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Telephone lady with accessories

Inventory number: T99 1/32/1
Location: Hall 1

The telephone ladies who worked the switchboards in the telephone exchanges could apply for the job with the recommendation of two well-known and respectable families. They had to meet the following criteria to be eligible for the job: be presentable, have a good memory, quick perception, clear pronunciation, good manners, pleasant but strong voice and knowledge of a foreign language. The telephone ladies had to learn the entire subscriber list and numbers by heart. Since it was rather difficult to distinguish subscribers by the same name, for better identification they had to learn their occupation and address, too. By the end of the 1890s the number of subscribers grew to 2000-5000, so on June 29, 1901 switching by number was introduced.

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