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1905 Strowger
11 Digit Desk Telephone

1905 Strowger 11 digit desk telephone The eleven digit dial was invented by a mortician named Almon B. Strowger. He was convinced that the local operators were diverting all the mortuary business calls to his competitors. So, he decided to do away with operators. He was granted a patent on March 10, 1891. And thus, the Strowger Automatic Exchange (which later became the Automatic Electric Company then finally GTE) came into being. This particular desk set was found in a garage in Grants Pass, Oregon by its present owner.
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