Automatic Electric 3-Slot Pay Phone

Automatic Electric was founded in 1891 by Joseph Harris and Almon Strowger.

The first dial telephones had pointed switch hooks and 10 holes (zero through nine) with arrow-like points to indicate the corresponding number. By 1904, desk stands and wall sets alike featured an eleventh hole, some of which were identified as “Long Distance.” Mouthpieces also changed over time, becoming available in porcelain, which was believed to be more sanitary than hard rubber or wood materials.

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