The Emma Nut case

History of Sorts


You all have to forgive me for the cheeky title of this blog, but I just couldn’t resist the pun.Fact is though that Emma Nut was a pioneer and she probably didn’t realize it herself.


The first telephones were hard enough to use without the added harassment of the teenage boys who worked as the earliest switchboard operators — and who were,  notoriously rude.

1 - boys

As mentioned above, the first operators were all boys, and while we’re not huge fans of the phrase ‘boys will be boys’ in modern parlance, it was definitely something that was well believed back in the early days of telephone. Boys who were put in the position of telephone operators exhibited a basic lack of patience, and behaviors that included pranks and cussing, which just wouldn’t do for the people who were supposed to be the friendly voice of a telephone operator.


It was Alexander Graham Bell himself who…

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1 Comment

  1. historiebuff says:

    Thanks for this one. Obscure and important history.  There was still a switchboard operator in the village my wife grew up in. Wife’s family phone number, the entire phone number, was 7.


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