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  • mistermuse 12:00 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexander Graham Bell, , , , Don Ameche, Get Smart, , Grace Kelly, , , , Lily Tomlin, Rosalind Russell, , telephone switchboards,   


    “I’m very thankful that my first name was not Imma.”EMMA NUTT

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Who was Imma — I mean Emma — Nutt….and why do we celebrate her day today? Imma glad you ask-a that question. For the answer in a Nuttshell, click here:

    Emma Nutt, The World’s 1st Woman Telephone Operator

    Hello, Central? (I’d explain what Central was, but it’s less than central to our conversation.)

    I’m calling because, as you can tell from Emma’s hiring by A. Bell, it was soon clear to him that this was both a Nutt job and a switch for the better. But back in those simpler times, being a telephone operator wasn’t all that simple:

    Even a switchboard manned by a male in a military school wasn’t off the hook when it came to complications (sorry about the clipped picture in this clip, but unfortunately I can’t find this scene in full screen (it’s from a Billy Wilder film starring Ginger Rogers):

    Telephones have played a major part in many movies. Here are more of my ‘phoney’ favorites from yesteryear, starting with the one that started it all:

    THE STORY OF ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL* (1939), starring Don Ameche as Bell
    BELLS ARE RINGING (1960), starring Judy Holliday and Dean Martin
    DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954), starring Ray Milland and Grace Kelly
    SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (1948), starring Barbara Stanwyck and Burt Lancaster
    HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940), starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell

    *If you ever pay a call on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, don’t miss the outstanding ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL MUSEUM at Baddeck. It’s a ringleader among museums!

    Of course, telephones weren’t featured only in classic films. Remember this TV skit?

    And now I’m going to GET SMART and quit while I’m ahead….and Agent 86 is afoot:



    • Garfield Hug 12:08 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Lol! That is name I don’t want either!😂😂Hilarious read👍

      Liked by 2 people

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 1:02 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      My father had a Top Secret security clearance level from the time he was a young man working on his Ph.D. (advised by Einstein & Land). After working in the missile program for much of his career, his last job in the Air Force was Congressional Liaison.

      He loved to tell the story of the time he and his best friend Miles (a NASA bigwig at the time) both took off their shoes at the same time, held them to their respective ears (a la Get Smart) and said, sotto voce, “Can’t talk now, I’m with Congress,” put their shoes back on and tried to keep neutral faces until the startled Representatives nearby walked away quickly.

      Loved this post – for more than that reason, one-ringy-dingy.
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 4 people

    • scifihammy 2:47 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hilarious clips and Yes – The old switchboard was amazing! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:37 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. BTW, that’s Rosalind Russell in the AUNTIE MAME clip — the same gal who co-starred with Cary Grant in HIS GIRL FRIDAY (last film on my movie list).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:58 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply


      Least we forget these guys, the first users of the cell phone.


      Liked by 3 people

    • linnetmoss 6:16 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant! Cell phones figure largely in Liam Neeson’s “Taken” thrillers, but they cannot compare to the oldies 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:58 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Speaking of oldies, I’ll take this occasion to refer back to the “Hello Central” in my post with this clip of a song which was a big hit during WWI when American troops were fighting and dying on the battlefields of Europe:

        Liked by 2 people

        • linnetmoss 3:53 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink

          Wow, I know who Al Jolson is but that one is new to me!

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 4:32 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink

          Al Jolson’s singing could be a bit over-dramatic, but he knew how to put over a song in those days. He recorded HELLO CENTRAL in 1918 near the beginning of his fame as “The World’s Greatest Entertainer” (a title now apparently assumed by our humble President).


    • First Night Design 7:30 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      They don’t make ’em like they used to! Lovely to be reminded of the great Lily Tomlin in Rowan & Martin – joyous memories of that particular series of sketches.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 3:03 pm on September 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry that I inadvertently overlooked your comment until today. As I mentioned in a Sept. 5 reply to BroadBlogs, Lily’s birthday was Sept 1 and I overlooked that as well when I wrote this post….sure signs that age is creeping up on me. Take my advice and don’t get old! 🙂


    • Ricardo 11:57 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Whenever somebody on Facebook posts “Name something that you remember that doesn’t happen anymore” I put down “Waiting for somebody to get off the phone so you can use it.”

