Erma Foutz Adjusts to 1966 Switchboard Upgrade


Foutz Erma at Miller Studio 1970s

Grandma Erma Foutz at work as a secretary at Miller Studio in New Philadelphia, Ohio, circa the 1970s.

DDD Switchboard Training for 100 Tuscarawas County Operators

Grandma Erma Foutz must have worked as many different jobs as a secretary as homes she lived in growing up in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Previous posts have documented the many times her parents, Charles and Viola Johnson, moved from 1920 t0 1940. The tally in those decades alone was six addresses.

But newspaper and other records document even more movement for my grandmother, albeit over the course of several decades, as secretary par excellence.

  • Her membership in the Alpha Pi Sigma sorority probably indicated a professional organization for secretaries and that career training, rather than college affiliation, since Grandma didn’t attend school following high school graduation. Several articles noting her affiliation and meetings with the group during her married life also point to the group’s career affiliation.
  • The announcement for Don and Erma Foutz’s 1942 wedding noted her employment in the offices of Greer Steel, probably as a secretary.
  • Articles in the Dover Daily Reporter from the 1950s and 1960s report her affiliation as secretary for the March of Dimes and Tuscarawas County chapter of the national Polio Fund, respectively.

By 1966, she is employed at housewares and hardware manufacturer Miller Studio, in New Philadelphia. The captioned photo below, from the Nov. 18, 1966 edition of the Daily Reporter, announces the training of Erma Foutz, along with nearly 100 other local secretaries and operators, in new Direct Distance Dialing switchboard technology.

Quite a big deal, 48 years ago.

Foutz Erma Data on DDD Daily Reporter 18 Nov 1966

Erma Foutz and nearly 100 other switch board operators in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, were trained on the new Direct Distance Dialing switchboard technology in November 1966.

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Categories: Foutz, Johnson, Milestones | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Erma Foutz Adjusts to 1966 Switchboard Upgrade

  1. Earl Ley

    Funny. My step-mom was a telephone operator in Albuquerque during the same periods.

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