MT& T CO. STAFF, 1920. Courtesy of Antigonish Heritage Museum. Restoration: Anne Louise MacDonald
Antigonish’s first telephone exchange was established in the late 1880s but proved so primitive and unreliable that it was suspended within the year. It was not until 1901 that the Antigonish Telephone Company, negotiated with the Nova Scotia Telephone Company to implement long-distance service.
Maritime Tel & Tel purchased Nova Scotia Telephones assets and opened an exchange on College and St. Mary’s Streets, serving about 1500 subscribers.
“Like switchboards across North America, which were dominated by the “hello girls,” women figured prominently on the staff of MT&T’s exchange in Antigonish; as a general rule, supervisory roles were allocated to males” (Stanley-Blackwell ^ MacLean, 2004, p. 115).