A half-century ago a Glens Falls area resident wanting to know the time and temperature simply dialed 793–4111.
That connected the resident with the “exclusive” Glens Falls National Bank “time and temperature” line, which provided a continuously updated recorded message with the time, accurate to National Bureau of Standards guidelines, and the temperature, accurate to within two-tenths of one degree.
Mrs. Richard Stephenson of Broad Street in Glens Falls won an AM-FM transistor radio when she was the five millionth caller on July 28, 1970.
It had been only about 17 months since Mrs. Roberta Powers of Fort Edward was the three millionth caller on April 29, 1969.
Glens Falls National implemented the service on Oct. 30, 1966.
“Banking is people. We have only one thing to offer them, and that is service,” said bank President Robert P. Larson.
The automated system operated utilizing equipment on the roof of the New York Telephone Co. building down town.
With 10 dedicated trunk lines, the service could play the time and temperature message to up to 60 different callers per minute.
By May 1969, the service was playing the message to about 3,500 callers per day when Glens Falls Mayor James T. Donnelly presented the bank with a community service award for its time and temperature service.
“Overwhelming! … But we’re not stopping there,” the bank advertised.
The next step was to install the Glens Falls National Bank time and temperature sign at the corner of Glen and South streets downtown in December 1969.
In October 1970, the time and temperature sign was installed in front of the bank’s branch office on Upper Glen Street in Queensbury.
American Sign and Indicator Corp. designed both signs.
Sources: Glens Falls Times Oct. 29, 1966; April 29, May 1, 8, 1969; Oct. 17, 1970; The Post-Star Aug. 3, 1970