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Telephone operator, 19th century

Telephone operator, 19th century

C033/0681

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Telephone operator. Paris in 1890. Connections between early telephones were made manually by the operators. Technological improvements in this Parisian exchange meant that people, for the first time, provided a number rather than a name, and they were passed between fewer people before being connected. This innovation was known as 'Poste assis'. The telephone was developed in the 1870s, with several inventors pioneering the technology. This illustration is from 'Physique Populaire' (Emile Desbeaux, 1891).

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