More Operators for France - 1918

Six Michigan Girls Who Answered the Call for Telephone Operators to Serve “over There"

Six Michigan Girls Who Answered the Call for Telephone Operators to Serve “over There" Top Row, Left. Miss Elizabeth M. Shovar; Right, Miss Norma G. Finch. Middle Row, Left, Miss Geneva Marsh; Right. Miss Agnes G. Burke. Bottom Row, Left, Miss Faye R Honey; Right. Miss Louise M. Wilcox. Bell Telephone News, September 1918. GGA Image ID # 19b26eaa57

Misses Geneva Marsh and Agnes G. Burke, both oí Detroit, are now in France with the Fourth Telephone Unit, Signal Corps.

Miss Marsh, who was an employee of this company, left as an operator, but, as will be noted from the insignia on the brassard of her left arm, she is now a chief operator. The telephone transmitter is the insignia of an operator; the transmitter with wreath below is the insignia of a supervisor, and the transmitter, wreath and lightning bolts are the insignia of a chief operator.

Four more young women answered the recent call for experienced toll operators, and left Detroit on July 28th. Miss Norma G. Finch of Hillsdale, Mich., was a senior toll operator in the Hillsdale exchange with six years’ telephone experience.

Miss Faye R. Honey was a supervisor in the Detroit toll office with nine years’ experience. Miss Elizabeth M. Shovar, an instructor in the Detroit toll training department, and Miss Louise M. Wilcox, supervisor in the Detroit toll office, each had five and a half years’ experience.

These young women have, of course, entered this service on a purely voluntary basis, all being extremely anxious to go “Over There” where they can give to their country even more valuable service than they were giving in their positions with the Michigan State Telephone Company.

When these young women left Detroit, a large number of friends and telephone associates were present to wish them Godspeed and a safe return. They were given travel letters, one to be opened on the train, and the other letter on the steamer. These letters included various stories and poems. One of the poems written by Miss Margaret Carter, instructor in the Detroit training department, appears below:

Ode to E. S.

There was a young Miss in Detroit,
Who pulled plugs and used to enjoy’t.
But there came a grand chance
And she struck off for France
Shouting "Germany ! I will destroy’t”
She threw down her head-set and pads,
As well as all feminine fads,
Said "Good-bye" to her friends
Here’s where giddy life ends—
I now share the lot of our lads."
She feels so important and big,
She’ll look ñne in that navy blue rig!
"Number, please," she will mumble
As the big guns all rumble,
Then the Sammies will all dance a jig.

“More Operators for France,” in Bell Telephone News, Detroit: Bell Telephone, Vol. 8, No. 2, September 1918, p. 3.

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