Lester Zimet
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We are looking for  more  photos and materials  related to Lester   email us at INFO@SMECC.ORG 

From the  Paul and Sally Taylor Collection at  SMECC. 

TDI in 1983 awarded  Lester Zimet the H. Latham Breunig Humanitarian Award
This award is given biennially to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the program or activities of TDI.



The  1987 TDI Blue Book  was  dedicated to 
Lester Zimet for 17 years of service as a TDI Agent.



scan0049small retouoched.jpg (439027 bytes)                      scan0051small image.jpg (360996 bytes)

From the TDI  International Telephone Directory of the Deaf 1987 from the  Paul and Sally Taylor Collection at  SMECC. 


C- SMECC - From Zimet/Black Collection at  SMECC. 



from the  Paul and Sally Taylor Collection at  SMECC. 


 C- SMECC  From the Robert and Thelma Collection at  SMECC. 


 C- SMECC  From the Robert and Thelma Bohli Collection at  SMECC

 -  Lester,    here is a list  of  questions! Please  write as much as  you like  for each ! I will give you as much  space as  you need!
1 - What material have you saved?  Papers, books, photos old  tty tools and hardware?  Any back issues of  GA-SK? 

None! Gave up all of Items  to  NTID.


2 -  when did  you get  rid of  your old tty manuals  they  we have here?  ??


3 -  Do you still fix  TTYs?  

No!  Retired  21  years ago!

4  - What  got you interested in repairing them?  We assume  you did  because of the manuals. 

To serve the   Deaf Community in Rochester.

5  - One  book  say inside of it  you were "AGENT  FOR TDI"  what  did that mean and what  duties were expected of  you!? 

My duty was to provide obsolete TTYs to the users.

6 -  Please tell us  about the  H. Latham Breunig Humanitarian Award in  1983 awarded to  Lester Zimet  we saw the in the TDI website.  talk about the award,   what  you  did  to  earn this  recognition and  what  does  this award mean to you.
It meant a lot to me for I volunteered  my free time to the Deaf community for 35 years.
7 - What was  your  full time job?  was  that the TDI agent position or was there another  job?
 I was working for a Law Publishing company for 32 years.


10 Did  you ever teach at any of the deaf  schools
11. Where did  you  graduate  from,  were there other awards  you received  for  your  work?  
 Rochester School  for the Deaf and received awards from different organizations.
12  feel  free to add anything...
I Had some help from the Telephone and Western Union pioneers.
I am now 84 1/2 years  old.  
I worked on  Models 15, 28, 32, Lorenz, TDDs and Kleinschmidt machines.



From the Matthew Starr Collection at SMECC

Sally Taylor States - "photo shows Lester Zimet most likely promoting TTYs at a Deaf Awareness event in Rochester.
("Deaf Expo", most likely just local)"



Lester Zimet Installed the  TTY system here.

OSWEGO VALLEY NEWS "The Paper That's Read from Cover to Cover"

Link Fire Control To Homes of Deaf



TELEPHONE HOOK-UPó Dispatcher Richard Cronk of Oswego County Fire Control demonstrates the telephone converter which enables the deaf families in Oswego County to communicate with Fire Control in case of emergency. When a call comes in on the special
emergency number, 343-8800, the receiver is placed into the telephone converter, and the caller's message appears on the teletypewriter. Each deaf family will have a code, and they
will send their code and the nature of the emergency for quick action from fire control.




