Someone from MARCH should cover this session as the speaker could be a
great resource for local history (like the woman that programmed the
first transistor computer). This session starts at 8pm Saturday in the
I will be at HOPE but cannot stay that late on Saturday.
The Telephone Pioneers of America
The Telephone Pioneers of America is an organization of mostly retired
employees of the Bell System and affiliated companies. They remain
active in the community as an organization that promotes their history
and industry. You can find them in many communities across the nation,
often in the very cities and neighborhoods they spent their careers
working in. The pioneers have amassed lifetimes of wisdom working on the
telephone system and intimately understand the technology and politics
of it. The telephone company will never be what it was when they were
employed there and they know that the next generation of pioneers may
not ever actually work for "the company" as they did. Using photographs,
recordings, and artifacts, this unique treasure will become accessible
to members of the audience, especially younger individuals who may not
ever have used what is now vintage telephone equipment - like rotary
dial phones. There will be a selection of functional and historically
significant equipment for attendees to learn about and enjoy thoroughly.
This talk is intended to help bridge the gap between hacker and pioneer.
Kyle Drosdick is an independent publisher, consultant, and photographer.
He volunteers with organizations he is interested in, like The Telephone
Pioneers of America, The Photographic Center, Lance Armstrong
Foundation, HackerBot Labs, and, more recently, Sensible Washington. The
Telephone Pioneers are an example of how that work impacts and supports
his thriving adult learning process.