BENSON, Don




"I tell you boys, it's got me, the song the wire sings." -- Wiresong

Don Benson's history of the telephone in B.C., Wiresong, emanates from his career with B.C. Tel which began in 1955. Written in the poetic style of Robert Service, the book celebrates historical characters and engineering feats -- from the beginnings of telephone service in the 1880s. Benson was a logger and newspaper reporter prior to joining a B.C. Tel line gang in 1955. It was an era when holes for telephone poles were still dug by hand, poles were erected using 'muscle-power' and bare wire was still strung on back-roads. "This is the first book to be categorized by the Canadian Library Catalogue as Historical Poetry (apparently most poems fall into the fiction category)," Wiresong promoter Vic Leach wrote in 1991. The books was published to coincide with B.C. Tel's 100th anniversary. A 20-minute video based on the poetry and photos was produced.

[Image: From the cover of Wiresong]

BOOKS:

Wire Song: An Illustrated History of the Telephone in British Columbia 1880-1930 (Self-published, 1991)

[BCBW 1995] "Industry"