14 May 2012 by James Hayes
make the correct connections between caller 'end device' and receiver 'end devices'.
American Strowger first conceived his invention in 1888, and patented the automatic telephone exchange three years later. Some reports suggest that he constructed an initial model of his invention from a round collar box and some straight pins.
The centenary will be marked in a three-day celebration beginning on Friday 18 May at the Avoncroft Museum, home of the National Telephone Kiosk Collection. Avoncroft Museum (near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire) is a 15-acre open-air site of historic buildings. The Kiosk Collection opened in 1994, with the support of BT's Connected Earth heritage initiative, and contains examples of all BT kiosks down the decades. The Museum is open from 10.30am to 5.00pm during the Strowger Centenary Event (18-20 May 2012). More details at http://www.avoncroft.org.uk.
Mr Strowger, BTW, was not a technologist by trade, but a funeral director from Kansas City. Legend has it that Strowger's undertaking business was losing custom to a rival whose telephone-operator wife was intercepting and redirecting callers to Strowger to her hubby's parlour.
Alas Strowger himself didn't live long enough to see his brainchild flourish: he died in 1902, a decade before the opening of the Epsom exchange. He was survived by his widow Susan: after her death in 1921, an obituary claimed that she had been sitting on additional 'revolutionary' Strowger designs, but 'had refused to make them public while she was alive because only others would profit from her husband's designs'.
Edited: 14 May 2012 at 09:32 AM by James Hayes
Posted By: James Hayes @ 14 May 2012 09:06 AM General
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