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