A long long time ago …. I had one of these beautiful Royal Albert china telephones! Well it was just for show, it didn’t work. After a while it got broken by my cat. Our Shandy cat loved to sun himself on the window-sill in my study. One day he hopped off the window sill onto my low book-shelf on which my phone sat — kitty accidentally knocked the telephone off the book shelf onto the carpet and it broke.
Never mind. But lately I got to remembering when we had a real dial telephone at my childhood home and even a telephone stand and chair which you sat on …. and if you had lots of numbers toward 9 or the zero at the end of the dial to use …. you would have to wait on tenterhooks when you were in a hurry waiting for the rotary dial to slowly ever so slowly wind its way back a circuit, so you could put your finger in the 9 or the 8 or whatever!
Tonight I saw someone on a television auction programme selling a retro rotary dial telephone and it got me thinking what would it have been like to have been there at the time of the switchboard exchanges — telephoning the Operator and asking to be put through to someone.
The telephone exchange is a telecommunication system which revolutionized the use of the telephone. When Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson invented the telephone, the utilization of this device was limited. By 1876, the longest call made was a distance of only two miles. The use of the telephone was then limited to business purposes.