Albany in Albany County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
1st Telephone Central Office in New York State
in New York State
opened near this site
March 18, 1878
Erected 1979 by Telephone Pioneers of America.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Communications.
Location. 42° 38.981′ N, 73° 45.047′ W. Marker is in Albany, New York, in Albany County. Marker is on Broadway south of Maiden Lane, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located beside the sidewalk, in a small parking lot in the middle of the block, directly across Broadway from the US Federal Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 446 Broadway, Albany NY 12207, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Fur Trade (within shouting distance of this marker); Building A Place to Live (within shouting distance of this marker); Anneke Janse Bogardus House Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Henry Hudson (about 400 feet away); Lydius Corner (about 500 feet away); Site of First Poor House in the United StatesThe Site of the Oldest Building in Albany (about 500 feet away); Second Albany City Hall (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Albany.
Regarding 1st Telephone Central Office in New York State. A Telephone Central Office is a term unique to North America. They are known elsewhere as Telephone Exchanges. Individual wires from all of the telephones in the surrounding area are routed to the Central Office building and terminated on equipment that allow telephone users to request a connection to any another telephone. Originally telephone operators manually connected calls using cord. Subsequently automatic switching equipment connected most calls.
Also see . . .
1. What is a Telephone Central Office?. Excerpt:
The term "central office" was coined from the early days of telephony. Right after the introduction of the telephone in 1878, subscribers had to "ring" the office to get the attention of an operator who would ask for the wanted number and complete the call. As the number of telephone subscribers grew from only a few dozen to a few thousand, human operators were then housed in a central office(Submitted on August 24, 2020.)
2. https://www.history.com/news/telephone-operators-used-to-be-rude-teenage-boys-then-alexander-graham-. 2017 article by Erin Blakemore at History.com Includes images of the inside of central offices. Excerpt:
[Telephone company owner Edward Holmes, a friend of] Alexander Graham Bell, who licensed the phones to the [Holmes’] company, hired Emma Nutt away from her job as a telegraph operator. She became the first female telephone operator (her sister, Stella, became the second a few hours later).(Submitted on August 24, 2020.)
Unlike her male colleagues, Nutt was patient and polite. Her voice was soothing and cultured, and she navigated the wall of wires and holes with ease. (Eventually, she stopped physically switching calls and relied on a switchman instead.) Because she had relatively few customers, she got to know many of them and became a familiar voice. And she did it all for just $10 a month.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 168 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 3. submitted on August 13, 2020, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.