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The amazing, untold – and completely true – story of the Strowger Switch April 28, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Telecommunications.

switchThe Strowger Switch has a rather amusing history. Once upon a time in the Wild West, there was a young man named Alman B. Strowger who wasn’t a telecommunications engineer by trade. He was a mortician. As life would have it, he had a competitor in town. During this period, there were no dial pads to use when making a telephone call. Instead, you had to talk with the town telephone operator, who would extend the connection on your behalf. Mr. Strowger’s competitor’s wife was the town telephone operator. So, needless to say, anytime there was gossip about a gun battle about to brew on Main Street, she let her husband know, and he was there to collect the bodies before Mr. Stowger got a chance. Mr. Stowger decided to use technology to get a competitive advantage, and he invented the Stowger Switch. Th new switch meant that you could dial a number directly from your phone, bypassing the town telephone operator. strowger_4


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