Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Telephone
Common Name Telephone, receiver
Catalog Number 2001.74.5
Date ca. 1910
Material(s) Hard rubber; cotton; steel;
Dimensions H-40.25 Dia-2.625 Cir-8.375 inches
Description This is a black rubber bi-polar telephone receiver. It has copper wire wrapped in braided red and black cotton with two jacks. The cap of the receiver has the screws off to reveal the magnet.
Notes Henry and John Gambill operated the first telephone exchange in Blaine, Ky., starting around 1910. Henry Gambill's wife, Lida and John Gambill's wife, Mary served as the early switchboard operators. This ringer would have been connected to a black candlestick phone mouth and earpiece.

Drs. Henry (Harry) Harrison Gambill (1874-1936) and John James Gambill (1874-1934) were medical doctors in Blaine, Ky. They were the twin sons of Leander Gambill. Henry specialized in obstetrics and gynecology; John specialized in the eye, ear, nose, and throat. Both were active in the agricultural, business, and social community around Blaine.

The brothers were born on February 23, 1874 in Lawrence County, Ky. They attended Professor G. Milton Elam's academy at Blaine and the Medical college of Atlanta. They both completed post graduate work at Louisville Medical School and Chicago Medical School. They married sisters: John to Mary Melvina "Molly" Swetnam and Harry to Lida May Swetnam. The two couples lived together in a large home built in the 1920s in Blaine, Ky. Harry and Lida had two children, Charles and Louise. John and Molly had no children.

John died on January 10, 1934. Harry died on May 9, 1936.
Collection Justine Sprenger Collection
People Gambill, Henry Harrison
Gambill, John James
Gambill, Lida May
Gambill, Mary Melvina
Subjects Doctors
Doctors' offices
Telephone lines
Telephone operators
Telephone switchboards
Switchboard operators
Search Terms Blaine (Ky.)
Lawrence County (Ky.)
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS