Supporting Amateur Radio Emergency Communications

QUESTION:

On September 1, 1878 Emma Nutt was hired as the first woman to ever hold this job.  What was the job that Emma Nutt was the first female hired to do?

Emma Nutt

ANSWER:

Telephone Operator.

EXPLANATION:

In January 1878 the Boston Telephone Dispatch company had started hiring men as telephone operators, starting with George Willard Croy.  Men (including reportedly Emma’s husband) had been very successful as telegraphy operators, but their attitude (lack of patience) and behavior (pranks and cursing) was unacceptable for live phone contact, so the company began hiring women operators instead.

Thus, on September 1, 1878, Emma was hired, starting a career that lasted more than 30 years and becoming the worlds first female telephone operator.  She was paid a salary of $10 per month for a 54 hour week.  She, reportedly, could remember every number in the telephone directory of the New England Telephone Company.

The customer response to her soothing, cultured voice and patience was overwhelmingly positive, so men were soon replaced by women.

To be an operator, a woman had to be unmarried,between the ages of seventeen and twenty-six. She had to look prim and proper, and have arms long enough to reach the top of the tall telephone switchboard.

NET CHECK INS:

We had a total of 34 people check in to the net tonight and a total of 9 people had the correct answer to the trivia question.  Congratulations to:

  • K6FCC – Khalil
  • KJ6IRF – Dennis
  • KD6JEV – John
  • KD6JPD – Jerry
  • NY6L – Jay
  • KA6LUI – David
  • W6NVY – Gary
  • AF6TT – Leon
  • WA6USL – Murray

Thanks to everyone who checked in and participated to tonight’s net.

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