It’s hard to overstate the impact of the telephone.
In the last 150 years, this communications technology has altered the land, the sky, the makeup of outer space. And as you trace the contours of history, you’ll often find the telephone in places you wouldn’t expect. A background character in stories inspiring and despicable alike.
Enter the ‘Hello Girls’
The United States Army’s first female soldiers were switchboard operators. The first war of the industrial revolution, WWI defined how new technology could be used in battle.
During a period in which telephones depended on operators to manually relay calls, these brave volunteers were absolutely critical to the success of the military machine.
“…telephones became the central nervous system of the U.S. army. Switchboards were it’s synapses.”
Elizabeth Cobbs is a historian and novelist
…with a staggering resume. She’s the author of eight books that alternate between historical fiction and non-fiction.
In researching the Hello Girls of WWI, Elizabeth uncovered diary entries, letters, photographs, army gear; ephemera that in some cases had not been seen in a hundred years.
The Hello Girls (2018)
Elizabeth produced a PBS documentary based on her research with filmmaker James Theres.
Her newest work, a novel, brings Harriet Tubman to life
It’s May 1863 and America is soaked with blood. Following massive losses at the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Union Army is exhausted and outgunned. Fort Sumter looms menacingly, guarding the birthplace of the Rebellion with underwater mines and artillery.
In Beaufort, South Carolina, one very special woman is hatching a spectacular plan. Hunted by Confederates, revered by slaves, Harriet Tubman plots a bold and dangerous expedition behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of bondsmen, recruit them as soldiers, and turn the tide. A bounty on her head, she has given up everything for the noblest cause: a nation of, by, and for the people.