If one of the nearly 40 deaf families in the area should
have a fire of other emergency, they will be able to contact the
Oswego County Fire Control quickly, thanks to a new system
of teletypewriters for the deaf: The system was inaugurated
recently with the acquisition of a teletypewriter system for the
county Fire Control center, at the corner of E. Bridge and E.
Sixth Sts. in Oswego. The Fire Advisory Board voted approval
for participation in the program, at their last regular meeting.
The teletypewriter system at Fire Control was donated
by Helen Ostrynski, in memory of Louis J , Ostrynski. Mrs.
Ostrynski, a former art teacher in the Pulaski school district
and a life-long resident of the Pulaski area, has "a heart made
of nothing but pure gold," according to Leonard Prins of the
Richland Lions Club, which is one of four Lions clubs
participating in the program. The Mexico, Parish, and Pulaski
Lions Clubs are also involved, helping deaf people to acquire
the machinery for their homes.
With the new system, a deaf person who has the
teletypewriter in his or her home, dials the emergency
number, 343-8800, and places the telephone receiver into a
special converter on the teletype machine. The caller can then
communicate with Fire Control by typing messages and
reading the reply from the control center.
Each deaf family will have a code number, and this will
immediately identify their call to the Fire Control Center.
They will need only give their code and specify if it is a fire or
other emergency. At present there are three machines in deaf
families' homes, including two in Sandy Creek and one in
West Monroe. Two more are in the works for the Mexico area.
Deaf persons can purchase the home teletypewriters
for about $200, and the Lions clubs offer help to area
residents who cannot afford the cost. The four Lions clubs,
including the Mexico club, have recently voted to acquire a
system for Betty Gregory of the Tollgate Road in Mexico.
The machine, called a TTY, is donated to
Teletypewriters for the Deaf Inc. (TDI) by Western Electric
Co. a division of the New York Telephone Company. Harold
Roach of Mexico is the only authorized TDI agent in central
New York State. When a TTY is donated by the telephone
company or other agency, the TDI agent has it reconditioned
for use by the hearing-impaired and assigns it to a deaf
person who requests one. The particular TTY now in use at
the Fire Control Center was reconditioned by a deaf TDI
agent in Rochester, Lester Zimet, who owns and operates his
own repair shop.
The home machine also can be used by deaf people to
communicate with their friends. The telephone receiver is
placed into the converter apparatus, and switched on. When
the telephone rings, a light flashes, alerting the owner that a
call is coming through. The deaf persons can then use the
teletypewriter to send and receive messages.
Although Alexander Graham Bell invented the
telephone for his deaf wife over 100 years ago, it is only since
1964 that its use has become available to the deaf with the
invention of a coupler or terminal that converts the type from
a TTY into impulses that go over the telephone wires in the
same way as a human voice. Another TTY and coupler
converts it back to type, using the five-level Baudot code. It is
estimated that there are more than 25,000 TTY's in use in the
USA, Canada, and Europe.
The Mexico, Parish, Richland, and Pulaski Lions
Clubs, have also purchased a Porta-Printer, and donated it to
Rev. Roger Crassi of the Wesleyan Church in Pulaski. Rev.
Crassi hears and communicates by sign language as well.
The Porta Printer, which cost approximately $650, is
smaller than a portable typewriter and is equipped with a
telephone converter. Powered by AC or battery, it can be
taken anywhere and can be used in a telephone booth.


We are still looking for more photos of Lester but imagine our surprise when Sally Taylor gave us this one of him and there was THAT TTY!... It made a cold perilous journey with many other things that Lester had that turned up in Michigan. Matt and Alex wanted to get out of the cold weather back there for a road trip so this worked out well. there was even an old model 19 and a 15 there too...the poor truck was loaded! To read more on  Lester's collections trip to Arizona and SMECC  read... HERE



When I hit the test message on Lester's old APCOM Phonetype V
it fired up! This had not been used for over 30 years I guess...  -Ed#

zimet-rtcad-1986-ad.jpg (128649 bytes)

From the  Paul and Sally Taylor Collection at  SMECC. 

Lester Zimet Ad - Inside front cover
Rochester Tel-Com Association of the Deaf Inc.

Want to get involved in accessibility for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing? JOIN  TDI!

"TDI provides leadership in achieving equal access to telecommunications, media and 
information technologies for deaf and hard of hearing people."  Shaping An Accessible World!




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