British business and the telephone, 1878–1911

Milne, Graeme J ORCID: 0000-0002-0754-6749
(2007) British business and the telephone, 1878–1911. Business History, 49 (2). pp. 163-185.

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Most research into the early telephone system has focused on telephone providers rather than users, and this article begins to address that imbalance. The telephone was initially used to improve internal communications within firms, by connecting offices with warehouses, or by enabling staff working away from the office to report back. With the expansion of exchange networks, the commercial, intermediary and brokering sectors became heavy users of the technology for routine information transfer within business districts. Business elites continued to favour face-to-face contact for strategic business negotiations, however, and delegated telephone use to their employees.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Online Publication Date: 01 March 2007
Uncontrolled Keywords: Telephones, office practice, business communications, white collar workers, urban infrastructure
Subjects: ?? D1 ??
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2008 08:47
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 00:54
DOI: 10.1080/00076790601170280
Publisher's Statement : This is an electronic version of an article published in Milne, Graeme J. (2007) 'British business and the telephone, 1878-1911', Business History, 49:2, 163 — 185. Business History with the open URL of your article:
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