Just a few minutes between raking up the autumn leaves to participate in this week's Sepia Saturday. I have managed to stay on theme this week, although my telephone operator picture is nowhere near as spectacular as the one Alan posted. This first picture is from an article in the January 1957 edition of Trains Illustrated called "The American Train Dispatcher".
An American Traffic controller at his telephone desk, c.1956
And although not strictly on the telephone theme, the second picture does have a lot to do with communication, so kind of linked. This picture is also from the January 1957 edition of Trains Illustrated and was featured in an article called "Signalling and the Modernisation plan". It's a picture of the inside of York signal box which, at the time, was the largest of its kind in the world, controlling nearly 18 miles of running lines, 5.5 miles of loop lines, with 74 running and 154 shunt signals, and 277 sets of points. Some sense of the enormity of this can be seen in the layout on the far walls. I suspect today that there are only a couple of lines here, all controlled by a microchip the size of a pinhead.
The electric route relay interlocking signal box at York