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Telephone Operators, between 1914 and 1917

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This photograph shows six female switchboard operators at work.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Harris & Ewing, "Telephone Operators," between 1914 and 1917


Until the 1960s, telephone companies used manual switchboards to connect calls. Switchboard operators inserted a pair of phone plugs into jacks. In this photograph, which was taken between 1914 and 1917, six female switchboard operators worked to connect people’s calls. 

Source-Dependent Question

  • How have telephones changed over time?

Citation Information

Harris & Ewing, "Telephone Operators," between 1914 and 1917. Courtesy of Library of Congress