When the Nation Was First at Our Fingertips


By Jayne MillerSep 28, 2017


In 1951 AT&T produced a short film to promote the introduction of direct-dial long distance telephone service. This service was first introduced in the U.S. in Englewood, New Jersey.

"The first town in the world to have an unusual kind of telephone service," says the narrator in the video. "She just picked up the telephone and dialed her daughter in San Francisco, California. In a matter of seconds she is talking with her."

The film includes a brief look at some of the underlying technologies, such as automated switches and punch-card-based computerized billing systems. You can watch the 11-minute video—complete with a nice bit of telephone history—below.


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