Murray Hill telephone exchange, switchboards, 1916

glass negative

Rosenfeld and Sons
USA, NY, New York
emulsion on glass
overall: 8 x 10 in.; 20.32 x 25.4 cm

8 x 10 glass plate negative taken by Rosenfeld and Sons. Image taken as part of long term commissioned work and documentation for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company, ranging from 1910 through the 1940s. Interior view of the Murray Hill telephone exchange in New York City, taken November 29, 1916. View of several woman switchboard operators, supervisors, and two ladies seated at a central desk. Active switchboards line all three visible walls with women seated shoulder to shoulder answering calls. Large ventilation system, overhead fans, lamps, and a fire extinguisher are visible in the workspace. Desk in center of room has smaller switch box connected to two headsets. The ladies seated here appear to be recording into small notebooks, while a supervisor looks uncomfortably toward the camera. Handwritten on original negative sleeve: "5620 / 11/29/16 / 455--4 / Murray Hill Exchange / Tel Co / Box 455".


Mystic Seaport, Rosenfeld Collection

Related Subjects

Telephone operators
Telephone switchboards