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Communicating by telephone in the past

This collection of digital curriculum resources focuses on the telephone in Australia, a means of mass communication dating back to the first call made in Melbourne in the late 1870s. The collection is organised into five categories - telephones in business; role of telephonists in exchanges; telephones in the home; using ...

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Yorketown Post Office technology

This is a black-and-white photograph probably taken early in the 20th century inside the Yorketown Post Office in South Australia. It shows three men: one is using a typewriter, one identified as Tom Spender is using a morse key, and the third man is using a telephone at a small exchange.

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Ipswich Post Office switchboard in the 1950s

This is a 1950s black-and-white photograph of a manual telephone exchange at the Ipswich Post Office in Queensland. It shows four women operators at the exchange board and a male supervisor or manager.

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Telephonists at the Brisbane telephone exchange, 1910

This is a black-and-white photograph taken in 1910 of women telephonists at the Brisbane telephone exchange. The photograph shows a long row of women wearing headsets and seated at a manual 'plug and cord' switchboard. Two women, who are supervisors, observe the telephonists. The man at the rear of the photograph is the ...

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Women working in a telephone exchange, 1929

This is a black-and-white photograph of four women operating the telephone exchange at the Adelaide Railway Station, South Australia, on 23 August 1929. The women sit on adjustable stools with back supports and foot rails. They all wear headphones over their short hair, or hair worn up, and plug lines into sockets on boards ...