Presented at The Next HOPE (2010)
July 17, 2010, 8 p.m.
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.