Remember the days when you had to memorize your crushes’ digits, and you would twirl the coiled phone cord around your finger nervously waiting for them to pick up? Or perhaps you still remember your best friend’s phone number by heart all these years later. No matter what, it’s an indisputable fact that Alexander Graham Bell and his breakthrough telephone invention helped revolutionize the world. It even helped inspire the lyrics to Stevie Wonder’s, “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” and has helped families and loved ones stay in touch for 145 years. In celebrating National Landline Day on March 10, we want to pay homage to Alexander Graham Bell, who filed his patent for the telephone in 1876. Furthermore, thanks to his contribution, by 1915, people in the U.S. could call coast-to-coast from New York to California, thereby reducing the use of snail mail.
A Glimpse Into Home Telecom’s Historical RootsToday we want to celebrate the long-standing commitment and history of Home Telecom in the telecommunications field. People today cannot remember a time when telephones didn’t exist. Most people attribute this to several national companies that helped to wire the U.S. within a short period. However, these national companies focused on providing service to high population centers, not rural areas. That means back in the day, towns like Moncks Corner and small communities, such as Jamestown and Lebanon, weren’t the focus of conglomerate telephone companies. This is where Home Telecom came in.
In 1904, Mr. R.O. Winter and five other investors in Berkeley County purchased and installed six telephone lines in the Moncks Corner area. There was no money to be made, and they didn’t even have an office, but it was a community service they focused on providing to help the small town grow and flourish. Within six years after installing the phones, demand for the telephone grew, thus creating St. John’s Telephone Company.
After R.O. Winter passed away in 1916, St. John’s Telephone Company was sold to Home Telecom’s local electric company. However, in 1939, R.O. Winter’s widow, Mary Briscoe, bought back the company and changed the name to Home Telephone Company.
In 1947, Mary sold the company again, but this time to her son-in-law and daughter, S.S. “Shellie” Helmly and Thelma. Across the U.S., the post-war boom dramatically increased the demand for telephone services, which prompted Shellie and Thelma to involve their sons, Robert and Dozier, in the business. The two began managing the company in 1962 and improved global telecommunications in the local community.
Expanding their services to include Cable TV in 1981, Home Telecom always strived to bring the local community cutting-edge technology. That’s why in 1995, they began offering internet to households, a staggering five years before one-third of the U.S. population had access to internet services.
Today, Home Telecom is expanding with William S. Helmly, Robert Helmly Sr’s son, as President and CEO. Home Telecom has continued to evolve, providing top-rated services to the local community, including security monitoring, gigabit internet, app-based video services and voice over IP. Home Telecom has continued to deliver on its commitment to innovate and serve the community.
Learn more about our latest initiative to bring Fiber to our rural neighbors here.
National Landline Day ActivitiesSo join us in celebrating National Landline Day with a couple of these fun activities.
- How many numbers can you remember? Try recalling how many numbers you can from your childhood.
- Call someone with a landline. Call your grandparents or an older relative that still has a landline and celebrate by catching up with them.
Listen to our top phone songs!
- “Call Me Maybe” - Carly Rae Jepsen
- “Payphone” - Maroon Five
- “I Just Called to Say I Love You” - Stevie Wonder
- “Say My Name” - Destiny’s Child
- “8675309” - Tommy Tutone
- “Call Me” - Blondie
- “Ring, Ring” - Abba