By Ronald Ahrens
Reginald Tillotson’s business card from the years after World War Two demands some interpretation.
The splashy color side—perhaps a bit of an extravagance, although surely effective when handed to a co-op manager in a remote district—presents the image of what we’re sure is the Vinton Street elevator. Completed in 1947, this South Omaha elevator with its unusual, towering headhouse, would be a showcase for any builder.
On the back, above the rule, the range of Tillotson Construction’s services is spelled out. We don’t yet know much about the mills and warehouses but hope some information will turn up.
Below the rule, we find the six-character telephone number from the alphanumeric dialing days. Local exchanges were assigned prefix names from Bell Telephone’s mostly generic list. Besides Atlantic, Omaha exchanges were named Jackson, Prospect, Regent, and so on.
Seven-digit numbers replaced Omaha’s alphanumeric plan in 1960. The Atlantic exchange received the numerical prefix of 341.
Numerical postal zones, introduced during World War Two, were replaced when the national zip code system was introduced in 1963.
Reginald Oscar Tillotson was widely known as Mike. It could have been that Reginald was too exotic for the time and place, so he picked the nickname for himself.
- By making tricky distinctions, it’s possible to discern the builder of an elevator (ourgrandfathersgrainelevators.com)
- Viewing Tillotson’s Vinton Street elevator from the ground up in Omaha