Island Telephone

1890’s ~ Fishers Island’s Telephone Co. is Formed

The Fishers Island Telephone Co. was formed in the early 1890s by the Ferguson brothers.

1920’s ~ Olmsted Plan

An infrastructure upgrade known as the “Olmsted Plan” brought brand new telephone lines and poles throughout the east end of Fishers Island in the mid-1920s.

By 1926, the company had 128 customers on Fishers Island’s west end and 14 customers at the east end. They reported that year that out of an island-wide total of  200 houses (175 west end and 25 east end), there were 164 telephone “stations” and 38 extensions.

Fishers Island’s telephone capacity was upgraded in 1928. The change was exponential and reflected the push for modernization that accompanied the Olmsted Plan’s development of the east end in the mid-1920s: “In the spring of 1928 the Southern New England Telephone Company laid a new submarine cable from Groton Long Point to Fishers Island, consisting of 28 quods, or 56 toll circuits, compared to the two toll circuits we had prior to this time.” – Quote from unidentified Telephone Co. brochure.

1950’s ~ A Unique Telephone Company

In 1951, The Telephone Bulletin, an industry journal,  published an article entitled “Fishers Island: Pint-sized Telco,” that celebrated the uniqueness of the Fishers Island Telephone Co. Richard Baker and his boss William A. Talmage, who were described as a two-man team handling the responsibilities of a whole department, functioning as framemen, central office repairmen, testmen, linemen, installers and repairmen.