here is a list of questions! Please write as much as
you like for each ! I will give you as much space as
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
2 - when did you get
rid of your old tty manuals they we have here?
3 - Do you still fix TTYs?
No! Retired 21
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
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
Rochester School for the
Deaf and received awards from different organizations.
12 feel free to add
I Had some help from the Telephone and
Western Union pioneers.
I am now 84 1/2 years
I worked on Models 15, 28, 32,
Lorenz, TDDs and Kleinschmidt machines.
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
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1979
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...
When I hit the test message on Lester's old APCOM
it fired up! This had not been used for over 30 years I guess...
From the Paul and Sally Taylor Collection at
Ad - Inside front cover
1986 TTY/TDD DIRECTORY
Rochester Tel-Com Association of the Deaf Inc.
Want to get involved in accessibility for the Deaf and Hard
of Hearing? JOIN
"TDI provides leadership in achieving equal
access to telecommunications, media and
information technologies for deaf and hard of hearing people."
Shaping An Accessible World!