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Telephone Operators FINAL.doc

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COMM 320
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November 29th 2012The Telephone Operator GirlTechnology and PracticesWithout any doubts the telephone meant a radical change in personal communication throughout North America when it was invented In its early stages the telephone system required the involvements of operators as mediating components for the production of telephone calls In fact before the adoption of automatic switchboard telephone operators were required to make the connections between subscribers At a time when women barely occupied the labour force the telephone came into play and changed significantly womens roles and status within society In fact as author Michle Martin wrote is her book Women s particular characteristics facilitated the transition of the telephone industry from a smallscale enterprise to a modern corporate capitalist monopoly 1991 p50 Therefore women operators contribution was central to the rapid development of the telephone industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries This essay explores the job of telephone operators which was uniquely performed by women who were known as Hello GirlsHistory and Cultural Context When the telephone was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell the opportunities for women to work outside their home were very limited if they did not choose factory jobs Fisher 1992 p35 In Bells attempt to improve the telegraph he created an incredible technology that is still use nowadays the telephone One of the less recognized achievements of Alexander Graham Bell was the opening of a vast new field of employment for women Back in 1
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