Today's TOTALLY 1880s highlight might be a bit of "bull," date-wise, but the first telephone exchange in Saranac Lake went into service sometime between 1885 and 1887. This simple switchboard was housed in F. M. Bull's Drugstore on Main Street and offered a primitive connection between "Paul Smith's, Bloomingdale, Lee's and Trudeau's Camps, Big Clear Pond (Joe Baker's), Ehrick's, Martin's, Miner's (the taxidermist), Alexander's, the Sanitarium, Lake Placid, and perhaps other points," according to the Plattsburgh Sentinel in 1885. Apparently calls were met with a response of, "Hello, Bull!" This phone service was taken over by Joseph Merkel and Frank M. Jackson, who moved it to 91 Main Street. In 1897, they sold out to the Franklin Telegraph and Telephone Co., which had been organized by local merchants to provide better and more extended service.
Learn more about F. M. Bull on our wiki!
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