BETHEL – “Don’t Yank the Crank” was the battle cry of an impassioned campaign in 1982 to save the last magneto telephone system in the country from replacement by dial tone. The documentary film, “Bryant Pond – The Last Magneto Telephone,” tells the story of Bryant Pond and small town America as it struggled with the coming of technology as told by the people who worked there.

The Mahoosuc Arts Council will present a showing of the 30-minute documentary as well as a discussion with the film’s maker, Larry Young of Best Shot Productions, at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in the McLaughlin Science Center on Gould Academy’s campus.

The Woodstock Telephone Co. was founded in 1883 and operated from 1951 until 1983 as the Bryant Pond Telephone Co. by owners Elden and Barbara Hathaway.

The mom and pop company represented the last of the hand-cranked switchboards in North America and with its passing, the rural small town way of life in the United States changed. It is with the purchase of the company by the Hathaways that the story comes into living memory. It becomes more personal; not only telling their struggles with ownership but also how day-to-day life in small town rural America was lived from the mid-20th century until nearly its end.

Shot in a minimalist style, “Bryant Pond” weaves together historical photos, film, video and recollections to tell its story.

Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $4 for students. Reservations are recommended, as seating is limited. Call the Mahoosuc Arts office at 824-3575 to make reservations.


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