Back on September 1, 1878, Emma Mills Nutt became the very first woman to be a telephone operator. She worked for a telephone company in Boston, Massachusetts. That company had been hiring men and boys as operators, but it was soon discovered that the males did not have the patience it took to do the job. So, the company decided to try hiring women instead.
This was historic for me, because my very first job as an adult was as a telephone operator on a cord board. When a light lit up on the board, I had to insert a corded connection into the hole underneath the light, and say “Operator”. The caller might have been making a collect call, or a person to person call, or they might be calling from a coin telephone. I had to make the connection for them, and announce the call, or whatever was appropriate for that call.
Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of me at work on my more modern cord board. But, that phase of my twenty year career with BellSouth was certainly my favorite.
What was your first job as an adult? How long did you have that job?