Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fearless Females Blog Post: March 12 ~ Mattie at the Switchboard

Very few of my female ancestors worked outside the home, unless you count domestic work, like housekeeping in wealthier families’ homes. And, but for an early widowhood, my grandmother never would have felt it necessary.

But when my grandfather died suddenly and without warning in 1956, Mattie Seavey was a widow at age 50.  Whether it was financial necessity, or simply out of boredom, she went to work at the Portland Press Herald as a telephone operator.

Since she didn’t drive, that meant taking the bus to and from Cottage Road, in South Portland, in town to the newspaper office. Although we lived relatively close by, I don’t have any memory of my father taking her in or picking her up, although he may have done so, if the weather was bad. 

I do have memories of her describing how the operators had to pronounce the word for the number 9: enunciating clearly, almost like “ni-en.” It always made me laugh.

Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist blog is presenting her Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month series in honor of National Women’s History Month.

1 comment:

  1. Mattie looks like she enjoyed the switchboard! I enjoyed reading about her. I decided to follow you, I would like to read more of your stories.