Thursday, December 26, 2013

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 122

Emmett "Bud" Wright with skis, 1920

The Park City Museum in Park City, Utah has taken several historical photographs and made them into postcards.  This one, above, shows a group of telephone linemen including Emmett “Bud” Wright at the far left holding the skis.  The picture is dated 1920.

Looking at the skis he his holding it is possible to see that one is significantly longer than the other one.  While Bud was out on his lineman duties repairing phone lines he took a fall and one of his 10’ long handmade skis broke.  He continued the rest of the way on one long and one shorter ski.   He, and others like him, became local heroes who kept the phone lines open, put up new poles, and checked the lines during the winter months.  In tribute to Bud Wright there is a bronze statue of him in Park City.

These telephone linemen were called “Boomers.”  They had special equipment to aid in climbing the poles such as hooks and braces for their legs and boots, belts with loops and pockets to carry the tools needed once they got up to the top.  They also worked in teams to install new or replacement poles.  Setting the new, young pole in place was hard, dangerous work.  It required the use of planks to slide the end of the pole into a pre-dug hole and ropes to haul it upright.  Cross-arms were attached before raising the pole.  Pine poles called “pikes” were used to guide the larger, longer pole into place.  The Boomers had to know when to get out of way to avoid being crushed by a pole that fell instead of being safely installed. 

First settled in 1848 by Mormon pioneers and named originally for Parley P. Pratt as Parley’s Park City the name was later shortened to Park City.  When gold and silver were found here many outsiders came to work the mines and Park City became a rough and tumble mining town by 1870 very unlike most of the rest of the Mormon towns.  Today many of the old buildings have been restored and it is primarily a tourist and ski town.  The museum, located on the main street, has a scale-sized model of the silver mining operation, many old photographs, and other displays from the early days. 

Bud Wright, Joe Holland and Chet Jensen, ca 1922

Also from the museum collection this second card, above,  shows Bud Wright at the left and two others, Joe Holland and Chet Jensen standing at the top of Main Street with Hillside Avenue in the background.  It is dated ca 1922. 

For more information about Park City and the Linemen, see:,_Utah

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