History--telephone arrangements for 1965 presidential inauguration [telecom]

. Providing telecom service for the event took substantial advance planning by numerous Bell personnel over the course of a year.

. Bell installed 125 TV circuits at 30 locations for the three TV networks*. It was watched by 70 million television viewers. Bell also installed 300 radio circuits, and arranged for the event to be telecast to Europe via the new Telstar satellite. It was the largest TV installation in Washington's history.

. For reporters, telephones and teleprinters were installed at hundreds of locations. In the accompanying sketch, the telephones were a battery of pay phones mounted on a long shelf. The specific model of the teleprinter was not clear. Private line networks were set up for public safety groups,

. For the general public, 24 phone booths, painted red, white, and blue, were set up along the parade route, and were equipped with Touch Tone phones. There was also a telephone trailer for the public, staffed by an attendant to assist people. It was prominently marked, "PUBLIC TELEPHONE / The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Companies".

. A Call Director set (new at the time and considered fancy) was installed at the reviewing stand with a direct line to the White House switchboard. Mobile telephones was installed in the president's car and at the Capitol. [I was not able to find any comparable information for Western Union. As mentioned earlier, Bell and Western Union were competitors in providing teleprinter service (private line and switched) to organizations. Also, at that time W.U. sought to provide computer data communications in competition with Bell.]

  • The figure of 125 TV circuits at 30 locations seemed high to me, but that's what the advertisement said. The television networks must have spent a great deal of money to cover the inauguration. Broadband TV circuits weren't cheap, and there was the cost of all the equipment. In other historical news, in August 1977, the national Boy Scout Jamboree, held in Moraine Park, Pennsylvania, required a telephone network of 56 outside lines, 182 inside lines, and 90 pay phones.
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