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Celebrating 100 Years of Connection: A Nostalgic Journey Through Time

February 21, 2024
Quadro Communications 100th anniversary 2024 blog

As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the heritage of Quadro Communications, it provides us with an opportunity to reflect with greater appreciation on our rich history and deep sense of community. The extraordinary journey commenced prior to the development of the Blanshard Municipal Telephone System, tracing its roots back to a time when the absence of rural commitment from a larger Bell company led to the establishment of the very first telephone systems in our region. These initial systems were often funded by local doctors, veterinarians, or merchants.

The Early Days: Let’s rewind to 1924 when the Blanshard Municipal Telephone System was just getting started. On August 5, 1924, Blanshard Municipal Telephone System was created to take over the St. Marys, Medina, and Kirkton Telephone Company Ltd. Four years later, the Paul Eckert Telephone System established in 1898 and later incorporated in 1918 as the Sebringville Telephone company was purchased. In a world where communication was transforming rapidly, introducing a local telephone network marked a significant milestone for our community.

1930 blanshard truck feb blog

Long-serving Blanshard Municipal Telephone System technicians Ruben Switzer (left) and Sid Riddell at the Medina store, probably around 1930.


Nostalgia Unplugged: Telephones in the 1920s were often made of beautifully crafted wood and mounted on the wall, featuring a hand-cranked magneto generator to signal the central exchange. Switchboard operators would manually connect calls using patch cables. The distinctive sound of these phones, from their ring to the warmth and crackle on the line, adds to the nostalgic charm.

quadro communications 100th anniversary february 2024 blog 1920s telephone

The history of telephones saw significant changes and styles. Rotary dial phones allowed callers to dial numbers directly. In the 1960s, Blanshard Telephone began to convert to dial service, and toll-free calling was introduced. Changes in technology in the 1980s allowed Blanshard Telephone to switch from dial service to digital as push-button telephones became popular.

The 1990s saw the rise of the Internet, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, enabling voice communication over the Internet. This laid the foundation for the development of modern communication services. The advancements made during this time continue to influence how we communicate today due to the introduction of the Internet and other telecommunications technology.

 Community Roots: The Blanshard Municipal Telephone System wasn’t just a service; it is woven into the fabric of our community. As the telephone coverage expanded, the roots deepened in the communities served. In March 1995, Blanshard Telephone began the transition from a subscriber-based ownership to a co-operative ownership, and the seven founding members of Quadro Communications Co-operative Inc. met in Kirkton and officially transferred the assets.

Quadro Communications 100th anniversry February 2024 blog logos

During the year, you will hear stories from long-serving staff and residents who worked for the telephone system, volunteered during emergencies, or experienced the sense of security that comes with knowing help is just a phone call away. Let us celebrate the bonds that formed around this essential aspect of the area’s early infrastructure.

As we celebrate this milestone in our history, we look forward to sharing our inspiring and intriguing past, including conversations, shared moments, and the invaluable role Quadro has and continues to play in serving and supporting our local communities with advanced communications technologies.