History of Telephone Workers, Part 5

Posted on September 20, 2020

by Mary Hedge

The first automated telephone switching system was developed by Almon Strowger, an undertaker in Kansas City, Missouri.  According to lore, an operator was directing calls to her husband, a competing undertaker.  The system was first used in La Porte, Indiana, in 1892.  In 1910, only 300,000 had automated service (dial rather than operator interaction) out of 11 million subscribers.  Automated systems reduce labor costs and ensure privacy to the customer.  The first fully automated office started business on December 10, 1921.

Mary Hedge

Mary Hedge

Mary is a Public Services Librarian. She enjoys helping people find the information they need, including family and local history searches. Also, she serves as the director of READ La Porte County, Inc., plays the organ for a church, and enjoys traveling.
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