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This Week in Tech History: First Female Telephone Operator

On this edition of "This Week in Tech History", Chris tells us of the first female telephone operator in history, who was recruited by none other than Alexander Graham Bell himself!

emmanuttThis week in 1878 – Emma Nutt was recruited by Alexander Graham Bell to become the world’s first female telephone operator at the Boston Telephone Dispatch Company. At the time, to be an operator, a woman had to be unmarried and between the ages of 17 and 26. She had to look prim and proper, and have arms long enough to reach the top of the tall telephone switchboard.Edison Pearl Street

In 1882 – Thomas Edison displayed the first practical electrical lighting system. The Pearl Street electric power station, Edison’s steam powered plant, began operating and successfully turned on the lights in a one square mile area of New York City. It was considered by many as the day that began the electrical age.

In 1887 this week – Emile Berliner filed for a patent for his invention of the lateral-cut, flat-disk gramophone. We know it better as the record player. Emile got the patent, but Thomas Edison got the notoriety for making it work.

tshirtlogoThis week in 1888 – George Eastman registered the trademark Kodak and received a patent for his camera that used roll film.

And this week in 2004 – Software Freedom Day was established and observed for the first time. Software Freedom Day in an annual worldwide celebration of Free Software with the aim of increasing awareness of Free Software and its virtues, and encouraging its use.

Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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