The Evolution Of The Switchboard

First there would be the phone, developed in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell. This now common commodity was revolutionary and in the end caused the telegraph system to be obsolete. The innate progression following that is a system of telephones, making interaction ever easier and a lot more streamlined. Thus the start of the switchboard system.

The earliest switchboard systems were large, ugly looking contraptions. They were comprised of cables for each telephone along with a board of plugs which linked to other telephone lines. As a call entered, the operator had to find out which line the caller wished to contact and manually plug the caller's line into the recipient's line, thus completing the bond between the two and letting them talk to each other. The operator also had to press a button to cause the recipient's telephone to ring. These early systems just weren't very efficient nor stable. Calls could without difficulty be connected incorrectly or dropped.

These early systems just weren't able to deal with the number of lines that were required as the interest in the telephone increased. They had to automate switchboard systems more than a little. The switchboard systems for small towns and cities were automatic first. Those who wanted to speak to people in other towns and cities were required to request to get connected by the operator. It had a specific number to dial to contact to operator and following that, the caller was connected to the relevant line in the other town. This was done by the operators in each town. The first operator would contact the recipient's operator and ask for a connection to the relevant number in that town, the recipient's operator would then ring the phone and connect the lines.

Eventually, this was also computerized. The only real use for an operator after that was if a number was out of order or didn't connect. The operator could then repair the problem and enable the conversation to proceed. The other time people would contact the operator was when they wanted to place a collect call. The operator would need to received permission from the recipient and then reverse the charges for the call.

After these early proceedings, switchboard systems are becoming ever more streamlined. They are now frequently used in businesses with multiple employees who have a need for telephone services. The business itself may have a dedicated line and lots of internal lines. The internal lines are all always connected and can be dialled directly. External lines require that you dial a certain digit (usually a 0) in order to link. This special digit activates an automated operator which links into the direct dialling switchboard systems of the person you wish to contact.

Since the advent of the phone in 1876, communication between friends has steadily become easier and faster. Businesses telephonic services have become streamlined and far neater. Switchboard systems do not need to take up entire buildings and don't require dozens of people to operate. They are easily operated by one person and are fast, efficient and reliable.


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