Enfield Exchange
Hidden Histories of the Information Age · 14 minutes ·

Enfield Exchange

"Hello Girls"

In 1960 the women telephonists of the Enfield exchange said goodbye to the last manual telephone exchange in Greater London. For decades they had put through calls using this plugboard machine, providing a polite and friendly voice to any caller. With the expertise of the Science Museum's Keeper of Technology, Dr Tilly Blyth, and Curator of Communication, John Liffen, Aleks Krotoski uncovers the hidden histories of the life of the exchange and how it provided a new kind of employment for young women.

Part of the Enfield Exchange is on display in the new Information Age gallery at the Science Museum. The gallery tells the story of the evolution in how we communicate with each other. The objects in the exhibition represent cultural moments from the last 200 years - not just technological innovations.

We also hear from the women who worked as telephonists about the relationship between the supervisors and operators, some of whom were only 15 years old, the aches and pains the plugboard caused and the prestige brought by a job with the GPO.

Comments (0)

You Must Be Logged In To Comment

Similar podcasts

Enfield Talking Newspaper

AFL Exchange

The Exchange

HR Exchange

Singles Exchange

Queer Exchange

Experiment Exchange