Classic Maine: NBC’s ‘Real People’ Features Bryant Pond Phone Co
We all take for granted how amazing it really is that we have these handheld computer screens where we can literally look up anything in the world. Yes our magic devices are wicked awesome. But, if you're like me, you're probably guilty of sending text messages and emails more than actually calling someone.
Remember when you got home after school picked up the receiver and cranked out the numbers on the dial to call a buddy? And before that, I hear people had to dial the operator and have them do the connecting.
Well up until the early 80s, the Bryant Pond Phone Company was the last remaining place linking up folks with a switchboard. A popular show on NBC on wednesday nights at that time was Real People. The show was a huge hit and instead of spotlighting celebrities, it introduced to us every day Americans with unusual jobs and hobbies.
Before Bryant Pond finally changed to dial tones, the show headed up here to Maine. A favorite host from Real People, Skip Stephenson visited the Hathaway family and did a great piece on the last magneto phone system in the country.
Check out this video posted on Facebook by Faith Rogers Richard. We had always heard about the Bryant Pond keeping the old fashioned phone service alive the longest. However, we had no idea the company was operating out of a family's living room! This is Classic Maine!