      Liked by 4 people

      • literaryeyes 8:41 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Remember party lines? You’d pick up the phone and hear your neighbor talking to someone else, say sorry, hang up, and wait?

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 6:48 am on September 6, 2017 Permalink

          There were a number of movies in the 1930s & 40s in which party line (or crossed line) scenes with overheard conversations played a part in the plot (SORRY, WRONG NUMBER, listed in my post, was one of them). I personally experienced only a few times picking up the phone and hearing someone on the line….but then, I never was a ‘frequent try-er’ when it came to conversing on the telephone! 🙂


    • mistermuse 2:26 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Coincidentally, yesterday I was looking for quotes I might use in this post and came across this oldie: “If you think the art of conversation is dead, you have probably never stood around waiting outside a public phone booth.” –Evan Esar

      Liked by 2 people

    • BroadBlogs 3:27 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You have a mind that is great at putting things together!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:42 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, but I’m not sure my wife would agree. Every time something goes haywire on the computer, I have to ask her to fix the problem! 😦


    • restlessjo 5:02 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I worked on the Continental Exchange, just off Fleet St., many long years ago and that first scenario looks alarmingly familiar. Many thanks for your kind visit. 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • thefirstdark 3:19 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on ReBirth: The Pursuit of Porsha.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 8:23 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      EMMA NUTT — can’t believe that’s a real name. And the perfect quote: “I’m very thankful that my first name was not Imma.”

      Interesting that telephones are featured so much in movies. Something about “the space between” and trying to connect in an imperfect world?

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:00 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Indeed. Lily Tomlin practically made a “calling” out of her many telephone company skits like the one in my post. BTW, when I published this post on 9/1, I didn’t realize that 9/1 is her birthday. Belated Happy Birthday, Lily!


    • Maria H. 5:24 pm on September 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I loved all the puns! Old telephones are before my time, but I cannot imagine having to connect all those different people to each other! It looks really complicated.

      Thank you for stopping by and liking my book review for Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I just posted a new review on another science fiction book, so stop by again if you are interested.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:33 pm on September 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Switchboard operators in those days must have had a lot of influence because they all had connections (if you still love all my puns after that one, I can only assume that you’re a glutton for punishment)! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 4:03 pm on April 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Barbara Feldon, , Don Adams, Emmy winners, Get Smart, KAOS, Maxwell Smart, Missed it by that much, Sorry about that   


    that today is the birthday of the man who helped save the world from chaos — or KAOS, to be exact (missed it by that much). I refer to none other than Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86, AKA Don Adams, star of the great 1960’s TV spy spoof series Get Smart. But then, how could a comedy series created and written by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry not be great?

    Adams proved to be the perfect choice for the part, winning three Emmy Awards for his role alongside co-star Barbara Feldon,  his partner (Agent 99) at the U.S. Intelligency Agency, CONTROL. Among his many catch-phrases, perhaps the best-remembered is “Sorry about that, Chief” whenever he screwed up or irritated his boss, the “Chief” (Edward Platt). Others included “Would you believe ….”, “Missed it by that much” and “Ah, the old ____ in the ____ trick.”

    For those of you old enough to have seen Get Smart, the following clips should bring back choice memories and more than a few uncontrolled laughs. If you’re not smart enough to be that old …. Sorry about that.





    • Don Frankel 5:31 am on April 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This was a great show. Since they like to remake everything this would be perfect right now. I’d love to see a new Maxwell Smart trying to find a terrorist by going through 5 million orders to Papa John’s.

      I know Mel Brooks knew this but the term 86 is used in the Restaurant business to describe something that is garbage. If the tuna goes bad and someone asks for it you don’t want to say it’s spoiled out loud so you just say 86.


    • mistermuse 7:15 am on April 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Very few remakes are up to the standard of the original, but if done right, I agree that “Get Smart” could be a big winner in today’s world

      Thanks for the interesting “86” trivia, Don. I wondered why that number, out of all the possibilities, was chosen for Agent Maxwell Smart. .


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