Before pagers and mobile devices, before texts, IMs, and DMs… there was a telephone switchboard. And behind the switchboard was a human in a headset, expertly navigating a tangle of cords, buttons, and jacks to connect callers.

At Blanchard and Calhoun, Mrs. Irma Ruth Seigler ruled the switchboard. She was, by all accounts, devoted to her task but even her patience could be tested. In the middle of taking a long and meandering message from a client, Irma Ruth advised the caller: “I do believe you ought to write Mr. Blanchard a letter.” On this day, the 143rd anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell’s successful call to his assistant, Mr. Watson, we salute Irma Ruth and the many other employees who have fielded our calls over the years and, on occasion, offered unsolicited advice on appropriate channels of communication.