Photo: Alan Graham 1958


Commo man Alan Graham is working the switch today. These units were also called a PBX because they were a Patch Board eXchange. In front of Alan is the patchboard, 30 jacks for incoming calls and a smaller number for outgoing. On the table where his arm rests are the patch cord plugs. When a call came in, a buzzer sounded and a white "eyelid" dropped in a window above the active jack. Alan would insert a patch cord in that jack and say "Red Canyon Switch." The caller would say where he wanted to connect to and Alan would plug another patch cord into that jack, and forward ring that number. Most of the telephones at Red Canyon did not have dialers on them. Many were EE-8 phones with a crank handle on the side to ring the switch. Each Nike Set had a similar system at both the Battery Control Van and launch Control Trailer.

Don Bogges estimates the tiny switch handled up to 5,000 calls per week. The building was not large and the Provost Marshal, head of the Military Police, used one half of it. It was a very busy place.